HIGHLIGHTS IN BIOPHYSICS
cod. 1006148

Academic year 2015/16
3° year of course - Second semester
Professor
ABBRUZZETTI Stefania
Academic discipline
Fisica applicata (a beni culturali, ambientali, biologia e medicina) (FIS/07)
Field
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
52 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

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.

Prerequisites

Basics of calculus, classical physics and chemistry

Course unit content

A modern vision of biophysics: living systems in a framework of physical laws
Diffusion of molecular species within cells
Random walk, fiction and diffusion, polymer conformation
Statistical ensembles and single molecules
Qualitative description of proteins
The structure of proteins
Determination of protein structure
Protein folding and energy landscape
Function of proteins
Relations between function, structure, and dynamics
Enzymes and molecular machines
Qualitative introduction to modern techniques based on radiation-matter interaction, single molecules spectroscopy, fluorescence microscopy and super-resolution microscopy.
Spectroscopic methods for the study of macromolecules: theory and practice
Data analysis: using numerical methods in order to model biophysical processes

Full programme

A modern vision of biophysics: living systems in a framework of physical laws
Diffusion of molecular species within cells
Random walk, fiction and diffusion, polymer conformation
Statistical ensembles and single molecules
Qualitative description of proteins
The structure of proteins
Determination of protein structure
Protein folding and energy landscape
Function of proteins
Relations between function, structure, and dynamics
Enzymes and molecular machines
Qualitative introduction to modern techniques based on radiation-matter interaction
Spectroscopic methods for the study of macromolecules: theory and practice
Data analysis: using numerical methods in order to model biophysical processes

Bibliography

Papers from recent literature and slides of the lessons. "Protein structure and function" G.A. Petsko, D. Ringe, Zanichelli; "Biological Physics. Energy, Information, Life. Updated first edition" Philip Nelson, Palgrave Macmillan and WH Freeman ed.; "Principles of fluorescence spectroscopy" J. Lakowicz, Kluver Academic/Plenum Publishers

Teaching methods

Lessons and practice in the lab

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists in a written exam (questions on the topics covered by the course and on the experiments performed in the lab).
The student will be evaluated based on the achievement of the objectives specified in detail, namely the extent to which:
1
the student understands similarities and differences between biophysical systems, can explain experimental data, and methodologies useful to biophysics
2
is able to comprehend the essential aspects of papers in the most recent literature, perform simple experiments, analyze the data and summarize them, use the results to model the biophysical system.

Other information

On Tuesday, 12:30-14:30 p.m, or in any other day, by appointment (Email) at the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences.