CHEM 326
Chemical and Synthetic Biology
Last Offered Spring 2021
Division III
This course is not offered in the current catalog or this is a previous listing for a current course.

Class Details

This course surveys the rapidly evolving, interdisciplinary and interconnected fields of chemical and synthetic biology. Chemical biology uses precise molecular-level manipulations to influence living systems from the bottom up, often by introducing components that are foreign to nature. Synthetic biology takes advantage of existing molecular technology and adopts an engineering mindset to reprogram life. Students will achieve literacy through immersion in chemical and synthetic biology. We will prioritize broad exposure to these fields, their vocabulary, culture, practices and ideas, through extensive engagement with the primary literature that expert practitioners use to teach themselves. The instructor will guide, facilitate, and give feedback, but de-emphasize direct instruction. Students take on the agency and responsibility for assimilating meaning from the material and working together effectively to advance everyone’s understanding. This model prioritizes skills important for autonomous and collaborative work in real-world scientific and professional fields. Topics we will cover include synthetic genomes, metabolic engineering, chemical synthesis and manipulation of biomacromolecules, directed evolution, and reworking of the central dogma.
The Class: Format: seminar; lecture, three hours per week
Limit: 20
Expected: 20
Class#: 4865
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Course work includes consistent and intensive engagement with primary literature, weekly short presentations, informal writing assignments, response papers/problem sets, and an independent research project with presentation and writing components. The workload is designed to be distributed evenly throughout the semester. There are no exams.
Prerequisites: CHEM/BIOL/BIMO 321
Enrollment Preferences: senior and junior Chemistry and Biology majors with a demonstrated interest in chemical or synthetic biology
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: BIMO Interdepartmental Electives

Class Grid

Updated 12:11 pm

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