Fall 2020 - MBB 308 D100

Molecular Biology Laboratory (3)

Class Number: 3087

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Mon, 3:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    or corequisite: MBB 331 with a minimum grade of C-.



Modern molecular biological and recombinant nucleic acid methods will be covered. Examples are DNA and RNA isolation, plasmid preparation, restriction enzyme digestion, DNA cloning and polymerase chain reaction. Students with credit for BISC 357 may not take this course for further credit.


This course will introduce students to recombinant nucleic acid methods. Lab time will involve one full afternoon of lab work every 3 weeks, for which attendance is mandatory—unexcused absences will be penalized.

Laboratory Exercises:

  1. Introduction: setting up a lab, safety, equipment, using micropipettors, dilutions, intro to gel electrophoresis.
  2. Aspetic technique, plating (pouring plates and streaking bacteria, preparing overnight cultures, gel electrophoresis: casting, loading, running, imaging gels.
  3. PCR, plasmid miniprep, restriction digests, gel electrophoresis,
  4. Subcloning and bacterial cell transformation

Experiments are subject to change or rearrangement.


  • Lab reports/notebook 30%
  • Graded results from face-to-face labs 10%
  • Lab performance 10%
  • In lab quizzes 20%
  • 2 in-class exams 30%


Lecture:  blended (synchronous lectures, recorded and available online for asynchronous viewing)
Laboratory:  face-to-face (students attend scheduled labs in person every 3 weeks)
Assessments: blended; both synchronous and asynchronous assessments
-  2 synchronous exams (2 x 15%)
-  Lab reports/notebook (30%)
-  Graded results from face-to-face labs (10%)
-  Lab performance (10%)
-  In lab quizzes (20%)
Synchronous in-class final
Remote invigilation:  possibly



  • Safety goggles, lab coat and face mask are required. 
  • Access to high-speed internet
  • Computer (with webcam)


Dale, Jeremy W. and Malcolm von Schantz. (2012).  From Genes to Genomes and Applications of DNA Technology, (3rd Ed.). Wiley.
ISBN: 9780470683859

Department Undergraduate Notes:

  • For help with writing, learning and study strategies please contact the Student Learning Commons at
  • Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability, must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (778-782-3112 or e-mail:  caladmin@sfu.ca)

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 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).