• Class Number 3048
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Anthony Millar
    • Ashley Jones
    • Dr Florence Danila
    • Dr Garima Bhatia
    • Dr Nay Chi Khin
    • Suzanne Hartley
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
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 variety of Early Career Researchers that will introduce cutting edge techniques used in their research, thereby making this course an interface between teaching and the research that is carried out at the Research School of Biology. Understanding of this science will be tested via three assignments that include complex problem solving in the first half of semester that promote critical thinking skills. During the mid-semester break, a three full day practical will be performed to give a real-life laboratory experience. Here, traditional lab notebooks are replaced by the computer based program LabArchives, an electronic notebook that introduces students to the latest in data recording. The practical will be written up as a scientific paper, with workshops to teach correct scientific writing being provided by the Academic Skill and Learning Centre at ANU. Next a module on COVID biology and the techniques of COVID detection and vaccine production covering the latest techniques and advancements in this field. Finally a Gene-editing workshop will be carried out, using both theoretical and practical approaches.

Field Trips

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

Additional Course Costs

Lab coat and glasses are not provided, but are mandatory for the on campus practical class.

Recommended student system requirements 

  • ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:
  • video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
  • two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
  • email and other messaging tools for communication
  • interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
  • print and photo/scan for handwritten work
  • home-based assessment.

To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:

  • A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
  • Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
  • Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
  • Printing, and photo/scanning equipment

For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

For on-campus students, 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. For remote students, one of this practicals (the plant practical) will be replaced by Virtual Plant practical, which corresponds to a series of modules. Remote students are able to do the other practical, as this is a bioinformatic practical that is taught via a series of videos and zoom tutorials. Finally, a student conference (oral presentations) will take place, and this will be done over zoom to accommodate the remote students.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Recombinant DNA technology
2 PCR Assignment 1
3 Genetic manipulation
4 Gene expression/Protein analysis Assignment 2
5 Cell Biology/microscopy
6 Bioinformatics/sequencing technology Assignment 3
7 Plant practical
8 Mid Semester break Lab archives - journal of lab experiments
9 COVID module
10 COVID module COVID assignment
11 Plant practical writeup
12 Plant practical writeup Plant scientific paper
13 Gene-editing module
14 Gene-editing module
15 Gene editing module

Tutorial Registration

Registration for tutorials are not required.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 14 % 03/03/2023 15/03/2023 1, 6
Assignment 2 14 % 17/03/2023 29/03/2023 1, 6
Assignment 3 14 % 31/03/2023 14/04/2023 1, 6
LabArchives - Plant and proteomics practical 8 % 14/04/2023 28/04/2023 3
Plant Scientific paper 20 % 28/04/2023 12/05/2023 2, 3, 4, 6
COVID module 15 % 15/05/2023 29/05/2023 1, 4, 5
Gene-editing module 15 % 30/05/2023 13/06/2023 1, 2, 4, 5

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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: 14 %
Due Date: 03/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 15/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 6

Assignment 1

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

Assessment Task 2

Value: 14 %
Due Date: 17/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 29/03/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 6

Assignment 2

Answer and solve problems related to molecular biology/functional genomics/gene expression experimental approaches.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 14 %
Due Date: 31/03/2023
Return of Assessment: 14/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 6

Assignment 3

Answer and solve problems related to RNA & DNA sequencing technologies/Cell biology/genetic manipulation experimental approaches.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 8 %
Due Date: 14/04/2023
Return of Assessment: 28/04/2023
Learning Outcomes: 3

LabArchives - Plant and proteomics practical

Record experiments of the plant and proteomic practical on the LabArchives platform

Assessment Task 5

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 28/04/2023
Return of Assessment: 12/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3, 4, 6

Plant Scientific paper

Write a scientific paper of plant practical experiments. Write results up in a scientific paper format.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 15/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 29/05/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 4, 5

COVID module

Appraise scientific papers, give oral presentation and write report regarding COVID related technologies.

Assessment Task 7

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 30/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 13/06/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5

Gene-editing module

In a series of workshops, both theoretical and practical, learn the science surrounding gene-editing technologies.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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

By Appointment
Ashley Jones

Research Interests

Ashley Jones

By Appointment
Dr Florence Danila

Research Interests

Dr Florence Danila

By Appointment
Dr Garima Bhatia

Research Interests

Dr Garima Bhatia

By Appointment
Dr Nay Chi Khin

Research Interests

Dr Nay Chi Khin

By Appointment
Suzanne Hartley
0402 836 637

Research Interests

Suzanne Hartley

By Appointment

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