636-0111-00L  Synthetic Biology I

SemesterSpring Semester 2019
LecturersS. Panke, J. Stelling
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentAttention: This course was offered in previous semesters with the number: 636-0002-00L "Synthetic Biology I". Students that already passed course 636-0002-00L cannot receive credits for course 636-0111-00L.


636-0111-00 GSynthetic Biology I
ATTENTION: the lecture starts at exactly 08.00 am.
The lecture will be held either in Zurich or Basel and will be transmitted via videoconference to the second location.
3 hrs
Wed07:45-10:30HCI J 3 »
08:15-11:00BSA E 46 »
S. Panke, J. Stelling

Catalogue data

AbstractTheoretical & practical introduction into the design of dynamic biological systems at different levels of abstraction, ranging from biological fundamentals of systems design (introduction to bacterial gene regulation, elements of transcriptional & translational control, advanced genetic engineering) to engineering design principles (standards, abstractions) mathematical modelling & systems desig
ObjectiveAfter the course, students will be able to theoretically master the biological and engineering fundamentals required for biological design to be able to participate in the international iGEM competition (see www.syntheticbiology.ethz.ch).
ContentThe overall goal of the course is to familiarize the students with the potential, the requirements and the problems of designing dynamic biological elements that are of central importance for manipulating biological systems, primarily (but not exclusively) prokaryotic systems. Next, the students will be taken through a number of successful examples of biological design, such as toggle switches, pulse generators, and oscillating systems, and apply the biological and engineering fundamentals to these examples, so that they get hands-on experience on how to integrate the various disciplines on their way to designing biological systems.
Lecture notesHandouts during classes.
LiteratureMark Ptashne, A Genetic Switch (3rd ed), Cold Spring Haror Laboratory Press
Uri Alon, An Introduction to Systems Biology, Chapman & Hall
Prerequisites / Notice1) Though we do not place a formal requirement for previous participation in particular courses, we expect all participants to be familiar with a certain level of biology and of mathematics. Specifically, there will be material for self study available on http://www.bsse.ethz.ch/bpl/education/index as of mid January, and everybody is expected to be fully familiar with this material BEFORE THE CLASS BEGINS to be able to follow the different lectures. Please contact sven.panke@bsse.ethz.ch for access to material
2) The course is also thought as a preparation for the participation in the international iGEM synthetic biology summer competition (www.syntheticbiology.ethz.ch, http://www.igem.org). This competition is also the contents of the course Synthetic Biology II. http://www.bsse.ethz.ch/bpl/education/index

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits4 credits
ExaminersS. Panke, J. Stelling
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Additional information on mode of examinationCompulsory continuous performance assessment: Group literature presentation (pass/fail)
Written exam of 90 min covering questions regarding the fundamentals and details of the covered material and its application in biological systems design.
Written aidsNone
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

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