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
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:
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
blindness; denial; cognitive dissonance.
W EEK LAB
3. Simulations: information processing
in living systems, role of randomness.
4. DNA model; operons; gene expression –
Cellular automaton, rule 30.
5. Simulations: H-W; natural selection;
sickle cell/malaria; genetic
6. Simulations: population dynamics,
exponential and logistic growth.
7. Simulations: Chaos
automaton - Game of Life.;
self-organizing bark beetle larvae.
wolves, elk, and elk carrying capacity.
Managing lodgepole forests
to optimize carbon sequestration.
10. Student reports completed.
11. Lab Exam