Credits: 5

Schedule: 24.02.2020 - 14.04.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Heli Viskari

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Throughout the course the students will primarily contact responsible
teacher Heli Viskari,

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Learning outcomes: After the course the students

1. can use methods used in molecular biology laboratories

2. can genetically modify pro- and eukaryotic expression hosts

3. know and can apply methods for screening and selection

4. will be able to plan and conduct basic experimental work by themselves

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course builds on a sound knowledge of cellular components and pathways and aims at how these components and pathways can be genetically engineered in order to create new or improved versions. Targeted and random approaches for creating modifications at the DNA level and strategies for identification and selection of improved biocatalysts and cellular systems are covered. The course provides the theoretical background and practical skills.


Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

Part I: Yeast as an expression system

You will analyze if and how Saccharomyces can be genetically
modified to enable production of recombinant proteins and how productivity
might be improved. Course work will be done according to a pre-designed daily
schedule that you can find in MyCourses before the course starts. Possibly not all the
dates and hours marked in Oodi are going to be used. Working hours are also
dependent on success in laboratory work and individual working pace. This year, the students will most probably be divided to two working groups that will follow their own lab schedule during the three first weeks.

Part II: BioBricks for assembling genetic

You will plan and execute a cloning and protein production project by using
BioBricks system to learn what standardization in molecular biology means and
how standardized genetic parts can be utilized to assemble new functional
units. In this part, you can more freely plan your working hours still using
the pre-determined laboratory days and times.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Experimentation, planning, practical implementation, reporting and assignments

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

Preliminary grading scale: Max 100 points distributed as follows:


Activity and attendance in the laboratory, completion of experimental work

-Make sure that you have time to read the instructions in the manual before
each laboratory session

-Be prepared to discuss the work in the lectures

-For part II, use sufficient amount of time to plan the experiment

-Missed laboratory days, if any, might be needed to be compensated with extra work (cse sensitive). Extensive absence from the sessions can lead to point reductions.


Part I report and discussion of outcome (25)

- Missing the deadline in reporting might lead to point reductions.


Part II poster (or other) presentation preparation and oral presentation (25)


Assignments (15)

- Missing the deadlines in assignments might lead to point reductions.


Self and group assessment at the end of the course (5)

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Total 135h = 5 cr

Laboratory and other experimentation appr. 80h

In addition:


Reporting (written and oral)


Details on calculating the workload (applies in this implementation): 

Please note that these hours are estimations, depending on each
experimental success and working pace of each student.

Lectures (in lecture rooms and in-between laboratory work) 10-12 h

Laboratory work and other experimentation 70 h

Reporting (written and oral) 40 h

Assignments and self-study 13 h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

To be announced later

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

The course manual will be given to students as the course starts.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

CHEM-E3110, CHEM-E8120 and CHEM-E8115

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 before performing any laboratory works in this course.

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Fail, 1 – 5. Grading is based on attendance, completion of the experimental work and reporting of results and assignments.

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Priority is given to the degree students in Biotechnology major. If there is space, other students (Aalto degree students and exchange students) with sufficient background in chemistry and biology can be admitted to the course. After the registration period the teacher of the course will inform registered students if they are accepted into the course.

Mandatory laboratory exercises take place during period IV, reporting and final presentation take place in the first half of period V.

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

Detailed preliminary schedule can be found in MyCourses before the course
starts. First three weeks of the course are mostly pre-scheduled, on the latter
three weeks the working groups can more freely plan their own timetable. The exact
date for the final oral presentation day (course part II) will be determined
according to all groups´ progress in laboratory work.


Registration and further information