Study Abroad and Exchanges



CMB2005 : Practical Skills in Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences 3

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To provide the student with;
•       A theoretical foundation and the basic practical skills in order to use data retrieval and data analysis systems (bioinformatics).
•       The skills necessary to collect and summarise data in order to avoid bias or misrepresentation.
•       The skills necessary to choose an appropriate statistical technique for the analysis of data.
•       An ability to use the statistical computing package MINITAB.
•       A knowledge and understanding of good working practices in the laboratory, including issues relating to safety and ethics.
•       A knowledge and understanding of some commonly used bioscience techniques, including PCR, SDS-PAGE, recombinant DNA transformation, Western blotting and ELISA.

Outline Of Syllabus

The Biomedical Sciences are underpinned by a knowledge base and a range of technologies in cell and molecular biology. This module aims to provide hands-on practical experience of the following techniques;

•       PCR
•       Microbial recombinant DNA transformation
•       Restriction enzyme digest
•       Plasmid isolation
•       Agarose gel electrophoresis
•       SDS-PAGE electrophoresis
•       Immunoblotting
•       ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay)
•       Gene expression

•       Protein databases Prosite, SMART, Pfam
•       Nucleotide databases
•       Global and local alignments
•       BLAST searches
•       PubMed, Entrez, DOI, OMIM
•       Wikis

•       Variability and normal distribution
•       Probability
•       Hypothesis testing
•       Mean and standard deviation
•       t-test
•       Chi-squared
•       Correlation
•       Regresssion
•       Mintab statistical software

•       Social media and science
•       Citation and referencing
•       Good academic practice (avoiding plagiarism, collusion and ghosting)

and awareness of;

•       Scientific ethics, human research ethics, animal ethics
•       Ethical reasoning
•       Clinical trials design

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00Lectures provide the underpinning knowledge.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical16:006:00PCR practical ELISA practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical14:004:00E.coli transformation practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical16:006:00Western Blotting Practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical16:006:00SDS-PAGE practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical16:006:00PCR Practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical51:005:00Statistics practical (IT cluster)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical13:003:00Inforamtics practical (IT cluster)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study144:0044:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures are used to impart information in a concise manner, highlight areas of importance and to show relationships between theory and practice. They will provide the opportunity to explain the underlying principles of laboratory techniques and statistical tools (K1, K2) and demonstrate the tools available to them. Lectures will also be used to define what good academic practice is, how to avoid plagiarism, collusion and ghosting (K4) and to introduce the students to the ethical considerations when planning and undertaking scientific research.
The practical sessions have been designed to allow the student to gain a basic level of experience in the use of informatics and statistical tools covered in the lectures. The series of 5 laboratory practical exercises allow the students to use commonly used biosciences techniques under supervision. The independent study time will allow students to prepare for each session, undertake additional reading and complete the assessment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Computer assessment1M20Informatics assessment: in-course online exercise, short answer questions.
Practical/lab report1M60In-course written worksheets, on-line assessment or short answer questions.
Prob solv exercises1M20Statistics in-course written worksheets and on-line assessment, short answer questions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The ability to use informatics tools and interpret the results obtained is assessed using on-line assessment. The student follows instructions or uses given data to identify the correct answer to a series of on-line questions (LO K1 and S1). The ability to recognise good academic practice and key ethical issues will be assessed during the same computer assessment exercise (K3 and K4). The statistics assessment will test the students understanding of statistical tool and selection of the correct tool to address specified questions about given data sets (LO K2 and S3). The student’s ability to perform key laboratory techniques and interpret the data generated will be assessed by either worksheets or on-line assessment (LO K1 and S2).

Reading Lists