This class analyzes complex biological processes from the molecular, cellular, extracellular, and organ levels of hierarchy. Emphasis is placed on the basic biochemical and biophysical principles that govern these processes. Examples of processes to be studied include chemotaxis, the fixation of nitrogen into organic biological molecules, growth factor and hormone mediated signaling cascades, and signaling cascades leading to cell death in response to DNA damage. In each case, the availability of a resource, or the presence of a stimulus, results in some biochemical pathways being turned on while others are turned off. The course examines the dynamic aspects of these processes and details how biochemical mechanistic themes impinge on molecular/cellular/tissue/organ-level functions. Chemical and quantitative views of the interplay of multiple pathways as biological networks are emphasized. Student work will culminate in the preparation of a unique grant application in an area of biological networks.
Biology 2e is designed to cover the scope and sequence requirements of a typical two-semester biology course for science majors. The text provides comprehensive coverage of foundational research and core biology concepts through an evolutionary lens. Biology includes rich features that engage students in scientific inquiry, highlight careers in the biological sciences, and offer everyday applications. The book also includes various types of practice and homework questions that help students understand—and apply—key concepts. The 2nd edition has been revised to incorporate clearer, more current, and more dynamic explanations, while maintaining the same organization as the first edition. Art and illustrations have been substantially improved, and the textbook features additional assessments and related resources.
By the end of this section, you will be able to do the following:
Discuss the role of transcription factors in gene regulation
Explain how enhancers and repressors regulate gene expression
By the end of this section, you will be able to do the following:
Describe nucleic acids' structure and define the two types of nucleic acids
Explain DNA's structure and role
Explain RNA's structure and roles
The goal of this course is to teach both the fundamentals of nuclear cell biology as well as the methodological and experimental approaches upon which they are based. Lectures and class discussions will cover the background and fundamental findings in a particular area of nuclear cell biology. The assigned readings will provide concrete examples of the experimental approaches and logic used to establish these findings. Some examples of topics include genome and systems biology, transcription, and gene expression.
Study and discussion of computational approaches and algorithms for contemporary problems in functional genomics. Topics include DNA chip design, experimental data normalization, expression data representation standards, proteomics, gene clustering, self-organizing maps, Boolean networks, statistical graph models, Bayesian network models, continuous dynamic models, statistical metrics for model validation, model elaboration, experiment planning, and the computational complexity of functional genomics problems.
Genetics is the branch of biology that studies the means by which traits are passed on from one generation to the next and the causes of similarities and differences between related individuals. In this course, the student will take a close look at chromosomes, DNA, and genes. The student will learn how hereditary information is transferred, how it can change, how it can lead to human disease and be tested to indicate disease, and much more. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: give a brief synopsis of the history of genetics by explaining the fundamental genetic concepts covered in this course as they were discovered through time; identify the links between Mendel's discoveries (often represented by Punnett squares) with mitosis and meiosis, dominance, penetrance, and linkage; recognize the role of simple probability in genetic inheritance; apply advanced genetic concepts, including genetic mapping and transposons, to practical applications, including pedigree analysis and corn kernel color; identify the cause behind several genetic diseases currently prevalent in society (such as color blindness and hemophilia) and recognize the importance of genetic illness throughout history; compare and contrast advanced concepts of chromosomal, bacterial, human, and population genetics; recognize the similarities and differences between nuclear, chloroplast, and mitochondrial DNA; describe the fundamentals of population genetics, calculate gene frequencies in a give scenario, predict future gene frequencies over future generations, and define the role of evolution in gene frequency shift over time; recall, analyze, synthesize, and build on the foundational material to then learn the cutting-edge technological advances in genetics, including genomics, population and evolutionary genetics, and QTL mapping. (Biology 305)
The principles of genetics with application to the study of biological function at the level of molecules, cells, and multicellular organisms, including humans. Structure and function of genes, chromosomes and genomes. Biological variation resulting from recombination, mutation, and selection. Population genetics. Use of genetic methods to analyze protein function, gene regulation and inherited disease.
The MIT Biology Department core courses, 7.012, 7.013, and 7.014, all cover the same core material, which includes the fundamental principles of biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, and cell biology. Biological function at the molecular level is particularly emphasized and covers the structure and regulation of genes, as well as, the structure and synthesis of proteins, how these molecules are integrated into cells, and how these cells are integrated into multicellular systems and organisms. In addition, each version of the subject has its own distinctive material.
After a historical introduction to molecular biology, this course describes the basic types of DNA and RNA structure and the molecular interactions that shape them. It describes how DNA is packaged within the cellular nucleus as chromosomes. It also describes the core processes of molecular biology: replication of DNA, transcription of DNA into messenger RNA, and translation of messenger RNA into a protein. These are followed by modifications of these basic processes: regulation of gene expression, DNA mutation and repair, and DNA recombination and transposition. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: discuss the experimental findings that lead to the discovery of inheritance laws; discuss the experimental findings that lead to the identification of DNA as the hereditary material; compare and contrast the structure and function of mRNA, rRNA, tRNA, and DNA; identify the characteristics of catalyzed reactions; compare and contrast enzyme and ribozyme catalyzed reactions; discuss the structure of the chromosome and the consequence of histone modifications in eukaryotes; discuss the stages of transcription, differential splicing, and RNA turnover; predict the translation product of an mRNA using the genetic code; compare and contrast transcription and translation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes; identify codon bias and variations of the standard genetic code; compare and contrast the regulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene expression; predict the activation of an operon and tissue specific gene expression based on the availability of regulators; compare and contrast mutations based on their effect on the gene product; discuss DNA repair mechanisms; discuss DNA recombination, transposition, and the consequence of exon shuffling; design custom-made recombinant DNA using PCR, restriction enzymes, and site-directed mutagenesis; compare and contrast the uses of model organisms; discuss the uses of model organisms in specific molecular biology applications. (Biology 311)
A compilation of nearly 350 brief video clips, together with a complete Portuguese transcription and English translation of native speakers of Portuguese from various locations throughout Brazil (and some Portugal) who talk about 80 different topics.
In this course, we will address how transcriptional regulators both prohibit and drive differentiation during the course of development. How does a stem cell know when to remain a stem cell and when to become a specific cell type? Are there global differences in the way the genome is read in multipotent and terminally differentiated cells? We will explore how stem cell pluripotency is preserved, how master regulators of cell-fate decisions execute developmental programs, and how chromatin regulators control undifferentiated versus differentiated states. Additionally, we will discuss how aberrant regulation of transcriptional regulators produces disorders such as developmental defects and cancer. This course is one of many Advanced Undergraduate Seminars offered by the Biology Department at MIT. These seminars are tailored for students with an interest in using primary research literature to discuss and learn about current biological research in a highly interactive setting. Many instructors of the Advanced Undergraduate Seminars are postdoctoral scientists with a strong interest in teaching.