Fall 2023 - BISC 357 D100

Genetic Engineering (4)

Class Number: 1874

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Mon, Wed, Fri, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

    Oct 10, 2023: Tue, 10:30–11:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2023
    Mon, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

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



The use of genetic engineering to evaluate and alter gene function is introduced in lectures and practiced in labs. Lectures cover bioinformatics, gene editing, and genome sequencing. Lab projects include a series of cloning techniques from nucleic acid extraction to making novel gene constructs. 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 also useful 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, lab notebook checks, worksheets, other assessments): 40%
  • • Bioinformatics exercises: 10% 10%
  • • Midterm Exam: 20% 20%
  • • Final Exam 30%


Mode of Teaching

Lecture: synchronous 

Laboratory: synchronous 

Midterm(s): synchronous; date: TBA 

Final exam: synchronous; date: TBA



You will need a lab coat and protective eyewear for labs.


Lecture: Posted lecture notes and associated reference material

Lab: Provided protocols and lab handouts

Plus: Any supplementary on-line material and links that are provided



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.