Syllabus for Cell Biology



  • 15 credits
  • Course code: 1MB102
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Biology G1F, Technology G1F
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2007-03-19
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: Introduction to molecular biotechnology. Basic chemistry.
  • Responsible department: Biology Education Centre

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • describe the fundamental features of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells
  • describe the fundamental features for the structure of different classes of biomolecules as well as basic relationships between their structure and function
  • describe the principles of catalytic ability of macromolecules, the importance of control of those activities and their use in the biotechnical processes
  • describe the structural and biological roles of biological membranes
  • account for how energy is implemented in living systems as well as how general energy carrier molecules are utilised
  • account for structures and molecular mechanisms that cells use of for motility
  • explain the principles of gene regulation, Mendelian genetics, genetic constancy and variation
  • explain basic principles of evolution of the genetic material
  • carry out simple bioinformatic analyses
  • plan, carry out, analyse and document laboratory work and carry out simple risk and security assessments
  • account for and carry out commonly occurring methods in the biotechnical industry such as purification and analysis of proteins, electrophoresis of biomolecules, recombinant DNA technology, DNA-sequencing, and PCR technology
  • account for and explain how one can solve basic biotechnical problems
  • present research results, and present and independently defend summaries of basic literature in the field
  • explain the chemical/biochemical/cell biological background to everyday biological phenomena and describe the importance of the course contents for the human being, the environment and the society
  • communicate principles, problems and research results with specialists and non-specialists in questions that lie within the scope of the course
  • reflect on ethical aspects in relation to the subject content


The course gives basic knowledge about the structure and function of cells and biotechnical applications according to basic methods within biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics and bioinformatics.
Cell Biology is an interdisciplinary subject, and an important aim of the course is to integrate the fields of biochemistry, molecular cell biology, genetics and energetics.

The course discusses the following subjects:
The chemical composition of the cell. Cell organelles. Evolution from molecules to cells. How to study cells and cell components
microscopy techniques, methods to fractionate cells and cell components. The structure and information content of macromolecules.
Structure of nucleic acids, proteins, polysaccharides and lipids.

The structure and function of enzymes. The kinetics of enzyme reactions. Biochemical techniques
chromatography, electrophoresis, centrifugation. The structure of cell walls. Organisation of lipids, polysaccharides and proteins in the plasma membrane. Membrane transport of small molecules. Membrane potential. Biosynthesis of lipids and polysaccharides. Cellular energy metabolism. Catabolism and anabolism. Energy gain from organic and inorganic compounds in respiration and fermentation. Structure of mitochondria and chloroplasts. Photosynthesis. Nutrients. The structure, function and dynamics of the cytoskeleton. The coordination of the different membrane systems of the cell. The mechanisms behind: organelle transport, secretion, endocytosis and cell division. Cell communication; intercellular contacts, cell surface receptors, cell adhesion. Extracellular matrices. Signals over the plasma membrane. Cell motility and chemotaxis in eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
Biosynthesis of DNA, RNA and proteins. Genome organisation. Gene expression. Mutations. Genetic recombination. DNA repair The mechanisms behind genetic constancy and variation. The organisation of the cell nucleus. Chromatin. Chromosomes. The cell cycle. Mitosis and meiosis. Basic gene technology; cloning of DNA, plasmids, viruses. Laboratory sessions: Light microscopy.
Centrifugation. Electrophoresis. Chromatography. Spectroscopy. Culture of bacteria.
Reactions catalysed by enzymes.

Reconstruction of complex enzymatic reactions in vitro. PCR. DNA sequencing. Computer exercises. Ethic seminars.


The teaching comprises lectures, group work, seminars and laboratory sessions.


The course consists of a theoretical part (9 credits) with lectures and group work and two practical parts: laboratory sessions (5 credits) and an independent literature study (1 credit) that has to be presented orally and in writing. 
If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

  • Lodish, Harvey Molecular cell biology

    8th edition.: New York, NY: W. H. Freeman, 2016.

    Find in the library

  • Nelson, David L.; Cox, Michael M. Lehninger principles of biochemistry

    Seventh, international edition.: New York, NY: W.H. Freeman, [2017]

    Find in the library