BOT100 - Introduction to Advanced BioChemistry

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:36:15.429
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:36:21.487

Subject Title
Introduction to Advanced BioChemistry

Subject Description
This course provides the student with a review of basic biological and chemical concepts and principles with emphasis on biotechnology applications. Topics include: Overview of Biotechnology Industry; Biotechnology and its applications in various industry sectors - health care, pharmaceutical, forensic medicine, food,  agricultural and environmental; the emergence of industrial biotechnology (?white biotechnology?); Introduction to most common bio-techniques used in biotechnology : basic microbiology, cell culture, analytical chemistry, nucleic acid-based and protein-based technologies; Quality Management Systems - GMP, GLP, ISO quality system, procedure and technical writing , SOPs,  laboratory documentation.  (Lecture & Lab) 

Credit Status
One credit towards the Applied BioChem Techniques (ABCT) Certificate Program (APPLIED BIOTECHNOLOGY).

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1. Familiarize the major applications  of Biotechnology  in various industry sectors,
  2. Perform basic Microbiology (aseptic) experiments like gram’s staining, aseptic techniques and detection of growth of microorganisms.
  3. Application of different Bio-techniques used for performing Biotechnology research studies y or in an industrial environment setting,
  4. Familiarize the  components of  different Quality Managements systems  including ISO, GMP, GLP as they apply to regulatory guidelines
  5. Develop good technical and scientific writing skills; writing of SOP’s and use of laboratory notebooks properly for laboratory documentation.
  6. Gain a deeper understanding of the significance of biotechnology in pharmaceutical development, agriculture, forensics, genetic testing, industrial products, and scientific research.
  7. Learn basic laboratory skills used in academic and industrial biotechnology laboratories.
  8. Examine the basic biological and chemical processes of cells, tissues and organisms.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
Week 1: test and assignment dates; introduction to modern biotechnology, methods and applications in different industry sectors; white biotechnology, benefits and applications; Job prospects.

Week 2: review of structure and functions of DNA, RNA and proteins; assignment of topics for students’ presentations. Laboratory: WHMIS; review of safety rules and basic laboratory procedures.

Week 3: separation of biomolecules using electrophoresis, basic principles; non-denaturing and denaturing polyacrylamide gel and agarose gel electrophoresis; pulsed field and field inversion electrophoresis; applications. Laboratory: vertical slab gel electrophoresis, function and description; preparation of buffers and polyacrylamide gels, protein sample preparation, loading and separation; staining procedures, visualization and analysis.

Week 4:  analytical methods used to detect and quantify nucleic acids and proteins; Western, Southern and Northern blotting , polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), description and applications. Laboratory: agarose gel electrophoresis; function and description; preparation of buffers, preparation and casting of agarose gels; nucleic acid separation, labeling, detection and quantification.

Week 5: students’ presentations. Midterm test.

Week 6: analytical chemistry review: chromatographic methods of analysis: gas chromatography (GC), high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), thin layer chromatography (TLC). Laboratory: review of basic analytical chemistry procedures; GC, HPLC, TLC (demonstration).

Week 7: prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, structures and functions, genomic differences; methods for cultivation and observation of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell cultures. Laboratory: aseptic techniques, cultivation and observation of microorganisms; isolation of pure cultures; selective and differential media; simple and Gram-staining techniques.

Week 8: using bacterial and eukaryotic host cells to produce recombinant proteins: principles and applications. Laboratory: tissue culture laboratory safety; Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2); culture and observation of human, plants, fungi and insect cell cultures.

Week 9: introduction to Quality Management system and its components, procedures, protocols, process design and documentation; GMP, GLP; understanding regulatory guidelines. Laboratory test.

Week 10: Final exam; review of laboratory notebooks.

Mode of Instruction
lectures, laboratory, tutorials, assignment presentations, discussions.

Prescribed Texts
to be introduced by the instructor. 

Reference Material
instructor’s handouts, technical manuals, laboratory notes, reports.

Required Supplies
Laboratory coat, safety glasses.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

  • Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on which they are due.
  • A late penalty of 10% per day is assessed for late assignments, including those not handed in at the beginning of class when due.
  • Material will not be accepted after one week following the due date and/or when the marked material is returned to students, whichever comes first.
  • Assignments are to be prepared by computer or may be legibly hand-written copy.
  • Absenteeism and Exams/Quizzes
  • Students should be aware that absenteeism almost guarantees an inability to achieve satisfactory grades.
  • Students who are absent for an examination due to an emergency (e.g., motor vehicle accident, hospitalization or death in the family) may provide official documentation within five days of the missed exam and be provided a deferred exam at a later date.  Official documentation includes a death notice or an original doctor’s certificate identifying the date, length of time expected absence and the specific reason for the absence.  Examinations missed without official documentation and approval result in a grade of zero.
  • There are no deferred options for missed quizzes.  The value of missed quizzes, at the discretion of the Faculty, will be added to other evaluation components.

English Proficiency
  • All written work should demonstrate the following characteristics for clarity and conciseness:
-writing is consistent with the rules of English grammar
-spelling and punctuation are correct
-sentences are structured correctly
-main ideas are supported with specific, relevant examples and reasons
-work flows logically through supporting statements/paragraphs
-work is arranged in correct format (e.g., as a report, essay)
-up to 10% of the final grade may be deducted on all work if the above English competencies are not met.

Format for Assignments
  • Students must use the standard, APA style for quoting sources.   Help is available at:

Laboratory Attendance
The laboratory component is essential and therefore it is strongly recommended that you attend all labs.  Any missed labs must be supported with a legal document with three days of the lab.  Any student who fails to attend more than 2 laboratory classes for a 10 week subject will not pass the subject.    

Laboratory Safety
Students are required to review and understand the safety procedures and guidelines outlined on the first class and sign the sheet to this effect before beginning work in the laboratory.  Students must also wear a lab coat and safety glasses when conducting experiments.
A student who arrives without the proper safety equipment will not be permitted to participant in the lab but will be asked to leave the class.  The student will receive no grade for the lab missed.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:
Laboratory notebooks  10%
Assignments   10%
Midterm test   20%
Laboratory test 20%
Final Exam 40%


Other Evaluation Considerations
The student is expected to comply with the Safety Rules for working in the laboratory, sign the safety contract, and WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WEAR CONTACT LENSES in the laboratory. The student will know where all safety equipment is located in the laboratory and will be familiar with WHIMIS concepts and signage.


Approved by: Denis Gravelle