The purpose of this class is to provide students with a wide range of fundamental knowledge in life science and related fields (molecular and cell biology, biochemical engineering, population dynamics, bioenergetics, synthetic biology, astrobiology, etc.). This class is also aimed for students who did not have the opportunity to study life science during their undergraduate period. We expect this class to provide basic knowledge towards becoming an interdisciplinary researcher through the Earth-Life Science graduate course.
The goal is to learn the meanings of technical terms in fields related to life science and basic knowledge, techniques, and concepts, including laws and formulas so that students can have conversations and discussions with researchers in the same field.
life science, molecular and cell biology, biochemical enginnering, population dynamics, bioenergetics, astrobiology, synthetic biology
|✔ Specialist skills||✔ Intercultural skills||Communication skills||✔ Critical thinking skills||Practical and/or problem-solving skills|
The lecture will be given by five faculty members and will be delivered live via Zoom. Materials necessary for the lecture will be available for download from OCW in advance, and assignments will be given at the end of each class.
|Course schedule||Required learning|
|Class 1||Introduction to life on Earth||History of biology|
|Class 2||Components of the cells||Biomolecules Numbers|
|Class 3||Catalysis and dynamics||Enzyme catalysis Rate equations Diffusion and transport|
|Class 4||Transcription & Translation||Central dogma Kinetic proof reading|
|Class 5||Synthetic Biology||Genome synthesis Omics analysis Synthetic cell|
|Class 6||Biochemical engineering||Cell growth kinetics Clutivation control Bioprocess|
|Class 7||Molecular evolution||Errors in biology Mutagenesis amd directed evolution|
|Class 8||Population dynamics||Basics of population ecology Lotka-Volterra models for predator-prey systems and competing species Phase prortraits for dynamical systems - stability and instability, coexistence and extinction|
|Class 9||Evolutionary dynamics||Models of populations of replicators (Perron-Frobenius theorem) The mutation-selection balance Error catastrophe and "survival of the flattest"|
|Class 10||History and diversity of life 1||The oldest signs of life: sediments with shapes and isotopes.|
|Class 11||History and diversity of life 2||The molecular phylogenetic record How are phylogenies made? Where do the data come from? When and where did the tree of life begin? Current views of the tree of life|
|Class 12||Bioenergetics of life||What is chemical energy? All life uses electron transfer Mechanisms of energy harvesting|
|Class 13||Origins of life||Different theories and models regarding the origin of life|
|Class 14||Life elsewhere||Habitability Ocean worlds Exoplanets and biosignatures|
To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.
Essential Cell Biology, 5th International Student Edition (2018), WW Norton & Co
Astrobiology (Charles Cockell)
Evolutionary Games and Population Dynamics (Cambridge University Press)
Cell Biology by the Numbers (Garland Science)
Each lecturer will prepare a slide and will be shared before or after the class.
Students will be graded based on class assignments and attendance record.