Molecular and Cellular Biophysics|
Fall 2018 not offered
MB&B 309, CHEM 509, MB&B 509, PHYS 339, PHYS 539|
|Course Cluster: Health Studies|
This course is an integrated consideration of the biophysics and biophysical chemistry of biological systems from molecules to cells. The objective is to develop a critical sense of the quantitative data currently being obtained from microscopy to spectroscopy, considering both ensemble and single-molecule experiments, and to gain familiarity and facility with interpretation using mathematical and computational models. Biological systems are inherently complex, and some form of modeling is always involved in developing an explanation of how they work. However, these models typically involve only a few basic constructs (simple harmonic motion, ideal fluids, two-state Ising models, random walks, electrostatic interactions, classical dynamics, rate equations, QM energy levels, distribution functions, and network analysis) and only elementary aspects of linear algebra, calculus, differential equations, and statistics. This course deals with how these constructs are integrated in the framework of Boltzmann statistical mechanics to formulate mathematical models of biological phenomena, how these models are validated and refined, and how they are used to form explanations and make testable predictions. Model systems to be considered include the nucleosome, the ribosome, membrane dynamics and ion channels, molecular devices and motors, prototype signal transduction systems, and regulatory processes. This course is suitable for physics and chemistry students who wish to learn about biological applications and for molecular and cellular biology students to develop skills with quantitative physicochemical modes of inquiry applied to the life sciences.
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|Course Format: Lecture||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CHEM-MN)(CHEM-Track A)(CHEM-Track B)(INFO-MN)(MB&B)(MOBI-MN)(PHYS-MN)
R. Phillips et al, PHYSICAL BIOLOGY OF THE CELL, 2ND ED, ISBN13:978-0815344506
Philip Nelson, BIOLOGICAL PHYSICS: ENERGY, INFORMATION, LIFE, 1ST ED., ISBN-13:978-0716798972
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
The level of this course is keyed to graduate and undergraduate students interested in participating in the Molecular Biophysics Program at Wesleyan. Suitable also as an elective for biological chemistry majors and any interested graduate students from NSM departments.
Prerequisites: For graduate students, none. For undergraduates, at least two years of courses toward a major in the natural sciences and mathematics, plus differential and integral calculus.
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