Class 1: basics of molecular biology

detailed outline: * course intro, organisational info - brief intros? - what is bioinformatics? biology: a branch of knowledge that deals with living organisms and vital processes informatics: (chiefly British): information science -> various views: - it/cs tools for biological problems, - cs/is research inspired by biological problems, - information processing in biological systems, - ... - hot interdisciplinary research area with lots of funding/employment/publication opportunities :-) - course outline and organisation - grades, assignments - course project, timetable - conflicts with other courses: thu 538D (Greenstreet), tue 532D (MacLean) * the basic genetic process ("central dogma") - dna, rna, protein; transcription, translation; structure, basic components, string representations, directionality - base-pairing, complementarity, hybridisation (complementary templating) - dna: double strand (helix) - dna function: information storage, determined by sequence - protein: single backbone, polymers, interaction with dna,rna,prot - protein function: catalytic, structural, determined by / dependent on 3d shape which is determined by / dependent on sequence (genotype vs. phenotype) - transcription: initiation, termination, m-rna (stabilisation, digestion) - introns, exons - rna maturation: editing, splicing - translation: genetic code, codons, degeneracy, wobble base, stop-codons - translation: ribosomes, t-rna, initiation?, termination? - rna: single strand, dna-rna hybrid, rna double strand - function of rna: information transfer (m-rna, t-rna), structural (e.g., r-rna), information storage (rna viruses, single and double strand), catalytic (rna world) - specific example: translation of seleno-cystein
sources and materials: - Garret and Grisham: Biochemistry. Saunders College Publishing, 1995 (Parts of Chapters 1-7) - Alberts, Bray, Lewis, Raff, Roberts, Watson: Molecular Biology of the Cell. Garland Publishing, Inc., 1994 (Parts of Chapters 1-7) - Benjamin Lewin: Genes V. Oxford University Press, 1994. - Griffiths, Miller, Suzuki, Lewontin, Gelbart: An Introduction to Genetic Analysis. Freeman and Company, 1993. - Watson, Gilman, Witkowsi, Zoller: Recombinant DNA. Scientific American Books, 1992. - Gesteland, Cach, Atkins (Editors): The RNA World. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1999. (Chapter 24 - translation of selenocystein) reading assignment: - Douglas R. Hofstadter: Metamagical Themas, Chapter 27: The Genetic Code: Arbitrsry? Bantam Books, 1986