" This course does not seek to provide answers to ethical questions. Instead, the course hopes to teach students two things. First, how do you recognize ethical or moral problems in science and medicine? When something does not feel right (whether cloning, or failing to clone) ŰÓ what exactly is the nature of the discomfort? What kind of tensions and conflicts exist within biomedicine? Second, how can you think productively about ethical and moral problems? What processes create them? Why do people disagree about them? How can an understanding of philosophy or history help resolve them? By the end of the course students will hopefully have sophisticated and nuanced ideas about problems in bioethics, even if they do not have comfortable answers."
This course will introduce the student to the major concepts of biotechnology. The student will discuss genetic engineering of plants and animals and the current major medical, environmental, and agricultural applications of each. There are also a variety of topics that this course will cover after ranging from nanobiotechnology to environmental biotechnology. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: identify and describe the fields of biotechnology; compare and contrast forward and reverse genetics and the way they influence biodiversity; compare and contrast systemic studies of the genome, transcriptome, and proteome; explain how genome projects are performed, and discuss the completion and the information processing in these projects; describe and explain the principles of existing gene therapies; design strategies that support genetic counseling; explain and analyze DNA fingerprints, and compare DNA fingerprints to non-DNA biometrics; describe and compare bioremediation technologies in air, water, and soil; design strategies for generating genetically modified organisms, and discuss ethical concerns; discuss emerging fields in biotechnology. (Biology 403)
This course addresses the challenges of defining a relationship between exposure to environmental chemicals and human disease. Course topics include epidemiological approaches to understanding disease causation; biostatistical methods; evaluation of human exposure to chemicals, and their internal distribution, metabolism, reactions with cellular components, and biological effects; and qualitative and quantitative health risk assessment methods used in the U.S. as bases for regulatory decision-making. Throughout the term, students consider case studies of local and national interest.
How genetics can add to our understanding of cognition, language, emotion, personality, and behavior. Use of gene mapping to estimate risk factors for psychological disorders and variation in behavioral and personality traits. Mendelian genetics, genetic mapping techniques, and statistical analysis of large populations and their application to particular studies in behavioral genetics. Topics also include environmental influence on genetic programs, evolutionary genetics, and the larger scientific, social, ethical, and philosophical implications.
This course covers the analytical, graphical, and numerical methods supporting the analysis and design of integrated biological systems. Topics include modularity and abstraction in biological systems, mathematical encoding of detailed physical problems, numerical methods for solving the dynamics of continuous and discrete chemical systems, statistics and probability in dynamic systems, applied local and global optimization, simple feedback and control analysis, statistics and probability in pattern recognition.
" This design course targets the solution of clinical problems by use of implants and other medical devices. Topics include the systematic use of cell-matrix control volumes; the role of stress analysis in the design process; anatomic fit, shape and size of implants; selection of biomaterials; instrumentation for surgical implantation procedures; preclinical testing for safety and efficacy, including risk/benefit ratio assessment evaluation of clinical performance and design of clinical trials. Student project materials are drawn from orthopedic devices, soft tissue implants, artificial organs, and dental implants."
" This is an advanced course on modeling, design, integration and best practices for use of machine elements such as bearings, springs, gears, cams and mechanisms. Modeling and analysis of these elements is based upon extensive application of physics, mathematics and core mechanical engineering principles (solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, manufacturing, estimation, computer simulation, etc.). These principles are reinforced via (1) hands-on laboratory experiences wherein students conduct experiments and disassemble machines and (2) a substantial design project wherein students model, design, fabricate and characterize a mechanical system that is relevant to a real world application. Students master the materials via problems sets that are directly related to, and coordinated with, the deliverables of their project. Student assessment is based upon mastery of the course materials and the student's ability to synthesize, model and fabricate a mechanical device subject to engineering constraints (e.g. cost and time/schedule)."
" In this class, students engage in independent research projects to probe various aspects of the physiology of the bacteriumĺĘPseudomonas aeruginosa PA14, an opportunistic pathogen isolated from the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Students use molecular genetics to examine survival in stationary phase, antibiotic resistance, phase variation, toxin production, and secondary metabolite production. Projects aim to discover the molecular basis for these processes using both classical and cutting-edge techniques. These include plasmid manipulation, genetic complementation, mutagenesis, PCR, DNA sequencing, enzyme assays, and gene expression studies. Instruction and practice in written and oral communication are also emphasized. WARNING NOTICE The experiments described in these materials are potentially hazardous and require a high level of safety training, special facilities and equipment, and supervision by appropriate individuals. You bear the sole responsibility, liability, and risk for the implementation of such safety procedures and measures. MIT shall have no responsibility, liability, or risk for the content or implementation of any of the material presented. Legal Notice "
" During development, the genetic content of each cell remains, with a few exceptions, identical to that of the zygote. Most differentiated cells therefore retain all of the genetic information necessary to generate an entire organism. It was through pioneering technology of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) that this concept was experimentally proven. Only 10 years ago the sheep Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult organism, demonstrating that the differentiated state of a mammalian cell can be fully reversible to a pluripotent embryonic state. A key conclusion from these experiments was that the difference between pluripotent cells such as embryonic stem (ES) cells and unipotent differentiated cells is solely a consequence of reversible changes. These changes, which have proved to involve reversible alterations to both DNA and to proteins that bind DNA, are known as epigenetic, to distinguish them from genetic alterations to DNA sequence. In this course we will explore such epigenetic changes and study different approaches that can return a differentiated cell to an embryonic state in a process referred to as epigenetic reprogramming, which will ultimately allow generation of patient-specific stem cells and application to regenerative therapy. This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching."
Since the discovery of the structure of the DNA double helix in 1953 by Watson and Crick, the information on detailed molecular structures of DNA and RNA, namely, the foundation of genetic material, has expanded rapidly. This discovery is the beginning of the "Big Bang" of molecular biology and biotechnology. In this seminar, students discuss, from a historical perspective and current developments, the importance of pursuing the detailed structural basis of genetic materials.
An integrated course stressing the principles of biology. Life processes are examined primarily at the molecular and cellular levels. Intended for students majoring in biology or for non-majors who wish to take advanced biology courses.
Deals with the specific functions of neurons, the interactions of neurons in development, and the organization of neuronal ensembles to produce behavior, by functional analysis of mutations and molecular analysis of their genes. Concentrates on work with nematodes, fruit flies, mice, and humans.
Genetics is the branch of biology that studies the means by which traits are passed on from one generation to the next and the causes of similarities and differences between related individuals. In this course, the student will take a close look at chromosomes, DNA, and genes. The student will learn how hereditary information is transferred, how it can change, how it can lead to human disease and be tested to indicate disease, and much more. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: give a brief synopsis of the history of genetics by explaining the fundamental genetic concepts covered in this course as they were discovered through time; identify the links between Mendel's discoveries (often represented by Punnett squares) with mitosis and meiosis, dominance, penetrance, and linkage; recognize the role of simple probability in genetic inheritance; apply advanced genetic concepts, including genetic mapping and transposons, to practical applications, including pedigree analysis and corn kernel color; identify the cause behind several genetic diseases currently prevalent in society (such as color blindness and hemophilia) and recognize the importance of genetic illness throughout history; compare and contrast advanced concepts of chromosomal, bacterial, human, and population genetics; recognize the similarities and differences between nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial DNA; describe the fundamentals of population genetics, calculate gene frequencies in a give scenario, predict future gene frequencies over future generations, and define the role of evolution in gene frequency shift over time; recall, analyze, synthesize, and build on the foundational material to then learn the cutting-edge technological advances in genetics, including genomics, population and evolutionary genetics, and QTL mapping. (Biology 305)
The principles of genetics with application to the study of biological function at the level of molecules, cells, and multicellular organisms, including humans. Structure and function of genes, chromosomes and genomes. Biological variation resulting from recombination, mutation, and selection. Population genetics. Use of genetic methods to analyze protein function, gene regulation and inherited disease.
This course reviews the key genomic technologies and computational approaches that are driving advances in prognostics, diagnostics, and treatment. Throughout the semester, emphasis will return to issues surrounding the context of genomics in medicine including: what does a physician need to know? what sorts of questions will s/he likely encounter from patients? how should s/he respond? Lecturers will guide the student through real world patient-doctor interactions. Outcome considerations and socioeconomic implications of personalized medicine are also discussed. The first part of the course introduces key basic concepts of molecular biology, computational biology, and genomics. Continuing in the informatics applications portion of the course, lecturers begin each lecture block with a scenario, in order to set the stage and engage the student by showing: why is this important to know? how will the information presented be brought to bear on medical practice? The final section presents the ethical, legal, and social issues surrounding genomic medicine. A vision of how genomic medicine relates to preventative care and public health is presented in a discussion forum with the students where the following questions are explored: what is your level of preparedness now? what challenges must be met by the healthcare industry to get to where it needs to be?
From the Website:
HHMI BioInteractive brings the power of real science stories into tens of thousands of high school and undergraduate life science classrooms.
Our stories anchor a variety of classroom resources based on peer-reviewed science. From data-rich activities and case studies to high-quality videos and interactive media, our resources are designed to connect students to big ideas in biology, promote engagement with science practices, and instill awe and wonder about the living world.
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Our resources and tools reflect current knowledge of how students learn and evidence-based strategies for supporting engagement and inclusion.
We also believe inspiration, curiosity, and love of the natural world should be nurtured outside of the classroom, and we partner with filmmakers to bring high-quality science films to everyone.
" This class is a project-based introduction to the engineering of synthetic biological systems. Throughout the term, students develop projects that are responsive to real-world problems of their choosing, and whose solutions depend on biological technologies. Lectures, discussions, and studio exercises will introduce (1) components and control of prokaryotic and eukaryotic behavior, (2) DNA synthesis, standards, and abstraction in biological engineering, and (3) issues of human practice, including biological safety; security; ownership, sharing, and innovation; and ethics. Enrollment preference is given to freshmen. This subject was originally developed and first taught in Spring 2008 by Drew Endy and Natalie Kuldell. Many of Drew's materials are used in this Spring 2009 version, and are included with his permission. This OCW Web site is based on the OpenWetWare class Wiki, found at OpenWetWare: 20.020 (S09)"
This lab course supplements ĺÎĺĺĺŤIntroduction to Evolutionary Biology and EcologyĄ_ĺĺö. Although it does not replicate a true lab experience, it does encourage greater familiarity with scientific thinking and techniques, and will enable exploration of some key principles of evolutionary biology and ecology. This lab supplement focuses on visual understanding, application, and practical use of knowledge. In each unit, the student will work through tutorials related to important scientific concepts and then will be asked to think creatively about how that knowledge can be put to practical or experimental use. Upon successful completion of this lab supplement, the student will be able to: Display an understanding of Mendelian inheritance as applied to organisms in virtual experiments; Describe the process of natural selection and understand how it will alter populations over generations and under a variety of selection pressures; Understand how the process of speciation is affected by isolation and selection pressures; Understand predator-prey dynamics under a variety of ecological conditions; Distinguish between biomes in terms of their structure/climates as well as the types and diversity of organisms that inhabit them. (Biology 102 Laboratory)
Though biology as we know it today is a relatively new field, we have been studying living things since the beginning of recorded history. This introductory course in biology starts at the microscopic level, with molecules and cells, then moves into the specifics of cell structure and behavior. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: Describe in general terms how life began on Earth; Identify early scientists that played important roles in furthering our understanding of cellular life; Describe the characteristics that define life; List the inorganic and organic molecules that are necessary for life; List the structure and function of organelles in animal and plant cells; List the similarities and differences between animal and plant cells; Describe the reactions in photosynthesis; Explain how the different photosynthetic reactions are found in different parts of the chloroplast; Describe the sequence of photosynthetic reactions; Explain the use of products and the synthesis of reactants in photosynthesis; Explain how protein is synthesized in eukaryotic cells; Describe the similarities and differences between photosynthesis and aerobic respiration; List the reactions in aerobic respiration; Explain the use of products and the synthesis of reactants in aerobic respiration; Describe the similarities and differences between anaerobic and aerobic respiration. (Biology 101; See also: Psychology 203)
This lab course supplements Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology. Although it does not replicate a true lab experience, it does enable further exploration of some key principles of molecular and cellular biology. In each unit, the student will work through tutorials related to important scientific concepts, and then will be asked to think creatively about how those concepts can be put to practical or experimental use. This lab course also contains activities devoted to learning important techniques in scientific study such as microscope use, DNA extraction, Polymerase Chain Reaction, and examination of DNA microarrays. Upon successful completion of this lab supplement, students will be able to: Identify the important components of scientific experiments and create their own experiments; Identify the molecular differences between proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and explain the molecular behavior of water; Describe the process of photosynthesis; Describe the process of cellular respiration; Identify the differences between DNA and RNA; Describe the entire transcription/translation process, from gene to protein; Explain how recombinant genomes are formed; Use critical thinking to find ways that any of the above natural processes might be altered or manipulated; Explain how to use a compound light microscope for data collection; Explain how to conduct and use various experimental techniques, including DNA extraction, PCR, and DNA microarrays. (Biology 101 Laboratory)