20460 Laboratory: Molecular Biology 1

Credits: 2 intermediate and 1 advanced credits in Life Sciences

Prerequisites:2 One of the following: Genetics,3 The World of Bacteria. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and take bibliographic instruction in the Library.

The course is based on a reader edited by Bracha Kimchi, Reuven Babai, Fruma Yehiely, and updated by Orna Dahan.

In the last decade of the 20th century, amazing progress was made in understanding the molecular and genetic basis of many processes through the use of molecular biology methods. The extensive accumulated knowledge is applied in medicine, industry and agriculture, and at the same time raises new research questions and ethical issues. The course provides knowledge and understanding of methods of molecular biology, their applications and potential, and enables students to gain hands-on experience in applying some of these methods in the laboratory. The number of students in the course is limited.

The laboratory is conducted as an intensive 5-day workshop during which an experimental system is constructed which focuses on operon cloning from different sources of genomic DNA, identifying bacteria containing the required DNA sequence using various methods, restriction mapping, and using PCR. Additional principles in applying basic molecular biology methods are discussed during the course. In addition, the students are exposed to current research trends by attending guest lectures. Students practice the use of Internet databases for determining the homology of DNA and protein sequences, and are familiarized with basic bioinformatic tools.

1There is some overlap in the content of this and other courses. For details, see Overlapping Courses.

2Enrollment in the course is conditional upon the approval of an academic advisor in Life Sciences.

3or the previous version of the course, From Mendelism to Genetic Engineering.