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Stochastic Biology: Randomness and Order in Gene Regulation
MB&B 534
Fall 2016
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: MB&B 334

While much of biology is discussed with assumptions of "determinism" (e.g., the cell is instructed to express a transcription factor that activates a downstream gene in a deterministic and entirely predictable way) and "homogeneity" (e.g., a population of cells all behaving synchronously in the same way), there is a growing appreciation that many biological outcomes are, in fact, statistical phenomena and stochastic in nature. In this half-credit module, we will discuss stochastic behavior in biology from the perspective of gene expression. A focus will be on emerging molecular and cellular techniques that enable observation of stochastic behavior at a single-cell resolution, thus permitting researchers to characterize molecular behavior as it actually occurs, as opposed to averaging a behavior across a population of otherwise diverse individuals. Insights on stochastic behaviors have far-reaching implications in biology, challenging long-held perspectives on transcription, replication, signal transduction, enzymatics, disease states (like cancer), stems cells, cell differentiation, aging, adaptive evolution, etc. This course will focus primarily on one of these: stochastic behavior in transcription and chromosome dynamics and its implications to understanding cell and tissue behavior.
Credit: .5 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM MB&B
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: GRAD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (MB&B)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on JUL-12-2024
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