2022 Synthetic Biology

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Life Science and Technology
Matsuura Tomoaki  Fujishima Kosuke  Aizawa Yasunori 
Class Format
Lecture    (Livestream)
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue1-2(H113)  Fri1-2(H113)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

With the recent development of biotechnology, it has become possible to artificially design and engineer living systems. Research in this field is known as synthetic biology. In this lecture, we will learn the basic techniques in the field of synthetic biology, how they have led to the understanding of living systems, and how they are being implemented in society.

Student learning outcomes

Students will be able to discuss the basic concepts, fundamental technologies, and their importance in the field of synthetic biology. In other words, the student will be able to discuss the importance of creating biological systems that can be understood by creating them and that contribute to social implementation, using actual examples.


Transcriptional networks, genome editing technology, genome synthesis, unnatural amino acids and nucleic acids, artificial cells, evolutionary engineering, biotechnology

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

The lecture will be given by three faculty members and will be delivered live via Zoom. Students are expected to download the materials necessary for the lecture from OCW before attending the lecture.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Synthetic biology: the study of synthesizing organisms To be able to give an overview of synthetic biology.
Class 2 DNA to proteins From DNA to RNA From RNA to protein Transcriptional regulation
Class 3 Transcription network 1 What is a network motif FFL Network Motifs
Class 4 Transcription network 2 Temporal programming of transcriptional networks Network motifs in signal transduction
Class 5 Optimized genetic circuit design Optimal expression level in a constant environment Optimal expression level in variable environment
Class 6 Modification of biological systems at the genome level Explain genomic DNA engineering for the modification and control of cells and individual organisms. To be able to explain the social impact of genome modification technology.
Class 7 Modification of biological systems at the transcriptional level Explain technlogies to modify and control cells at the transcriptional level.
Class 8 Modification of biological systems at the level of metabolic circuits Explain technologies to modify and control metabolic circuits in cells.
Class 9 Nucleic acid engineering in vitro To be able to explain the techniques and analytical methods used to utilize natural and unnatural nucleic acid molecules in vitro, as well as research using these techniques
Class 10 Protein engineering in vitro To be able to give an overview of cell-free translation systems and explain the research using them.
Class 11 Directed evolution in vitro Explain the techniques and research examples for evolving nucleic acids and proteins in vitro.
Class 12 synthesizing cells Give an overview of research on creating artificial cells.
Class 13 Synthetic Biology and Ethics To be able to explain the two aspects of synthetic biology: convenience and danger.
Class 14 Future of synthetic biology + final exam The written examination will be conducted in person.

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

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.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Synthetic Biology, (Springer International Publishing, Ediotrs, Anton Glieder, Christian P. Kubicek , Diethard Mattanovich , Birgit Wiltschi and Michael Sauer)

Assessment criteria and methods

Grades are based on assignments and final examinations.

Related courses

  • LST.A203 : Biochemistry I
  • LST.A218 : Biochemistry II
  • LST.A208 : Molecular Biology I
  • LST.A213 : Molecular Biology II
  • LST.A248 : Molecular Genetics

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

A basic knowledge of biology is desirable, but not required.

Contact information (e-mail and phone)    Notice : Please replace from "[at]" to "@"(half-width character).


Office hours

Email the faculty in advance.

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