General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Nucleic Acids Biotechnology Techniques
Language English
Module lecturer prof. UAM dr hab. Donata Pluskota-Karwatka
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position
Faculty Faculty of Chemistry
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 15
USOS code 02-NABTA


Module aim (aims)

The main objectives of the lectures are to introduce students to the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering.

The lecture is addressed to students who want to gain or extend their knowledge about the most important aspects of biotechnology. The lecture will begin with recollecting of basic information concerning the DNA structure. Then it will show how the DNA became a hearth of technology that is transforming many fields of our life such as pharmacy, agriculture and criminology.

During the lecture the following questions,  will be answered: How bacteria can produce human insulin?  Why identical twins are not identical? What is the Human Genome Project? Why HIV defies the central dogma governing the flow of genetic information? What is cloning and PCR? Does DNA recombination occur in the nature? What is “a gene gun”? What can be advantages and disadvantages of transgenic plants? Why SARS-CoV-2 is more infectious than previous coronaviruses?

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

Knowledge of biochemistry (on very basic level).


Week 1: Structure and significance of DNA.

Week 2: Isolation and purification of DNA. Enzymes acting on nucleic acids.

Week 3: Genes and cloning.

Week 4: Coronaviruses.

Week 5: Genetic engineering (Part 1).

Week 6: Genetic engineering (Part 2).

Week 7: Methods for DNA sequencing.

Week 8: Discussion and preparation for the final assessment.

Reading list

1. M. K. Cambell, S. O. Farrell, Biochemistry, 6th ed., Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2008.
2. T. A. Brown, Genomes, Garland Science Publishing, 2007.
3. J. D. Watson, DNA the Secret of Life, Alfred A. Knope, New York, 2006.
4. T. A. Brown, Gene Cloning and DNA Analysis: an Introduction, 5th Ed., Blackwell Scientific Publishers, Oxford, 2006. This literature can be a source of detailed knowledge on nucleic acid biotechnology techniques, but students will be provided with all required information during the lecture.