HAP-22306 Practical Skills in Biological Techniques for Animal Sciences


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work8
Course coordinator(s)dr. KJ Teerds
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. J Keijer
dr. A Lammers
dr. VCJ de Boer
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. J Keijer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Human and Animal Physiology I and II


This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. 
See Agenda & Calendar Academic Year (http://www.wur.nl/en/Education-Programmes/Current-Students/Agenda-Calendar-Academic-Year.htm) -> Registration for Courses). 

The primary goal of this introductory course is to understand the principles of various common laboratory techniques, and gain practical experience in these techniques, with emphasis on common molecular and biochemical research in animal sciences. In the course a panel of different techniques will be applied to assess 1) an animal intervention study, 2) an immunological challenge experiment and 3) different types of cell culture experiments. To explore the opportunities and limitations of these types of experiments, we will start off with:

Gene expression analysis, followed by:

- analysis of mechanism responsible for the changes in gene expression including nuclear receptor activation and protein modifications.

- study the consequences of changes in gene expression at the level of protein synthesis and circulating biomarkers in plasma.

- perform and study an immunological response and analyze this;

- understand principles of over-expression and gene-inactivation strategies to assess gene function. 

Techniques included are: qPCR, Western and Immunoblotting, ELISA, (fluorescent) microscopy, biochemical assays, cell respiration assays, etc. Theoretical background of each technique will be provided and each technique will be carried out multiple times under different experimental conditions to obtain in depth experience in the various methods. Theoretical background of complementary techniques will be explained.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to: 
- retrieve background information relevant to the research topic; 
- apply molecular and biochemical analysis techniques, interpret the results, and incorporate these in a written report; 
- have insight in practical procedures, identify the crucial steps and be able to optimize protocols and experimental strategies for analysis of animal sciences experiments; 
- carry out experiments independently; 
- carry out several experiments simultaneously; 
- complete experiments and write a report as part of a team.


- perform experiments according to available protocols;

- documentation of obtained results in an (electronic) lab journal;

- literature search for relevant background information;

- write a report;

- work as a team.


- research competence evaluated by several tests at the end of the course (30%);
- laboratory skills (20%);
- teamwork (10%);
- lab journal (10%);
- written report (30%).
The minimum mark for each part is a 5.5. The partial marks will be valid for 6 years.


Will be provided during the course.

Compulsory for: BASAnimal SciencesBScB: Biological Functioning of Animals5AF