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ENVT5004 Decoding and Recoding for Environmental Biotechnology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Understanding the genetic basis of biological processes is a fundamental component of biological and conservation studies. With the recent advent of next generation sequencing technologies, it is now possible to perform large genome assembly projects for ecologically important non-model species. Investigation of the genetic basis of various traits is a key component in a great variety of biological studies. The recent UN report stating one million of the world's species are now at risk of extinction is scary, it is clear the sixth mass extinction of animal and plant life on earth is accelerating, making it necessary to build these high-quality genomic resources and training the future generation to save the biodiversity and our planet.

This unit is designed to facilitate training the next generation of biotechnology students through the rapid generation of high-quality genomics resources and advances in the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) toolkit for bioengineering. The potential of biotechnology and bioengineering is immense because it touches the entire spectrum of life including agriculture, food processing, medicine, and many other areas. Apart from blessings and benefits of these fields, ethical concerns are required to be articulated.

Overall this unit will enhance the understanding of life, its varieties, and its origins, and will greatly facilitate our understanding of science and biology.
Students are able to (1) assemble the genomes of non-model and model organisms; (2) critically analyse the application of the CRISPR-CAS techniques principle, to a range of plants and animals; (3) design approaches to build new properties into plants and animals; and (4) debate the ethics of next generation DNA modification technologies.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) assignment build and annotate a Genome Assembly for a species of interest; and (3) group Presentation 2 min videos of CRISPR-CAS applications in plants or animals & the ethical debate. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Parwinder Kaur
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Biotechnology (71580) or the Master of Biological Science (72520)
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.