COURSE GOALS: The aim of the Biophysics course is to introduce students into interdisciplinary biophysics research. Students will gain insight into basic concepts of the structure and function of biological systems from molecule to the brain as well as to the latest experimental methods of biophysics. The course will particularly emphasize the close links between biophysics and the emerging biotechnologies and encourage students to present some of the latest biophysics research in the seminars on the topics of their choice.
LEARNING OUTCOMES AT THE LEVEL OF THE PROGRAMME:
Upon completing the degree, students will be able to:
1. KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
1.2. demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of the most important physics theories (logical and mathematical structure, experimental support, described physical phenomena);
1.8. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of new insights into contemporary physics and informatics teaching methods and strategies;
1.9. describe the framework of natural sciences;
2. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
2.1. identify and describe important aspects of a particular physical phenomenon or problem;
2.2. recognize and follow the logic of arguments, evaluate the adequacy of arguments and construct well supported arguments;
2.9. create a learning environment that encourages active engagement in learning and promotes continuing development of pupils' skills and knowledge;
2.10. plan and design appropriate teaching lessons and learning activities based on curriculum goals and principles of interactive enquiry-based teaching;
3. MAKING JUDGMENTS
3.1. develop a critical scientific attitude towards research in general, and in particular by learning to critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data;
3.4. accept responsibilities in planning and managing teaching duties;
3.5. demonstrate professional integrity and ethical behaviour in work with pupils and colleagues;
4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
4.2. present complex ideas clearly and concisely;
4.4. use the written and oral English language communication skills that are essential for pursuing a career in physics, informatics and education;
5. LEARNING SKILLS
5.1. search for and use professional literature as well as any other sources of relevant information;
5.2. remain informed of new developments and methods in physics, informatics and education.
LEARNING OUTCOMES SPECIFIC FOR THE COURSE:
After successfully completing the Biophysics course student will be able to:
1. Elaborate interdisciplinary nature of the biophysics research, its relevance for the development of new technologies, ranging from nanobiotechnologies to neuroengineering, as well as to critically explore related ethical issues;
2. List a range of problems of research interest for biophysicists today and elaborate the relevance of experimental and theoretical methods of physics in understanding structure and functions of biological systems;
3. List and describe the fundamental characteristics of the living matter;
4. Describe structure, function and synthesis of biomacromolecules and relationship between structure and functions of biological systems from molecular to system level;
5. Identify biophysical research and prepare and present a report on it;
6. Describe capabilities of the experimental methods of physics used in molecular and cellular biophysics and elaborate on requirements for adequate preparation of biological samples;
7. Quantitatively describe the role of diffusion in different membrane transport mechanisms;
8. Describe and adequately interpret development of physical models for membrane transport across model and biological membranes;
9. Elaborate relationship between membrane transport, electrical cell activity and the signals measured by noninvasive methods for neurodynamic brain imaging;
10. Join interdisciplinary research team to study biological systems using the knowledge and methodologies of physics and informatics.
1. Subject, role, and importance of biophysics. Biophysics - biotechnology.
2. Cellular organization of life.
3. Biosynthesis, structure and functions of nucleic acids and proteins.
4. Protein folding and dynamics.
5. Overview of experimental methods for studying structure and dynamics of biological systems.
6. Solute transport through biological membranes.
7. Ion transport and rest potential.
8. Solvent transport. Joint solute and solvent transport.
9. Noninvasive brain imaging.
10. Neurobiology and biophysics of cognitive processes and emotions.
Students write and present seminars that include: 1) a short report on a selected recent experimental biophysical study at a molecular, supra-molecular or cellular level; 2) detailed presentation of the selected bio-structure/function; and 3) detailed presentation of the biophysical experimental method used in the selected study; and 4) a short report on selected biophysical simulation study/topic.
1. Weiss, T.F. ''Cellular Biophysics I'' The MIT Press, Cambridge, USA, 1996
2. Thomas M. Nordlund "Quantitative understanding of biosystems: An Introduction to Biophysics'', CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group, New York, USA, 2011
3. PowerPoint presentations of the lectures
DVD ''Inside the Living Cell'' 2008
REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS:
Students are required to regularly attend classes, write and present seminars and actively participate in discussions. A short presentation on the topic of their choice and a mid-term written exam are optional.
GRADING AND ASSESSING THE WORK OF STUDENTS:
Final written exam contributes to the final grade (40%) as well as the submitted and presented seminar (40%) and active participation throughout the course (20%).