Wet-Laboratory Skills 2

Module aims

  • To give students experience and confidence in wet-lab research
  • To teach students the necessary generic skills of wet-lab research
  • To apply learning from the main degree course in a practical setting
  • To give students familiarity with a range of lab techniques that may be required in final year projects

Learning outcomes

 Learning Outcomes - Knowledge and Understanding

  • A knowledge of plasmids and bacteria in relation to bioengineering
  • Understand PCR amplification and using restriction enzymes
  • A knowledge of gel electrophoresis and Western blotting
  • Understand using bioinformatics tools in research
  • Understanding blood cell types

Learning Outcomes - Intellectual Skills

  • Apply knowledge from lecture courses to understanding the practicals
  • Manage time-keeping correctly to simultaneously do multiple experiments
  • Work successfully as a team on a practical task

Learning Outcomes - Practical Skills

  • Work safely in a wet-lab in several different types of experiments
  • Maintain current and understandable note books
  • Be able to use common online bioinformatics tools
  • Be able to make a serial dilution
  • Handle small liquid volumes using a pipettor
  • Handle blood samples
  • Observe mammalian cells under a microscope
Learning Outcomes - Transferable Skills
  • Manage time-keeping correctly to simultaneously do multiple experiments
  • Make use of professional internet resources
  • Work as a team
  • Organisation and cleanliness

Module syllabus


Enzyme Kinetics: 1 day lab on experimental determination of enzyme kinetics

  • Enzyme assays and calculations
  • Supervised by Dr Danny O'Hare

Analysis of Cloned Genes:  2 and a half day lab on molecular biology techniques

  • Plasmid DNA preparation, Drug resistance testing, Immunodetection, PCR amplification, Agarose gel electrophoresis, Fluorescence of green fluorescent protein (GFP), Bioinformatics analysis and searching
  • Supervised by Dr Tom Ellis and Dr Sylvain Ladame

Worm Neuroscience: 1 day lab using worm nerve recodring

  • Nerve recording, response testing
  • Supervised by Dr Holger Krapp and Dr Martin Holloway

Analysis of White Blood Cells: Morning lab with Med School using preprepared slides, student's own blood samples and microscopes

  • Microscope use, recording and counting cell types, illustration of cell types
  • Supervision TBD


BE1-HWLS: Wet-Lab Skills BE1-HMCP: Molecules, Cells and Processes

Teaching methods

Lectures: 18 hours
Labs: 10 hours


●  Item 1:Marked problem sheets Title: Description: Short quiz sheet submitted in class
●  Item 2:Marked lab-book Title: Description:Assessment of good lab note keeping, done in class

Exam rubric: No exam

Feedback : Feedback will be oral communication from supervisors and GTAs during labs. Most assessment and feedback will be on-the-day of the practical class, there may be further communication of class generated results by email

Reading list

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Module leaders

Professor Tom Ellis