SCIE5508 Synthetic Biology: Solving Global Challenges

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Synthetic biology aims to apply engineering principles to a broad range of biological disciplines, including biochemistry and molecular biology, genetics, genomics, evolutionary biology and computational biology. Through standardisation and modularisation, synthetic biology enables the rational (re-)design of biological systems with novel functionalities. Examples include the construction of synthetic biosensors and regulatory circuits enabling smart cellular decisions in bioremediation and biotechnology; the implementation of novel biosynthetic pathways and enzymes enabling the production of innovative materials, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, renewable chemicals, flavours and fragrances; and the re-programming of cells for advanced immunotherapies. This unit will focus on the presentation and discussion of the building blocks of synthetic biology, including current and future organisms, methods, platforms, and target uses.
Students are able to (1) gain advanced knowledge of the concepts, state-of-the-art technologies and latest applications in the field of synthetic biology; (2) critically evaluate the tools, techniques and targets currently used in synthetic biology applications ; and (3) apply current synthetic biology concepts and technologies to design and create a novel technology or application.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) exams and tests ; (2) oral presentations ; and (3) funding proposal. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Georg Fritz
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Biotechnology 71580
Contact hours
lectures, tutorials / workshops; 5 hours per week
  • 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.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.