• Class Number 3702
  • Term Code 3030
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Anthony Millar
    • Dr Darren Wong
    • Jason Ng
    • Dr Matthew Johnson
    • Dr Wei Hee
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 24/02/2020
  • Class End Date 05/06/2020
  • Census Date 08/05/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/03/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course will introduce students to a variety of state-of-the-art techniques, both practically and theoretically, that are commonly used in the research fields of molecular biology and genetics.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Understand the theory behind the new technologies related to different areas of biology and how to apply these technologies to a specific research question
  2. Gain practical skills in cutting-edge technologies such as real-time PCR, Westerns, cell analysis, sequencing, reporter gene analysis, DNA and RNA purification, cDNA synthesis and proteomic gel analysis.
  3. Be able to record and analyse scientific data.
  4. Be able to read and write scientific papers.
  5. Orally present scientific information
  6.  to appreciate and design solutions to scientific problems.

Research-Led Teaching

Students will be lectured by a cohort of Early Career Researchers, to be introduced to cutting edge techniques that they use in their research. Therefore this course acts as an interface between teaching and the research that is carried out at the Research School of Biology. Additionally, traditional lab notebooks are replaced by computer based Lab archives, to introduce students to the latest in data recording. Two extended practicals will be written up as scientific papers; workshops to teach correct scientific writing will be provided by the Academic Skill and Learning Centre at ANU

Field Trips

There are no field trips in this course, but the practical are carried out during the mid-semester break.

Additional Course Costs

Lab coat and glasses are not provided, but are mandatory for the practical classes.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • All assessment will be marked and extensive critical feedback provided. This will be on mark sheets for the oral presentation, but for all other assessment it will be done on Wattle, either in the Turnitin tool, or the quiz tools. Problem solving tutorials discussing answers to the first three assignments are done for assignments 1-3, with feedback on answers provided.

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Lectures were recorded and posted to Wattle.
  • Tutorials were done on Zoom at rescheduled times.
  • Workshops Academic skills and learning workshops were done on Zoom with feedback provided through the Academic Skills Wattle site.
  • Practicals were modified and done on Zoom.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

  • Oral presentations for the BIOL8702 conference became a 6 minute prerecorded video submitted to Wattle. Instead of a 2% mark for peer-review, there was a 2% mark for questions during the video conference.
  • Proteomics assignment was reduced from 6% to 2%.
  • Plant practical was cancelled and was replaced with a virtual plant practical consisting of five modules, worth 5%, 6%, 6%, 6% and 5% (28% total).

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Recombinant DNA technology
2 PCR Assignment 1
3 Genetic manipulation
4 Protein analysis Assignment 2
5 Gene expression
6 Bioinformatics/sequencing technology Assignment 3
7 Mid Semester break Plant molecular biology practical Lab archives - journal of lab experiments
8 Mid Semester break Insect/bioinformatic practical Lab archives - journal of lab experiments
9 Proteomics
10 Oral and scientific writing presentations and instructions. Assignment 4
11 Scientific paper writing workshops
12 DNA sequencing applications Plant scientific paper
13 Student oral presentation Oral presentations
14 Advanced scientific paper writing workshops
15 Insect/bioinformatic paper

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 12 % 06/03/2020 16/03/2020 1, 6
Assignment 2 12 % 20/03/2020 01/04/2020 1, 6
Assignment 3 12 % 03/04/2020 15/04/2020 1, 6
Proteomics Assignment 6 % 24/04/2020 04/05/2019 1, 6
Lab Archives 8 % 24/04/2020 04/05/2020 3
Plant scientific paper outline 2 % 29/04/2020 01/05/2020 2, 3, 4, 6
Peer-review 2 % 01/05/2020 03/05/2020 2, 3, 4, 6
Plant Scientific paper 16 % 11/05/2020 25/05/2020 2, 3, 4, 6
Oral presentations 10 % 18/05/2020 25/05/2020 5
Insect-bioinformatics paper. 20 % 01/06/2020 11/06/2020 2, 3, 4, 6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation is required for the practical sessions and is highly recommended for all other aspects of the course.


There is no exam for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 12 %
Due Date: 06/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 16/03/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 6

Assignment 1

Answer and solve problems related to molecular biology/recombinant DNA technology experimental approaches.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 12 %
Due Date: 20/03/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 6

Assignment 2

Answer and solve problems related to molecular biology/PCR experimental approaches.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 12 %
Due Date: 03/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 15/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 1, 6

Assignment 3

Answer and solve problems related to molecular biology/genetic manipulation experimental approaches.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 6 %
Due Date: 24/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 04/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1, 6

Proteomics Assignment

Answer and solve problems related to proteomic experimental approaches.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 8 %
Due Date: 24/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 04/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 3

Lab Archives

Detailed recording of results and procedures of experiments performed in the plant practical/insect-bioinformatic lab weeks

Assessment Task 6

Value: 2 %
Due Date: 29/04/2020
Return of Assessment: 01/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 6

Plant scientific paper outline

Outline of proposed plant scientific paper

Assessment Task 7

Value: 2 %
Due Date: 01/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 03/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 6


Peer-review of fellow students outline of Plant Scientific paper, including critical/constructive feedback

Assessment Task 8

Value: 16 %
Due Date: 11/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 25/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 6

Plant Scientific paper

Scientific paper of plant experiments carried out during the practical week.

Assessment Task 9

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 18/05/2020
Return of Assessment: 25/05/2020
Learning Outcomes: 5

Oral presentations

Critically present a scientific paper to the class related to recent development in DNA sequencing technologies or CRISPR/CAS technology

Assessment Task 10

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/06/2020
Return of Assessment: 11/06/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 6

Insect-bioinformatics paper.

Scientific paper of Insect-bioinformatics experiments carried out during the practical week.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.

The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.

The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.

Online Submission

You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

All assignments will be handed in through the Wattle teaching tool, and all feedback will be provided through Wattle.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Re submission of assignments is not permitted.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Anthony Millar

Research Interests

Gene silencing and RNA biology in plants

AsPr Anthony Millar

Friday 10:00 12:00
Dr Darren Wong
6125 3059

Research Interests

Dr Darren Wong

Jason Ng
6125 3524

Research Interests

Jason Ng

Dr Matthew Johnson
6127 0049

Research Interests

Dr Matthew Johnson

Dr Wei Hee
6125 2322

Research Interests

Dr Wei Hee

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions