Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2021 - 2022 Y N
Course Code BIOL3401
Date2022/01/20 08:03
Enquiry for Course Details
BIOL3401 Molecular biology (6 credits) Academic Year 2021
Offering Department Biological Sciences Quota 130
Course Co-ordinator Dr Y L Zhai, Biological Sciences < zhai@hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr Y L Zhai,Biological Sciences)
Course Objectives To provide students with recent knowledge in molecular biology with special emphasis on the study of gene structure and function at the molecular level.
Course Contents & Topics The course includes a detailed account of the molecular processes in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells, from DNA replication, RNA transcription, protein translation, to post-translational modifications with special emphasis on the regulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression. Recently developed biochemical techniques including oligonucleotide synthesis, DNA sequencing, complementary screening and DNA cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, polymerase chain reaction and transgenic technology will also be discussed.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 know the basic structures of DNA, RNA and protein, and how DNA is package in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells
CLO 2 understand the biochemical processes involved in DNA replication, transcription, translation and post-translational modifications in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
CLO 3 explain and describe the regulation of gene transcription in prokaryotes and eukaryotes
CLO 4 demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the underlying concepts associated with recently developed techniques including PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, DNA sequencing
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Pass in BIOC2600 or BIOL2103 or BIOL2220 or MEDE2301 or BMED2301
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2021 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2021 Major in Biological Sciences ( Disciplinary Elective )
2021 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2021 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2021 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2021 Minor in Biochemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2021 Minor in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2020 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2020 Major in Biological Sciences ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2020 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2020 Minor in Biochemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Minor in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Biological Sciences ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Minor in Biochemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Minor in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Biological Sciences ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Minor in Biochemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Minor in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Biochemistry ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Biological Sciences ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Minor in Biochemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Minor in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology ( Core/Compulsory )
Course to PLO Mapping 2021 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2021 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,2,3 >
2021 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2021 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,2,3 >
2021 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3 >
2020 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2020 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,2,3 >
2020 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2020 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,2,3 >
2020 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3 >
2019 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2019 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,2,3 >
2019 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,2,3 >
2019 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3 >
2018 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2018 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,2,3 >
2018 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,2,3 >
2018 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3 >
2017 Major in Biochemistry < PLO 1,2,3,4,5 >
2017 Major in Biological Sciences < PLO 1,2,3 >
2017 Major in Biological Sciences (Intensive) < PLO 1,3,4 >
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology < PLO 1,2,3 >
2017 Major in Molecular Biology & Biotechnology (Intensive) < PLO 1,2,3 >
Offer in 2021 - 2022 Y        1st sem    Examination Dec     
Offer in 2022 - 2023 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough mastery at an advanced level of extensive knowledge required for attaining all the course learning outcomes. Show strong analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, with evidence of original thought, and ability to apply knowledge to a wide range of complex, familiar and unfamiliar situations. Apply highly effective lab skills and techniques. Critical use of data and results to draw appropriate and insightful conclusions. Apply highly effective organizational and presentational skills.
B Demonstrate substantial command of a broad range of knowledge required for attaining at least most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to familiar and some unfamiliar situations. Apply effective lab skills and techniques. Correct use of data of results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply effective organizational and presentational skills.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge required for attaining most of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some analytical and critical abilities and logical thinking, and ability to apply knowledge to most familiar situations. Apply moderately effective lab skills and techniques. Mostly correct but some erroneous use of data and results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply moderately effective organizational and presentational skills.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge required for attaining some of the course learning outcomes. Show evidence of some coherent and logical thinking, but with limited analytical and critical abilities. Show limited ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply partially effective lab skills and techniques. Limited ability to use data and results to draw appropriate conclusions. Apply limited or barely effective organizational and presentational skills.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge required for attaining the course learning outcomes. Lack of analytical and critical abilities, logical and coherent thinking. Show very little or no ability to apply knowledge to solve problems. Apply minimally effective or ineffective lab skills and techniques. Misuse of data and results and/or unable to draw appropriate conclusions. Organization and presentational skills are minimally effective or ineffective.
Course Type Lecture with laboratory component course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Laboratory 20
Lectures 24
Tutorials 6
Reading / Self study 100
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments 2 quizzes 30 CLO 1,2,3,4
Examination 50 CLO 1,2,3,4
Laboratory reports 20 CLO 1,2,4
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
R. Weaver:  Molecular Biology (McGraw-Hill, 2005 or 2008)
J. Watson et al.: Molecular Biology of the Gene (Benjamin Cummings, 2004)
B. Lewin: Gene IX (Jones and Bertlett, 2008)
Selected journal articles and web learning materials.
TBC
Course Website http://moodle.hku.hk/
Additional Course Information
Back  /  Home