BCHM381-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022

Biochemical Techniques

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
End Date: Sunday, 13 November 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 31 July 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 2 October 2022


Biochemical experiments and analysis such as transport kinetics, DNA sequence analysis and manipulation, lipid isolation and characterisation. Safety, bioethical and library elements will be integrated into the coursework.

The goals of this course are to introduce and discuss the methodology and principles involved in current biochemical research, to develop skills in the analysis of current biochemical data and in the communication of biochemical issues.
The course will give you experience in the design and execution of a research project, how to construct a scientific hypothesis, and how to test it. During the course you will generate data and analyse what it means, particularly in the context of published work.
This course is recommended to complement BCHM 301 and BCHM 302, and for all those interested in learning about modern experimental techniques in Biochemistry. BCHM381 is required for a BCHM Hons or MSc degree.

Learning Outcomes

As a student in this course, I will develop:
 Knowledge in some modern techniques in biochemistry, such as would be used in modern research laboratories
 Proficiency in the capability to read and critically interpret published research.
 The ability to analyse and critically interpret experimental data, and to present experimental results in the context of published work.
 Skills in the verbal and written presentation of scientific ideas.
 Experience in the design and execution of a research project, how to construct a scientific hypothesis, and how to test it.

Transferable Skills Register | Pūkenga Ngaio
As a student in this course, I will develop the following skills:
 Analysis of biochemical data. There will also be the opportunity to gain experience in carrying out some of these experiments and using the equipment.
 Scientific writing. Scientists need to be able to share their results with other scientists. This is often in the form of manuscripts that are submitted to journals, and undergo peer review, in which other scientists judge the rigour of the science presented.
 Critical synthesis of information. In everyday life and in many job situations you will be required to read information from different sources, construct your own understanding and shape your own viewpoint. In order to provide a context for your own research, you need to be able to find out what other research has been done in the field.
 Presentation of research. In most careers in science the ability to present findings clearly in verbal form is likely to be critical. Clear written and oral communication is essential for most professional careers.


BCHM201 (if taken prior to 2005) or BCHM281 or CHEM281

Timetable Note

A 2 hour tutorial and 4 hour lab sessions is scheduled each week during term 3. Attendance at these sessions is mandatory.
For the project in term 4, you will carry out 20 hours of lab work at a time suitable for your research team and supervisor.
If you have missed a laboratory due to illness, you must contact the course coordinator as soon as possible. If you miss one or two laboratories then a medical note may be required. In exceptional circumstances, and on presentation of satisfactory written evidence, other reasons (eg. bereavement) for missing a lab might be accepted. Students that miss a lab will be required to undertake alternative assessment for the lab. If you miss a lab assessments or consider that your performance in completing such work was impaired by illness or injury or bereavement or any other critical circumstance then you must apply for special consideration (see course outline & course coordinator).


Project 1: Core skills (labs in weeks 1 & 4)
In this lab you will demonstrate the background skills needed to be a bichemist.
Assessment (16%): Lab skills theory test (8%), lab skills practical test (8%),
Skills: Designing an experiment, generation and analysis of data, scientific communication, and presentation of your work

Project 2: Lipoprotein purification and analysis (labs in weeks 2 & 3)
In this lab you will purify low density lipoprotein from blood and analyze the cholesterol and vitamin E concentrations.
Assessment (16%): Lab report 16%
Skills: Carrying out written protocols, generation and analysis of data, scientific communication

Project 3: Purification of GFP variants (labs in weeks 5-6)
For this project we will purify different GFP variants and use structural visualization tools to check the locations of the mutations
Assessment (16%): lab report 14%, peer review exercise 2%
Skills: Carrying out written protocols, designing an experiment, generation and analysis of data, written scientific communication, ability to provide feedback.

Project 4: Characterisation of GFP variants (labs in weeks 7-12)
This project will involve characterization of the proteins you have just purified using modern biochemical techniques.
Assessment (52%): Research proposal (10%), peer review exercise (2%) lab report (36%), verbal presentation of results (4%)
Skills: Carrying out written protocols, designing an experiment, generation and analysis of data, verbal and written scientific communication.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $926.00

International fee $4,563.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see School of Biological Sciences .

All BCHM381 Occurrences

  • BCHM381-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022