Level 7

Introduction to DNA Analysis and Bioinformatics

2 Days

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Introduction to DNA Analysis and Bioinformatics - 2 Day Course


Students must have previous laboratory experience or have completed the Laboratory Skills course first

The field of genetics and ‘gene cloning’ has been revolutionised by PCR, the Polymerase Chain Reaction. By clever design of primers this technique can be used for classical gene cloning, addition, mutation or deletion of genes, sequencing of DNA, and for the preparation of gene libraries for use in comparative gene expression studies or Next Generation Sequencing. The complete annotated genome sequences of many different organisms are available in free online databases (genomics), as are many analysis tools (bioinformatics).

This two day course offers laboratory-based tuition in the molecular biology techniques needed in almost any field of biological research. Students will be able to use their new skills to express a target gene in a cell line for drug discovery, produce recombinant proteins for therapeutic applications, or identifying species of micro-organisms for diagnosis of infectious diseases.

You will learn how to extract and purify nucleic acids using modern laboratory methods, then use extracted DNA in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and analyse the results by agarose gel electrophoresis. You will be introduced to free online programmes and databases that can be used to design primers for PCR, and practice using these online tools to identify species from a gene sequence.

Course overview:

Day 1:

  • Introduction to molecular biology techniques
  • Students collect own cheek cells for DNA extraction
  • Extraction of DNA from cheek cells
  • Introduction to the PCR method, and essential components of the reaction mixture
  • Students set up a PCR reaction mixture using their extracted DNA and programme the amplification cycle.
  • Introduction to online genomics and bioinformatics tools, and their use in primer design
  • Computer activity: design and check a set of PCR primers
  • Agarose gel electrophoresis of PCR samples
  • Discussion of results

Day 2:

  • Introduction to RNA, its uses, and the pitfalls of working with it
  • Students collect own cheek cells for RNA extraction
  • Extraction of total RNA from cheek cells
  • Methods of messenger RNA extraction
  • Agarose gel electrophoresis of RNA samples
  • Discussion of results
  • Video on DNA sequencing and Next Generation Sequencing technologies
  • Computer activity: identification of species

This course introduces essential practical molecular biology skills and we expect that students will understand how to use basic laboratory equipment, make stock solutions, follow UK H&S policies including Risk Assessments and COSHH, and maintain a laboratory note book. Students without any previous laboratory experience should attend the laboratory skills course or laboratory skills summer school before commencing this course. The Discovering Practical Microbiology course and the Introduction to Mammalian Cell Culture form useful complements to this course.

Students are advised to wear comfortable clothes and shoes (ensuring legs and feet are covered when in the laboratory). We advise layered clothing as it can become warm during the course of the day, especially under a lab a coat and gloves.

All personal protective equipment is provided during the course however students should bring a note book for recording their results. Some students might find a laptop or tablet useful to work on the computer assignments and to download images of their gels to take away at the end of the course.

We will happily take photographs of students working in the laboratory which often serve as excellent profile pictures for work related social networking (such as LinkedIn). Our lectures will also endorse your new skills and provide a reference if requested.

We have active links with the recruitment agencies SRG and Network Scientific, students will be provided with the contact details of our recruitment consultants if requested, and references can be provided directly to these agencies.

Courses are carried out with high levels of staffing to encourage questions, interaction and discussion. Refreshments, lunch and snacks are provided during both days of the course; please advise BioGrad of specific dietary requirements at the time of booking.


  • This course is designed for undergraduates and graduates who wish to gain ‘real’ experience in setting up their own protocols.  
  • This course introduces essential practical Geonomics and Bioinformatics however students attending any of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses must be confident and competent in a laboratory setting. Thus, a questionnaire must be completed prior to the commencement of your course to ensure you are able to meet the required competencies.  
  • Students without any previous laboratory experience should attend our 1 day ‘Introduction to laboratory skills’ course or the 5 days ‘Essential Laboratory Techniques’ course before commencing this course


Accommodation is not included with this course however we are happy to recommend local hotels at the time of booking.

All our courses can be booked by paying a deposit and using a payment plan over 1,6 or 12 months if required. For more information please contact our Administration Team via email on: student.services@biograd.co.uk or through the contact form here.

Students attending any of our Level 4-6 and Level 7 courses must be confident and competent in a working laboratory. You must be able to walk in and start work selecting correct pipettes and tips, making molar solutions and serial dilutions to attend these courses. A questionnaire must be completed prior to commencement of your course to ensure you are able to meet these required competencies. If you do not yet possess the necessary skills, we recommend you attend one of our 1 day ‘Laboratory Skills’ courses prior to booking this course.

Our courses are under constant review to ensure they remain inline with current protocols within the NHS, research and industry. This means that course content may change

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Available Courses

Only 6 places left

Date: August 27, 2022 — August 28, 2022

Location: Liverpool Science Park

Accommodation available?: Yes


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