Molecular Biology

Course Name: Molecular Biology

Credits: 2.0

Level: Undergraduate

Pre-requisite: Biochemistry, Genetics

Lecture Time: 10 weeks, 2 sessions/week, 2 hours/session

Instructors: Dr. Pingyong Xu

Course Description

This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of molecular biology emphasizing experimentation, particularly the study of genes and their activities at the molecular level. Through the combination of excellent illustrations and clear, succinct writing, students are presented fundamental molecular biology concepts, molecular techniques and their applications.

Topics and Schedule

1.  Introduction (4 hrs)

1.1.   A Brief History

1.2.   The Molecular Nature of Genes

1.3.   DNA and chromosome

2. Basic genetic mechanisms (4 hrs)

2.1. DNA Replication, Damage, and Repair

2.2. DNA Replication II: Detailed Mechanism

2.3. Transposition

2.4. Gene editing based on DNA repair and transposition

3. Transcription (4 hrs)

3.1. RNA classification and functions

3.2. RNA polymerase

3.3. The Mechanism of Transcription in Bacteria

3.2. The Mechanism of Transcription in Bacteria

4. Post-Transcriptional Events (6 hrs)

4.1. RNA Processing I: Splicing

4.2. RNA Processing II: Capping and Polyadenylation

4.3. Other RNA Processing Events and Post-Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression

5. Translation (6 hrs)

5.1. The Mechanism of Translation I: Initiation

5.2. The Mechanism of Translation II: Elongation and Termination

5.3. Ribosomes and Transfer RNA

6. Regulation of Transcription (4 hrs)

6.1. Transcription regulation in Bacteria

6.1.1. Operons: Fine Control of Bacterial Transcription

6.1.2. Major Shifts in Bacterial Transcription

6.1.3. DNA–Protein Interactions in Bacteria

6.2. Transcription regulation in Eukaryotes

6.2.1. General Transcription Factors in Eukaryotes

6.2.2. Transcription Activators in Eukaryotes

6.2.3. Chromatin Structure and Its Effects on Transcription

7. Genomes (4 hrs)

7.1. Introduction to Genomics: DNA Sequencing on a Genomic Scale

7.2. Genomics II: Functional Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics

8. Molecular Tools for Studying Genes and Gene Activity (8 hrs)

8.1. Molecular Separations

8.2. Molecular cloning and mutation

8.3. Molecular Labeling and imaging

8.4. Nucleic Acid Hybridization

8.5. DNA Sequencing and Physical Mapping

8.6. Mapping and Quantifying Transcripts

8.7. Assaying DNA–Protein Interactions

8.8. Assaying Protein–Protein Interactions

8.9. Finding RNA Sequences That Interact with Other Molecules

8.10. Knockouts and Transgenics


A weekly homework will be given during the 10weeks of the class, the homework will be graded and their scores will count for 30% of the total. At the end of the class will be followed by a final examination, which will count for 70%.


Modern Molecular Biology Zhu Yuxian Higher Education Press 2014 (Chinese Version)


1. Molecular Biology (5th edition) Robert F. Weaver Science Press 2013

2. Genes VIII (XI). Benjamin Lewin 2007