Course Description


CMB 707 Biotechnology Today (3 credit hours) is a project-based course that will include studies in DNA fingerprinting, PCR, CRISPR, bioinformatics, and western blot technologies: all important biotechnology techniques currently used in forensic sciences. The course is designed to give students a fundamental understanding of techniques covered as well as a working knowledge, through the use of some virtual labs. Students will also learn how these techniques can be applied toward new challenges in the biotechnology industry. Projects will include integrating knowledge and skills in the examination, analysis, interpretation, reporting, and testimonial support of evidence. Students will also develop problem-solving and analytical skills that are more generally applicable to the life sciences. Furthermore, students will develop writing and presentation skills necessary for the biotechnology workforce.

Course Information

Learning Outcomes
  • Describe and state the scientific basis and application for selected analytical techniques.
  • Develop logical steps in a series of experiments.
  • Read and critically evaluate selected scientific literature.
  • Develop logical steps in a series of experiments.
  • Interpret and communicate experimental data.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use computers and scientific databases as information and research tools.
  • Explain the relevance and significance of results in selected scientific literature.
  • Communicate research results effectively through written and oral presentations.
  • State the focus of work for biochemists.
Course Topics
Topic Dates* Instructor
Topic 3.1. Scientific Writing and Reporting in Biotechnology Dates Week 1 Instructor
Topic 3.2. DNA Forensic Techniques/Methods/Biotechnologies—Part 1 Dates Week 2 Instructor
Topic 3.3. DNA Forensic Techniques/Methods/Biotechnologies—Part 2 Dates Week 3 Instructor
Topic 3.4. Genetically Modified Plants – Case Study I Dates Week 4 Instructor
Topic 3.5. Presentation Skills in Biotechnology Scientific Dates Week 5 Instructor
Topic 3.6. Student Presentation – Project 1 (Midterm) Dates Week 6 Instructor
Topic 3.7. Genome Editing Technology (CRISPR) – Case Study II Dates Week 7 Instructor
Topic 3.8. Gene Therapy Dates Week 8 Instructor
Topic 3.9. Ethics in Research Dates Week 9 Instructor
Topic 3.10. Student Presentations Project I Dates Week 10 Instructor
Topic 3.11. Protein Detection – Western Blotting – Case Study III Dates Week 11 Instructor
Topic 3.12. DNA Detection – PCR Dates Week 12 Instructor
Topic 3.13. Bioengineering – Case Study IV Dates Week 13 Instructor
Topic 3.14. Student Writing Skills Assignment Project II Dates Week 14 Instructor

*Note: The Course Topics listed above are for a regular fall or spring semester. The summer semester will be shortened to 10 weeks and several topics will be combined.

Quizzes: 15%
Problem Sets (2): 40% (Rubrics will be used to grade each project)
Case Studies (4): 40% (Rubrics will be used to grade each case study)
Attendance: 5%

Students must maintain a 3.0/4.0 average in the Certificate Program.