General course objectives
Throughout life science genetic/genomic methods are increasingly used for a wide array of applications such biotechnology, biomedicine, plant and animal breeding, with GMO production, and application in food and resource management The overarching course objective is to provide students with a basic general background in genetics and the application of genetic methods in engineering. Through lectures and group exercises, the students will learn about the structure, function and dynamics of genetic information (DNA and RNA) and the basic genetic concepts including inheritance of simple and complex traits in single-cell microorganisms and multicellular macro-organisms. Students will be familiarized with state of the art genetics and genomic methods and strategies for the analysis of genetic data. A diverse set of applications covering a wide range of fields will be used to illustrate the importance of genetics and genetic engineering.
This course will introduce basic genetic theory, technology and applications to students in engineering. The course will be initiated with a review of basic genetic concepts including Mendelian inheritance, linkage and recombination. This part is followed by a thorough examination of DNA and RNA structure, function and dynamics in relation to protein synthesis. The special cases of viral and bacterial genetics will be treated in detail. Subsequently, the inheritance of complex traits coded by multiple genes will be outlined, including how genotypes can be used for the identification of genetic loci that influence trait functionality (e.g. quantitative trait loci, QTL) used in trait optimization breeding strategies. In addition, the notion of and procedures for genomic analysis will be presented with specific emphasis on application in systems biology. The basic genetics part will be concluded with a focus on explaining and illustrating the concepts of evolution and population genetics and their importance for genetics in engineering. Following the basic part, focus will be diverted to presenting modern DNA/RNA technology and examples of their applications in life science and engineering. Finally, the major applications of genetics in engineering will be outlined including biotechnology, biomedicine, plant and animal breeding, with GMO production, and application in food and resource management.
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:
- Explain basic concepts and terms in genetics such as linkage, recombination and mapping
- Describe the structure, function and dynamics of DNA and RNA and their roles in protein synthesis
- Explain inheritance of simple and complex traits in haploid (micro) and diploid (multicellular) organisms.
- Summarize the concepts of modern genomics and discuss the role of genomics in systems biology
- Discuss the theories of evolution and population genetics in relation to application of genetics in engineering
- Review the application of DNA technology (e.g. Polymerase Chain Reaction, Next-Generation Sequencing and Microarrays) for genetics/genomics
- Describe and evaluate the technology for and application of GMO production
- Provide an overview of the multitude of applications of genetics in engineering
- Apply simple statistical tests for identification of the geographical origin of individuals used in in food and resource management