This course is intended to give an overview on the modern molecular biophysics.
The aim of this course is to introduce in a qualitative manner, modern spectroscopic techniques and show selected applications to relevant current topics. It is intended to also show how physical methods can become extremely valuable tools for understanding biological processes.
The selection of topics is intended to guide students to make a more thoughtful choice for their future studies, possibly in Biophysics. It is also intended to give students in Biological Sciences an overview on the modern experimental methods that are available to tackle very complex biological problems.
Knowledge and understanding
The student should prove to know and understand the topics covered by the course, as indicated in the following program.
Applying knowledge and understanding
Students, at the end of the course, will have achieved the ability to apply their knowledge to address the study of a biophysical topic. More specifically: understanding papers of the most recent literature, exploring theoretical and experimental biophysical issues, developing and supporting basic reasoning. The student will have to show to be able to describe the processes of biological systems in a framework of fundamental physics laws, understand the need for a quantitative analysis of the observed processes and possess the ability to develop a mechanistic model to describe a molecular process.
Students, at the end of the course, will have to demonstrate that they have improved their critical thinking skills and judgment capability in particular to collect and interpret data, elaborate on biophysical issues, communicate ideas-problems-solutions in order to develop the learning skills that are necessary to undertake further studies in biophysics or carry out professional activities related to it.
Students, at the end of the course, will have to demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas-problems-solutions about biophysical issues and present them in a clear, concise and effective way. Communication skills will be practiced in class, involving students in the discussion of the covered topics, and during laboratory exercises. Small groups of students will be encouraged to develop their ability to work in groups, discuss possible problems that may arise during measurements, find solutions and alternative methods which the students will have to learn to share with their colleagues and explain to group members and the teacher.
Students, at the end of the course, will have to demonstrate that they have started a path of understanding of the main biophysical issues in any form of expression, comprehension of the most recent research results and translation into professional actions, that should be considered as self-study, research and design of an experiment.