Stochastic Biology: Randomness and Order in Gene Regulation|
Fall 2019 not offered
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 (such as cancer), stems cells, cell differentiation, aging, and adaptive evolution. 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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (MB&B)
Primary literature (various select papers)
|Examination and Assignments: |
In-class presentation, research proposal, one in-class test
Student work will include in-class presenting and discussing recently published papers, as well as a final assignment to write a mini research proposal.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Recommended prerequisite for advanced undergraduates is MB&B 208 or MB&B 333 or equivalent with solid background on the topic of transcription.
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