Fall 2021 - BISC 357 D100

Genetic Engineering (4)

Class Number: 1622

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We, Fr 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM
    AQ 3153, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 16, 2021
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    AQ 3005, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    BISC 202, MBB 222, and MBB 231, all with a grade of C- or better. Recommended: MBB 331.



Techniques in gene cloning and the evaluation of gene function are introduced in lectures and practiced in labs. Lab exercises include genomic DNA, RNA, and plasmid purification; PCR; various cloning techniques; and construction of novel genes. Students are introduced to additional techniques in lectures including gene editing, and genome sequencing. Students with credit for MBB 308 may not take this course for further credit.


There is a demand for people that are skilled in the various techniques associated with genetic engineering. Biomedical companies and institutes regularly search for people with practical experience in genetic engineering. These skills are valued also for an academic career in disciplines ranging from medicine to ecology. First you will learn how to purify DNA and RNA and clone a complementary DNA fragment in a basic plasmid. After that, you will design and generate a DNA construct for CRISPR-based loss-of-function analysis of gene function, followed by Sequence and Ligase Independent Cloning for over expression of genes as well as marker gene-based evaluation of where and when genes are expressed in an organism. The course will also contain a brief introduction to key technologies behind the ongoing revolution in genomics research. Teaching and exams focus on the practical logic of experiments rather than extensive rote memorization.  The course is housed on Canvas; we may use a supplementary website with additional resources.


  • Laboratory work (quizzes, other assessments, worksheets) and report on gene fusion construction: 30%
  • Bioinformatics exercises: 10%
  • Midterm Exam: 20%
  • Final Exam: 40%


Mode of Teaching

Lecture: synchronous 

Laboratory: synchronous 

Midterm(s): synchronous; date: TBA 

Final exam: synchronous; date: TBA


Effective immediately, the Department of Biological Sciences is adopting a mandatory mask policy for all areas under Biology’s control and in spaces elsewhere where Biology faculty teach, applying to everyone regardless of vaccination status.



We will be using an online lab notebook platform called LabArchives which involves a small cost


Lecture Material

Provided on-line material and links

Provided protocols


Links in provided on-line material

Sections in recommended text: Genetic Engineering.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.