Module Title:Molecular Biology and Immunology
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 10
NFQ Level:7
Module Delivered In 2 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: The module will be taught as two theory classes of one hour duration and one two hour practical session over thirty weeks. Class notes and self assessment tools will be provided via the Institute student common drive. Students will normally be required to carryout assignments and give presentations in order to consolidate material in lectures and practicals. Group and peer learning will be facilitated during theory and practical classes and during the preparation of assignments. Classes will be aided with the use of online resources and the VLE Blackboard will be used where necessary.
Module Aim: The aim of the module is to introduce students to the fundamentals of molecular biology, bioinformatics, medical microbiology and immunology.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Discuss basic medical microbiology.
LO2 Describe the immune system and the diagnostic applications of immunology.
LO3 Perform basic diagnostic tests involving biochemical and immunological identification of microorganisms.
LO4 Understand the importance of pyrogens and microbial contamination in and industrial and medical context.
LO5 Explain and illustrate the molecular processes of DNA replication and information flow and relate these to biotechnological processes.
LO6 Outline and carry out the main molecular methods used in DNA technology
LO7 Discuss the role of biotechnology in medicine, industry and the environment including limitations, hazards and risks.
LO8 Apply practical skills in the molecular biology and medical microbiology laboratory with respect to CGLP, health and safety, problem solving, team work, efficient record keeping and timely submission of reports
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
1. Molecular Biology:
Regulation of enzyme activity: product inhibition, feedback inhibition, covalent modification. Regulation of enzyme synthesis: DNA Binding Proteins. Regulation of Transcription: induction and repression, negative and positive control, attenuation. Global control: catabolite repression. Signal Transduction and Two-Component Regulatory Systems. Horizontal gene transfer and its clinical and environmental implications. DNA replication. The genetic code RNA transcription, editing and translation. Basic introduction to bioinformatics. Introduction to basic recombinant DNA technology methods: restriction enzyme technology, cloning, expression systems, PCR, DNA sequencing. Overview of GMOs: categorization, risks and containment. Examples and case studies of applications of molecular biology in biotechnology: enzymes, biopharmaceuticals, vaccines, environmental biotechnology.
2. Medical Microbiology & Immunology
An introduction to medical microbiology; microorganisms as agents of disease. The human body as a microbial environment. The resident flora and non-specific defence mechanisms. Endooxins and exotoxins. The importance of endotoxins in the pharmaceutical industry. Structure of the Gram Negative cell wall. LAL testing. Monitoring of the factory environment. The immune system, including humoral and cell-mediated immunity. The structure of antibodies. Antibody and antigen reactions. Immediate and delayed hypersensitivity. The use of antibodies as diagnostic agents. Monoclonal antibodies. Agglutination tests. ELISA testing.
Practical classes will develop skills including: The manipulation and handling of recombinant organisms and molecules with emphasis to CGLP and health and safety, monitoring, recording and analysing experimental data in molecular biology, operating the range of instrumentation specified safely and effectively in the laboratory, effective group work and good written and oral communication skills, safety in the molecular biology lab, specific hazards and risks, waste disposal of EtBr, UV visualisation, DNA isolation, DNA quantification and visualisation, gel electrophoresis, restriction enzyme digestion of DNA and cloning, transformation of cells with recombinant DNA molecules, DNA amplification using the polymerase chain reaction, demonstration of the effects of heat and pH on DNA, detection of endotoxins, the LAL test, production of pyrogen-free water, basic serological techniques, agglutination reactions, ELISA testing. The application of bioinformatics to discover variability in sequences and trace the effects of molecular evolution in related genes and proteins.
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment10.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%
Special Regulation
Students must achieve a minimum grade (35%) in both the practical/CA and final examination.
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other n/a 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 10.00 n/a
No Project
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Practical/Skills Evaluation Performance in Lab class/practicals 3,6,8 40.00 Sem 1 End
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam No Description 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 50.00 End-of-Semester

ITCarlow reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture 30 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Laboratory 30 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Estimated Learner Hours 30 Weeks per Stage 2.00
Total Hours 180.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_SABTP_B Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biosciences with Biopharmaceuticals 3 Mandatory
CW_SABFQ_D Bachelor of Science in Biosciences 3 Mandatory