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BB2560 Advanced Microbiology and Metagenomics 7.5 credits

Recent years have seen an explosion of large datasets generated on microbial communities in natural and industrial environments, thanks to advances in metagenomics and related technologies. These new data can give insight into human health and disease, or the fitness of a natural environment. In addition, these data can inform biotechnological interventions into the microbiota for improved digestion or food production, or can be a source of new industrially relevant enzymes.

Each theme in the course will present two or three class sessions of lectures and exercises. The exercises will involve mandatory student-led discussions and peer teaching exercises. In addition, a lab project will be undertaken throughout the course. At the beginning of the course, students will work together to design metagenomic investigations of their chosen environment. They will sample microbial community DNA, and sequence the DNA of this community for their course research project. At the end of the course, students will submit a lab report. This advanced course presents a reasonable work load for a Master’s level programme.

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus BB2560 (Spring 2022–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

Recent years have seen an explosion of large datasets generated on microbial communities in natural and industrial environments, thanks to advances in metagenomics and related technologies. These new data can give insight into human health and disease, or the fitness of a natural environment. In addition, these data can inform biotechnological interventions into the microbiota for improved digestion or food production, or can be a source of new industrially relevant enzymes.
The course will cover five key themes:

T1. Introduction to advanced microbiology, and metagenomic methodology

T2. Metagenomics for enzyme discovery in biotechnology

T3. The human microbiome – roles in health and disease

T4. Current and emerging methods for microbial diagnostics in the clinical setting

T5. The environmental microbiome – function and metagenomic monitoring approaches

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the student shall demonstrate profound understanding of selected microbial ecosystems and be able to design experiments and use meta-analysis in different microbiology applications. The specific learning objectives are to be able to:

  • Explain and investigate the roles of microbes in natural ecosystems
  • Explain the roles of the human microbiota in health and disease
  • Describe how metagenomics can be used to diagnose environmental and human health
  • Discuss the societal and scientific challenges with antimicrobial resistance
  • Plan and conduct a microbial community analysis, including a full work-flow from sampling to DNA extraction and in silico data analysis, with discussion of safe sample handling and ethical concerns,
  • Explain how metagenomics can be used for enzyme discovery.

Course disposition

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Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

Requirements for program students at KTH:
At least 150 ECTS from year 1, 2 and 3, of which at least 100 ECTS from year 1 and 2 and bachelor's degree work must be completed. The 150 ECTS must include completed courses in a program that includes: at least 20 ECTS in chemistry, 20 ECTS in biotechnology, biochemistry and molecular biology.

Requirements for non-programme students:
A total of 20 ECTS in biochemistry, microbiology and genetics / molecular biology. 20 ECTS in chemistry, as well as documented knowledge of English corresponding to English B.

Recommended prerequisites

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Equipment

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Literature

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Examination

  • LAB1 - Laboratory course, 2.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Written exam, 4.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Exercise, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Some lectures will be mandatory as they will involve student assessment tasks. Students who are unable to attend these compulsory lectures will be asked to submit alternative written assignments.

Other requirements for final grade

Students are required to PASS the LAB1 assignment (lab report) and to PASS the in-class exercises (OVN1) in order to pass the course. Students are also required to PASS the final exam (TEN1) to pass the course.
The final grade a student achieves is determined by their result on TEN1.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Examiner

Profile picture Anders Andersson

Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web BB2560

Offered by

CBH/Gene Technology

Main field of study

Biotechnology

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Contact

Lauren McKee, mckee@kth.se, tel. 08-790 96 99