Brown Synthetic Biology
BIOL 1940T (CRN 14871) Synthetic Biological Systems
Mondays and Wednesdays 3.30pm - 5.00pm, CIT Room 227 First class is Wednesday August 5th 2007 Date Instructor Topic 1. Sept 5 (W) Gary Wessel Introduction, perspective and ethical implications Brown, MCB 2. Sept 10 (M) Tom Knight Foundations of synthetic biolog, MIT, Computer Science and AI Laboratory 3. Sept 12 (W) John Savage Nanocomputing Brown, Computer Science 4. Sept 17 (M) John Cumbers The engineers approach, modularity, abstraction Brown, BioMed 5. Sept 19 (W) Jamie Gagnon Synthetic biology literature review, Brown, MCB Ethics essay due 6. Sept 24 (M) Jeff Morgan Techniques in synthetic biology Brown, Biomedical Engineering 7. Sept 26 (W) John Cumbers Isolation, characterized behavior, interfaces Brown, Biomed 8. Oct 1 (M) Wolfgang Peti Protein engineering 1 Brown, MPPB 9. Oct 3 (W) Hasan Demirci Protein engineering 2 Brown, MCB Take Home exam 1 given out Oct 8 (M) Columbus Day, no class 10.Oct 10 (W) Jamie Gagnon, Literature review Brown, MCB Take Home exam 1, Due at beginning of class 11.Oct 15 (M) Nicola Neretti Deterministic models 1 Brown, Physics 12.Oct 17 (W) Nicola Neretti Deterministic models 2 Brown, Physics 13.Oct 22 (M) Anubhav Tripathi Microfluidics Brown, Engineering 14.Oct 24 (W) Jason Sello Metabolic engineering Brown, Chemistry Modeling exercise due 15.Oct 29 (M) Pam Silver Designing Biological Systems Harvard, Systems Biology 16.Oct 31 (W) Sherief Reda Cellular logic motifs Brown, Engineering 17.Nov 5 (M) Christina Smolke Metabolic engineering and RNA logic devices Caltech, Chemical Engineering 18.Nov 7 (W) Jim Collins Engineering Gene Networks:Integrating Synthetic Biology & Systems Biology BU 1 page outline of final project due 19.Nov 12 (M) Suzanne Sindi Stochastic Modeling Brown, Applied Math Take home exam 2 given out 20.Nov 14 (W) Suzanne Sindi Stochastic Modeling Brown, Applied Math 21.Nov 19 (M) Chris Voigt Programming bacteria: wiring synthetic sensors and circuits to heterologous outputs Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF Take home exam 2 due Nov 21 (W) Thanksgiving, no class 22.Nov 26 (M) Jay Tang Biophysics of bacteria Brown, Physics 23.Nov 28 (W) Group Presentations and Discussion 24.Dec 3 (M) Marc Johnson Bioenergetics and biofuels Brown, MCB 25.Dec 5 (W) Jim Head Exploring Planetary Environments: Earth and the Solar System Brown, Geology 26.Dec 10 (M) Final project oral presentations 1 27.Dec 12 (W) Final project oral presentations 2
A multidisciplinary course that combines seven areas of science and engineering giving undergraduates a solid foundation in a cutting edge field of biological engineering. Synthetic biology is a mixture of biology, chemistry, engineering, genetic engineering and biophysics. It builds on recent work in systems biology which involves the modeling of biological systems, but goes further in that it involves the construction and standardization of biological parts, that fit together to form more complex systems.
In 1978 the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Smith and it was predicated that "the new era of synthetic biology” had arrived , where genes could be cut up, changed around and put back together again to form novel function. However it was not until 2000 that the first examples of an engineered biological circuits were published in Nature. One was a synthetic oscillator; an engineered strain of E.coli capable of cyclic expression of green fluorescent protein, the other was a bacterial toggle switch capable of switching the protein to be expressed into one of two states. Since then engineers’ interest and contributions to biology have created a completely new field of ‘synthetic biology’.
Synthetic biology is a mixture of biology, chemistry, engineering, genetic engineering and biophysics. It builds on recent work in systems biology which involves the modeling of biological systems, but goes further in that it involves the construction and standardization of biological parts, that fit together to form more complex systems. One of the key factors that is making synthetic biology a reality is the falling cost of two key technologies, sequencing of DNA (now just $7 per read) and synthesis of novel DNA (now $0.69 per base pair). This fall in price continues to halve about every 18 months and was recently compared to the doubling of the number of processors being put onto computer chips which also happens every 18 months. If this pace of development continues then not only is a new field of science and engineering forming but also a new industrial revolution, based on smaller, cleaner biological machines.
This course will aim to you a thorough grounding in the theory and current literature of synthetic biology as well as provide you with an up-to-date framework in modeling and systems biology. It will include the fundamental principles of engineering such as abstraction, modularity, standardization and composition and how these are being applied to biology. You will get an overview of the biological techniques specific to experts in biology and engineering at Brown. The course will also include a number of visiting lectures, experts in the field from outside of Brown.
- Taught by interdisciplinary faculty
- There may be opportunity for individual or group practical projects in Spring 2008.
- Join the Google group for announcements about this course.
- Open to juniors or seniors with relevant backgrounds in one of the key areas, or with instructors permission.