Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the course the students:

  • will be able to perform basic microbiology and biochemistry laboratory experiments
  • can apply methods used in molecular biology laboratories
  • can identify and use the appropriate means for isolation, separation, purification and identification of (small) organic molecules
  • will be able to plan and conduct basic experimental work by themselves

Credits: 5

Schedule: 01.10.2018 - 05.12.2018

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Alexander Frey

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Alexander Frey

Contact information for the course (valid 12.09.2018-21.12.2112):

For general questions regarding the course organization, scheduling, grading contact the responsible teacher.

For questions related to the experiments please contact the responsible person:

Part I: Prof Jan Deska

Part II: Lecturer Heli Viskari

Part III: Prof. Alexander Frey

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course provides the theoretical background and basic practical skills required for working in organic chemistry and bioscience lab. The course includes for example:

    • use of aseptic technique in the laboratory, culturing pro- and eukaryotic cells
    • working with DNA (PCR, molecular cloning, expression)
    • working with proteins (protein purification, ELISA, SDS-PAGE, Immunoblotting)
    • use of computational tools for analyzing of DNA molecules and in silico cloning
    • synthesis of organic compounds and their isolation/purification based on chromatography and recrystallization techniques
    • spectroscopic and chromatographic characterization of compounds and evaluation of their purities

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course is tailored for students of Biosystems and Biomaterials engineering major. The theory for some of the topics we
    experimentally address in this course is covered in more detail in the Cell Biology course (CHEM-E8120) running in period II.
    Students from other majors or exchange students are responsible for ensuring that they have the necessary prerequisites and are able to attend all the lab sessions.

    Part I: Organic chemistry and biotransformation

    Synthesis of Paracetamol: Paracetamol is listed by the World Health Organisation as essential medicine needed in every basic health system. The simple molecular structure makes it easy and cheap to produce. This experiment uses an amidation reaction between an activated acetic acid derivative (acetic anhydride) and 4-aminophenol to synthesize paracetamol

    Yeast as a catalyst for organic synthesis: Saccharomyces cerevisiae plays a key role in food technologies such as brewing and baking that rely on the glycolytic breakdown of glucose during fermentation as central motif. Particularly the post-glycolysis processes triggered by e.g. baker's yeast to convert pyruvate to ethanol have also raised the interest as potential synthetic tools. In the experiment, we exploit the reductive properties of baker's yeast to generate optically active alcohols from enantioselective reduction of β-ketoesters.

    PartII: BioBricks for assembling genetic constructs

    You will learn about BioBricks and Synthetic Biology. We will explore the potential of BioBricks and how the use of standardized building blocks might revolutionize genetic engineering.

    Part III: Saccharomycescerevisiae as model and production organism

    We will analyze if and how Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be genetically modified to enable production of recombinant proteins and how productivity might be improved.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Assessment is based on active participation and completion of the experimental work, reporting of results and assignments.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Grading is based on:

    • active participation and completion of the experimental work (30%)
    1. Prepare yourself for the experiments by reading the manual before the course
    2. if something is unclear have specific questions ready
    3. Be prepared to discuss the work in the lectures
    4. missed laboratory days need to be compensated with written essays

    • reporting of results (oral, written and learning diary (50%)).
    1. Part I: Two written abstracts (10%)
    2. Part II: Learning diary and discussion of outcome (15%)
    3. Part III: Written report and oral presentation (15 & 10%)

    • assignments (20%)

    Instructions for writing abstracts, report and learning diaries are given on course homepage.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    • Total 135 h = 5 cr
    • Lectures and seminars 18h
    • Laboratory work 70h
    • Reporting and assignments 47h

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Exact time spent on each tasks depends on the working pace of each individual.


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Materials distributed during the course

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course manuals will be shared on MyCourses and hard-copy of laboratory manuals will be distributed.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Laboratory safety course CHEM-A1010 or CHEM-E0140 (or alternatively, laboratory safety as part of courses CHEM-A1000 or CHEM-E0100 taught before Academic Year 2017-2018) must have been passed.


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Note we will not use all the time
    slots reserved in WebOodi or Mycourses! Please check the most up-to-date
    timetable available on the course homepage

    • Several days will not be used at all.
    • On several days we will be able to finish the work before the official end of the lab sessions. However, please note that the indicated times are only estimates!

    Deadlines for submission of reports and assignments:


    • Part II: Monday October 29th at 23:55
    • Part III: Monday


    • Deadline for submission of abstracts (Part I): Friday November 2nd at 23:55
    • Deadline for submission of learning diary (Part II): Friday November 16th at 23:55
    • Deadline for submission of written report (Part III): Friday December 7th at 23:55