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Course Descriptions

BIOL 59500 Energy Transduction in Society

Session Offered:

Spring Credit 3




Description: Application of Basic Concepts in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Centered on Mechanisms of Biological Energy Transduction, to Problems in Medicine, Agriculture, and Society.

This course is intended for students in biology, physics, chemistry, and engineering to obtain insight into interdisciplinary collaborative approaches by biologists, physicists, and physicians who are concerned with improved understanding and the solution of major problems in medicine, and problems and solutions associated with the changing solar environment of the Earth. The subjects of cellular energy and energy transduction will be a paradigm, starting with discussion of the salient features of the energy-transduction centered in transport complexes of biological cellular membrane. The course will progress to case studies where students will apply this knowledge to problems involving mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer and neuropathology, the crossroads of mitochondrial metabolism and the biology of aging, mechanisms of virus infection and influenza virus translocation. The chloroplast will be the second cellular organelle whose structure and function are discussed, the latter in the context of the principles of photosynthetic solar energy conversion and the problems of global warming and agricultural productivity. Through the exploration of these subjects, the course in general will discuss a range of issues important not just for an understanding of the science, but also in the context of societal problems which include infectious disease, global warming, agricultural productivity, and radiation exposure in possible space travel. The broad goal of the course is to develop skills in thinking critically beyond one’s primary discipline, considering problems of ethics and the consequences to individuals and society in the utilization and application of modern medicine and technology.



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