The course provides an understanding of the neuronal mechanisms that underlie animal behavior. We will study the neuronal mechanisms for specialized animal behaviors such as sensory processing, motor pattern generation, and learning by reading original papers, which also provide an understanding of experimental technique. The course further discusses the evolutionary strategy and the biological ideas of animal behavior and underlying neuronal mechanisms.
This course consists of lectures and exercises. First, students learn, through lectures, recent progress in cancer research and the mechanism of carcinogenesis based on the molecular and cellular functions of oncogenes and anti-oncogenes. Further, students will learn the relevance of signal transduction, cell cycle progression, cell adhesion, and gene regulation to tumor development and are encouraged to simulate effective methods of diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Requires at least B06 Cell Biology and Genetics or similar background knowledge
Epigenetic regulation of gene activity is essential for development and response to environmental changes in living organisms. This course introduces fundamental principles and key concepts of epigenetics, and original research publications contributed to understanding the mechanism underlying the epigenetic phenomena will be reviewed. Lecturers from outside OIST may be invited for specific topics.
Requires B06 Cell Biology (or knowledge of gene regulation processes, cell division and recombinant DNA) and B03 Mathematics I (or higher, preferably).
Ideally taken with A301 Signal Transduction.
“What does this experiment tell us?” and “Can I actually use this data for the model I am trying to construct?” These are two prototypical questions from students who wish to conduct research associated with molecular biology, but have little or no experience with the techniques. This course will answer such questions in the context of commonly used experimental approaches. The course will not include any hands-on training with laboratory equipment.
Requires prior B03 Mathematics I, B04 Mathematics II and B05 Neurobiology or similar background knowledge.
Computational neuroscience has a rich history going back to the original Hodgkin-Huxley model of the action potential and the work of Wilfrid Rall on cable theory and passive dendrites. More recently networks consisting of simple integrate-and-fire neurons have become popular. Nowadays standard simulator software exists to apply these modeling methods, which can then be used to interpret and predict experimental findings.
Cells undergo aging and have limited lifespans. This lecture course covers the genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms that control cellular aging and that affect the lengths of organismal lifespans. Various strategies for investigating human longevity are also discussed.
The course Controversies in Science aims to develop critical thinking and argument, essential skills for effective independent scientists. The course will be flexible in content and presentation. Invited lecturers will present topics of some controversy or recent interest in science and lead debates by the students.
Computational approaches to science in general, and particularly in biology, are an increasingly important topic. However, understanding the concepts behind such computational approaches in biology is particularly difficult due to discrepancies in the methodologies and languages that are used. This course covers basics of computational and mathematical biology with strong emphasis on understanding of computational foundation and practical modeling of metabolic networks and signal transduction networks.
To understand the function of protein at the molecular level, it is always very helpful, if not necessary, to have the 3D structure of proteins. Protein X-ray crystallography is one of the most powerful methods to obtain high-resolution 3D structures of proteins. A successful use of this method requires a good knowledge of the sample (i.e. the protein). This implies using few biophysical and biochemical methods. Prior to starting a project in structural biology, there are many bioinformatics tools that would help to assess the feasibility of the project. Is the protein available?
Measurement is fundamental to scientists in all disciplines. This course will look at ways to make measurements and to avoid many of the pitfalls encountered in common and unusual measurements. A sound theoretical basis will be provided to allow students to go on to make their own choices with confidence and experience.