Systems/Holistic Biology  

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 Systems Biology Course -  timeline.

Class begins January 5, 2016 - Week 1

Class ends  March 17, 2016 -  Week 11

Final:  Tues.  March 22,  6:00 -  7:50 pm



WEEK _______________________      LECTURE TOPICS                     _ ___________________________

1          Introduction to systems biology: concepts and terms .  Definition of life.  Definition of



2          Introduction to systems:  structure and behavior ;  Systems thinking.


3          Information processing in life: Information theory;   DNA as program code; Computer  code

            as  DNA . Evolution as information processing.   Goal directed systems;  (+)  and (-)  feedback.


4          Cell function as a goal-directed system.  Cell structure and function. DNA, RNA, and protein

            strutcure and function. 


5          Evolution, Population genetics: Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium. Dynamics of gene distributions

            in  populations.                                                                          


6          Population growth dynamics: Exponential growth,  logistic growth.                      



7          Complexity theory and life: Stability; deterministc chaos; order;  disorder; self-organization;




8          Ecosystem Ecology:   Ecosystem dynamics; adaptive  change, resilience.  Alternative views

            (paradigms) of ecosystem function and management.  The Yellowstone story.                      


9          Biomes/biosphere: Earth's biomes, biome function,  biome collapse. Biospheric function: Soft

            GAIA, global warming, climate change.                         


10        Reports by students on their bio-systems analysis of a biological/ecological/environmental



11        Earth and Man: The Anthropocene; Tragedy of  the Commons; The human brain and

            technology;  willful blindness;  denial; cognitive dissonance.