BB101: Biology (2-1-0-6)
This course will focus on fundamental concepts in biology, with examples of their application in biotechnology, medicine, and biomedical engineering. A key learning outcome is to develop an appreciation for biology rather than becoming an expert. Towards this goal, the course will highlight logic and the scientific process that leads to our understanding of modern biology over the now–defunct emphasis on drawing skills and memorization. The course will also introduce the importance of qualitative and quantitative modelling to address systems–level questions and give a perspective on societal and ethical aspects of modern biology.
Conceptualized as an introductory course, it will focus on breadth rather than depth. Thus, in any given semester, SELECT TOPICS from the following will be discussed:
Fundamental topics in biology: Information flow in living systems; Cells as units of life: viruses, bacteria, animals and plant; Inheritance and diversity; Origin and evolution of life, development, stem cells; Regulation and feedback control, genetic switches; Cellular energy transactions and metabolism; Motion across scales: motor proteins, movement of cells and organisms; Host–pathogen and host–microbe interactions; Milestone events and experiments in biology.
Biology and society: Genetic diseases and genetic counselling; Genome sequencing and analysis; Forensics; Diagnostics, generic and personalized medicine; Cancer as an example of dysregulated feedback control; Movement of cells in shaping embryos and organs, wound healing, and metastasis; Development of multi–drug resistance; Therapeutic proteins and vaccines; Genetically modified organisms and food security.
- Campbell Biology. By J. B. Reece, L. A. Urry, M. L. Cain, S. A. Wasserman, P. V. Minorsky, R. B. Jackson. Benjamin Cummings publishers. 2010. 9th edition.
- Physical Biology of the Cell. By R. Phillips, J. Kondev and J. Theriot. Garland science publishers. 2008. 1st edition.
- Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry. By D. L. Nelson and M. M. Cox. 2017. 7th edition.
- Additional resources will be provided along with the lectures