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BIOL1220: Synthetic Biological Systems in Theory and Practice


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Synthetic Biological Systems in Theory and Practice

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 3-4:50PM

BioMed Center Rm B­11

Professor Gary Wessel


4/20/10: Next Tuesday we will have our final, super hard quiz - largely from the oral presentations these past two weeks. Make sure you enter your presentation slides on the website. The other part of the quiz will be project design - just as you are doing. That is - how do you create/design/test a new process.

Final project presentations begin next week - we have scheduled 3 days for presentations, 20 minutes each, leaving time for discussion and feedback on your project. The presentation days are April 27th, 29th, and May 4th. Hopefully this conversation will help you in construction of your written work, which is due May 6th. Please consider what day might work best for your oral presentation, and I will have a signup sheet in class today.

The Course

Synthetic Biological Systems in Theory and Practice is a multidisciplinary laboratory, lecture, and discussion course that combines several areas of science and engineering to give students a solid foundation in the cutting edge fields of contemporary molecular biology and synthetic biological engineering. Students will pose important hypotheses, and learn the experimental technology necessary to test them. These technologies will include PCR protocols, protein expression, antibody generation, and fluorescent protein reporters.

The field of synthetic biology is blossoming in in creative ways to design new cellular functions for research and applied functions. It builds on recent work in systems biology which involves the modeling of biological systems, but goes further in that it emphasizes the standardization of biological parts that fit together to make complex systems. This aspect of the course will combine discussions of the theory of the field with research engineering projects to give students the best possible tools for understanding and applying research in synthetic biology.

Biol1220 is a research course. That is, a discovery course, a course in how one poses and tests hypotheses to learn answers that are yet unknown. As a consequence, scheduling throughout the semester will change as a result of the experimental outcome. Further, no one textbook, reference, or reading list will suffice. Instead, under guidance of the instructor, students will be put into an environment of having to identify the literature necessary to understanding the biology and the technology in order to carry out the chosen experiments. Background references useful for this course include the following: Recombinant DNA: Genes and Genomics: A Short Course by James D. Watson, Richard M. Myers, Amy A. Caudy, and Jan A. Witkowski Molecular Biology of the Cell, Fifth Edition by Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, and Martin Raff

The course will meet formally twice per week with focused lab sessions interspersed with discussion and seminar formats. Students will be responsible for presentations of technique, laboratory research results, biological mechanisms, and literature summaries. Research will be based on creative, synthetic biological projects designed as a result of discussions amongst the student and faculty.

Last year's notebook Brown_BIOL1220:Notebook/SynBio_in_Theory_and_Practice

Every new wiki page that you create should be named BIOL1220/S10:Name of the page

To include the header at the top of the page, include {*{Template:OWW.101}*} with the asterisks removed