Full Title:Biotechnology
Module Code:BITC S7011
Credits: 15
Valid From:Semester 1 - 2013/14 ( September 2013 )
Module Delivered in 3 programme(s)
Module Description:The aims of this module are to explore how organisms (including genetically modified organisms) are involved in the production and manufacture of certain types of food and pharmaceuticals and the applications of microorganisms in a range of pollution control technologies.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Analyse the impact of molecular biology and microbiology on the pharmaceutical and environmental sectors.
  2. Describe how natural and modified micro-organisms can be cultured on a large scale and are used in the production of food and pharmaceuticals by fermentation and related methods.
  3. Discuss and assess bioprocessing and pharmaceutical products of microbial origin.
  4. Examine and define the fundamental principles, operating criteria and design options for the major methods used in the treatment of wastewater, drinking water, municipal solid waste, contaminated air and soil.
  5. Interpret and compare national and international policies and apply the major legislative and regulatory instruments in relation to water and waste water quality, solid waste management and air treatment technology.
  6. Discuss and compare methods used to create Genetically Modified Organisms and evaluate the use of different expression systems for the production of recombinant proteins.
  7. Evaluate and appraise the use of enzymes as therapeutic agents.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Review of the structure, growth and metabolism of microbial cells. Beneficial uses of microorganisms in the pharmaceutical, food and environmental sectors. Factors affecting the growth of microorganisms. Generation and applications of genetically modified organisms.
Modes of fermentation, reactor types, process control, scale-up. Recombinant protein production, protein stability, expressions systems. Cell harvesting, cell disruption and product recovery, protein purification.
Production of Pharmaceutical products
Selected case studies: Production of antibiotics, vaccines and therapeutic enzymes, for example, urokinase, superoxide dismutase and DNase.
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Municipal water treatment. Potable water demand and supply, International standards; Drinking water regulations 2000, management of source quality. Quality issues. Industrial water treatment. Wastewater treatment: Primary, secondary and tertiary treatment. Legislation: EPA Act 1992, IPC licensing, Urban Wastewater Treatment Regs (2001), Sewage Sludge Regulations (1998).
Applications of bioremediation, comparison with traditional remediation techniques, Bioaugmentation techniques using GMOs. Air treatment: biofiltration and bioscrubbing.
Solid Waste Management
Waste Hierarchy. EU and National policies on waste management. Waste minimisation techniques. Recycling. Mechanical Treatment. Biological treatment: MBT, composting, anaerobic digestion. Conservation of energy and raw materials. Disposal of solid waste and associated problems – landfill, incineration. Integrated waste management; Hazardous waste management.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
Introduction to techniques used to create GMOs. Problems associated with using bacterial, animal or plant cells to create GMOs. Advantages and disadvantages of using GMOs for the production of recombinant proteins.
Therapeutic enzymes
Biochemistry, production and medical application of selected therapeutic enzymes (e.g. urokinase, asparaginase, superoxide dismutase).
Sample practicals:
Analysis of BOD, COD and ammonia in waste water. Analysis of mixed liquor suspended solids, settleable solids, volatile solids and sludge volume index in mixed liquor from an activated sludge plant. Oil bioremediation. Yeast fermentation. GFP purification. Antibiotic production.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work20.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%

Full Time

Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Other Each student will be asked to evaluate a case study on some aspect of biotechnology. The study will be presented using one of a number of different possible methods - e.g. type-written report, poster, video, interactive CD or oral presentation. 1 10.00 0 0 Week 25 0
Practical/Skills Evaluation A 3-hour practical session each week will provide the student with the opportunity to back up the theory covered in formal lectures with practical experience. Students must submit a written report of a professional standard on each laboratory session. 2,3,4 30.00 0 0 Every Week 0
Short Answer Questions There will be a one hour short-question (written) examination, based on the lectures provided in the first semester. 4,5,6,7 10.00 0 0 Sem 1 End 0
No Project
No Practical
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 2,3,4,5,6,7 50.00 0 0 End-of-Semester 0

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Practical No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Independent Study No Description 3.00 Every Week 3.00
Directed Reading No Description 1.00 Every Week 1.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 10.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 6.00
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • J.E. Smith 2009, Biotechnology, 5th Ed., Cambridge University Press
  • Jördening H.J., Winter, J. 2005, Environmental biotechnology: concepts and applications., Wiley-VCH
  • Scragg, A. H. 2005, Environmental biotechnology, 2nd Ed., Oxford University Press
  • Denyer, S., Hodges, N.A., Gorman, S.P. 2011, Hugo and Russell's Pharmaceutical Microbiology, 8th Ed., Blackwell Science
  • Walsh, G. 2003, Biopharmaceuticals: Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 2nd Ed., Wiley
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Cheremisinoff, N. P. 2002, Handbook of water and wastewater treatment technologies, Butterworth-Heinemann
  • Diaz, L.F., de Bertoldi, M., Bidlingmaier, W. Stentiford, E. 2007, Compost science and technology., Elsevier
  • Madigan et al. 2011, Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 13th Ed., Pearson Education
  • Prescott, L.M. 2005, Microbiology, McGraw-Hill
  • T.H. Christensen 2010, Solid waste technology & management, Wiley (available on DkIT Dawsonera online collection)
  • I. Ahmad, F. Ahmad, J. Pichtel 2011, Microbes and microbial technology : agricultural and environmental applications, Springer (available on DkIT Dawsonera online collection)
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
  • Waters, A.L., Hill, R.T., Place, A.R., Hamann, M.T. 2010, The expanding role of marine microbes in pharmaceutical development, Current Opinion in Biotechnology, Volume 21, Issue 6, Pages 780–786
  • Ferrer-Miralles, N., Domingo-Espin, J., Corchero, J.L., Vazquez, E., Villaverde, A. 2009, Microbial factories for recombinant pharmaceuticals, Microbial Cell Factories, 8 (17), 1-8
  • Demain A. 2000, Small bugs, big business: The economic power of the microbe, Biotechnology Advances, 18, 499-514
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_SENVI_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Bioscience 5 Mandatory
DK_SAPBI_7 Bachelor of Science in Applied Bioscience 5 Mandatory
659 Bachelor of Science in Environmental Bioscience 5 Mandatory