Subject description for 2021/2022

RNA Biology (BI322F)

RNA Biology


Course description

Genomic analyses strongly indicate that genetic complexity scales with RNA-based regulation. But what makes RNA unique compared to DNA? This course focus on RNA versatility, from molecular architecture to cellular functions and biological roles. Topics include RNA structure and catalysis, mRNA intron splicing, RNA processing and translation, non-coding RNAs, and RNA in research.


No tuition fees. Semester fees and cost of course literature and laptop apply.In addition to the semester fee and syllabus literature, students are expected to have a laptop with microphone and camera. Students must purchase their own laboratory coat for use in courses with laboratory exercises. 

Learning outcomes


The student should:

  • Have theoretical knowledge of major aspects of RNA biology, which includes RNA structure, cellular function and biological role
  • Understand: i) RNA from sequence to 3-dimentional structure ii) the catalytic properties of RNA; iii) how the spliceosome and ribosome works; iv) maturation and stability of cellular RNA; v) RNA editing and nucleotide modification; vi) how short and long non-coding RNA works; vii) future prospective in RNA biology
  • Understand why and how RNA biology could be applied genomic research


The student should:

  • Read and understand up-front scientific literature on RNA biology
  • Document and communicate new scientific results

General competence The student should:

  • Communicate what RNA molecules are, why it is important to investigate RNA, and how studies can be designed and performed

Course type



For students admitted to Master in Biosciences or PhD i Aquatic Biosciences at Nord University.

Mode of delivery


Teaching activities and methods

Lectures (20h) Questions/discussion colloquium (4h) Obligatory research seminar (8h)

Recommended prior knowledge

Previous knowledge in molecular biology corresponding to BI122F (Genetics and Evolution) (10 ECTS) and BI210F (Molecular Cell Biology).

Course evaluation

Evaluation using mid-term and final surveys. Students are also encouraged to participate in the central quality surveys.

Assessment and examinations

Compound evaluation, grading scale A-E for pass, F for fail
  • Portfolio, comprises 50/100 of the grade, grading scale A-E for pass, F for fail.
  • Oral examination, comprises 50/100 of the grade, grading scale A-E for pass, F for fail.

Course literature

Molecular Biology of RNA: Elliott, D. & Ladomery, M. (2016). Second edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN-978-0-19-967139-7.
Course coordinator
Start semester Spring 2022
ECTS Credits 5 Course location Bodø. Faculty
Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture