Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2018

Biology Bachelor Information
3. Year, 6. Semester
Block Courses
Registration for Block courses is mandatory. Please register under Link . Registration period: 17.12.2017 to 7.1.2018.
Block Courses in 2nd Quarter of the Semester
(From 15.3.2018; 08.00 hr to 13.4.2018; 17.00 hr)
376-1346-00LStudy of Epigenetic Mechanisms in Mental Health Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 12

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
W6 credits7GI. Mansuy
AbstractThis block course is focused on the study of the epigenetic mechanisms that regulate complex brain functions and behavior. It provides an overview of molecular methods used in experimental mice or in human samples to investigate epigenetic processes that control genome activity and gene expression, and are associated with cognitive functions and behavioral responses.
ObjectiveThe purpose is to learn the principles of major methods in epigenetics that allow examine genome activity at the level of DNA, RNA or protein, in the context of complex brain functions.
Content4 independent projects for 3 students each covering various aspects of epigenetic mechanisms. It will focus on state-of-the-art techniques to measure or manipulate gene expression and gene activity in the adult brain or in cell culture, and analyse the effects in vitro or in vivo using omics analyses, molecular and biochemical tools and behavioral testing.
Lecture notesProvided at the beginning of the practical.
551-0352-00LProtein Analysis by Mass Spectrometry Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 12.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
W6 credits7GL. Gillet, B. Collins, P. Picotti
AbstractProtein Analysis by Mass Spectrometry
The following topics will be covered: basics of biological mass spectrometry, including instrumentation, data collection and data analysis; applications to protein identification and characterization; sample preparation methods; proteomics strategies; and quantitative analysis.
ObjectiveHow to prepare a protein sample for MS analysis (trypsin digestion, C18 clean-up)
Principles of data acquisition LC-MS (QTOF and/or Ion Trap instruments)
Perform qualitative proteomic analysis (protein identification with Mascot and/or Sequest Softwares)
Perform quantitative proteomic analysis (label-free and labeled analyses)
Analyze/interpret the data to find up/down regulated proteins
551-0434-00LNMR Spectroscopy in Biology Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 6.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
W6 credits7GF. Allain, A. D. Gossert, K. Wüthrich
AbstractIn this block course, students actively participate in ongoing research projects in the research groups of Profs. Allain, Wider and Wüthrich. The students will be tutored in their experimental work by doctoral or postdoctoral students. In addition, the course includes specific lectures that provide the theoretical background for the experimental work, as well as excercises and literature work.
ObjectiveThe course provides first "hands on" insight into applications of NMR spectroscopy in biological sciences. The course should enable the students to understand the potential and limitations of NMR applied to biological problems.
ContentThe topics include studies of proteins, RNA and protein-RNA interactions,

Participation in one of the following projects will be possible:
- NMR of RNA
- NMR of several protein-RNA complexes (hnRNPF, nPTB, SR proteins)
- NMR studies of glycoproteins
- dynamics of protein-RNA complexes
- Segmental isotopic labeling to study multidomain proteins
-Structural and dynamic properties of FtsZ, the bacterial homolog of tubulin
- investigations of the ubiquitinom
- NMR Methods Development
Lecture notesNo script
LiteratureLists of individual reading assignments will be handed out.
529-0810-01LOrganic Chemistry II (for D-BIOL) Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 12.

Please contact Prof. C. Thilgen (Link) as early as possible, end of Autumn Semester. You will get a confirmation if you are accepted.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
W12 credits4PC. Thilgen
AbstractAn organic-synthetic sub-project of the current research of a group from the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry is carried out under the guidance of doctoral students.
ObjectiveLearn to plan and carry out challenging multistep syntheses making use of modern methods; reach a deeper understanding of organic reactions through experimental work; develop an organic-synthetic research project; take accurate notes, write a publication style report, and present the obtained results in a seminar.
ContentAn organic-synthetic sub-project of the current research of a group from the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry is carried out under the guidance of doctoral students.
Lecture notesNo course notes.
LiteratureNo set textbooks. Literature will be indicated or provided by the supervising TAs.
Prerequisites / NoticeCourse prerequisites: Accomplished laboratory course Organic Chemistry I (529-0229-00) and passed session exam Organic Chemistry I (529-0221-00 or 529-1011-00)/Organic Chemistry II (529-0222-00 or 529-1012-00). The number of participants is limited to 12.
551-1147-00LBioactive Natural Products from Bacteria Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 7.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
W6 credits7GJ. Piel
AbstractLab course. In small groups projects of relevance to current research questions in the field of bacterial natural product biosynthesis are addressed.
ObjectiveIntroduction to relevant subjects of the secondary metabolism of bacteria. Training in practical work in a research laboratory. Scientific writing in form of a research report.
ContentResearch project on bacteria that produce bioactive natural products (e.g., Streptomycetes, Cyanobacteria, uncultivated bacteria). The techniques used will depend on the project, e.g. PCR, cloning, natural product analysis, precursor feeding studies, enzyme expression and analysis.
Lecture notesnone.
LiteratureWill be provided for each of the projects at the beginning of the course.
551-1554-00LMultigene Expression in Mammalian Cells Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 5.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
W6 credits7GP. Berger, G. Schertler
AbstractGenetic engineering of mammalian cells with multiple expression cassettes is an essential need in contemporary cell biology. It is useful for protein expression for structural studies, the reprogramming of somatic cells, or for the expression of several fluorescently-tagged sensors. In this course, we use MultiLabel (Kriz et al., Nat. Commun., 2010) to create multigene expression plasmids.
ObjectiveStudents will learn to design and clone multigene expression constructs for mammalian cells. The functionality of the constructs will be tested by immunofluorescence microscopy or Western blotting.
ContentWe will clone fluorescently-tagged markers for subcellular compartments, assemble them to a multigene expression construct and transfect them into mammalian cells. These markers of subcellular compartments will be used to study the trafficking of activated receptors (e.g. serotonin receptor). Pictures will be taken on our microscopes and then we will quantify colocalization.
Lecture notesnone
551-0436-00LCryo-electron Microscopic Studies of Ribosomal Complexes with Biomedically Important Viral mRNAs Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 15.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.
W6 credits7GN. Ban, D. Böhringer, M. A. Leibundgut
AbstractSome viral mRNAs, such as from Hepatitis C virus, hijack cellular translational machinery by binding directly to the ribosome and circumventing the need for cellular initiation factors. They accomplish this through structured elements within the mRNAs called internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs). Participants of this course will visualize ribosomes in complex with viral IRESs at high resolution.
ObjectiveThe goal of the course is to acquire the most important techniques and methods for the purification and structural characterisation of macromolecular complexes by transmission electron microscopy. The emphasis of the course is on the special practical requirements for the application of these techniques on macromolecular structures in the MDa range.
ContentProtein synthesis is a very energy intensive process that can consume over half the total metabolism of a cell. In eukaryotes, translation is therefore tightly regulated at the stage of initiation. Regulatory processes are much more complex at this step than in prokaryotes and a large number of RNA modification processes and translation initiation factors are required to ensure faithful initiation, elongation and termination of translation. Viral messenger RNAs are often produced by their own machinery, however, and need to be incorporated into the host translation machinery without the usual processing and therefore many viruses have developed strategies to circumvent the need for initiation factors. They accomplish this through highly structured elements within their RNA called internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) that are able to initiate translation without the normal signals. Some viral IRESs, such as the IRESs from polio-virus or HIV, require most of the normal eIFs and even additional proteins. Others, such as the hepatitis C virus IRES, are able to bind directly to the ribosome and need only a few of the normal initiation factors. Within the Ban lab, we have studied, and continue to investigate, medically relevant viral IRESs. The course will involve producing, and attempting to determine the structures of, IRESs that have yet to have had their ribosome-bound structures resolved.

A variety of purification techniques, including preparative gel electrophoresis and ultracentrifugation, will be used during the purification of macromolecular complexes. Purified assemblies will be then investigated functionally. Students will then characterise their samples structurally through transmission electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM), including sample preparation, microscopy, data evaluation and the calculation of densities. Finally, students will learn how to build and refine molecular models into parts of the calculated cryo-EM density. The participants will be working on a closed project related to current research within the laboratory and throughout the course the practical work will be accompanied by brief theoretical introductions. The principal aim of the course is to strengthen the skills required to independently conduct meaningful biophysical and biochemical experiments and to provide an early introduction into the structural characterisation of cellular macromolecular assemblies.
Lecture notesA script will be distributed at the beginning of the course that will cover the experiments to be performed, provide references to the relevant literature and suggest points for further consideration for interested students.
A basic overview is provided within the references below. Further reading and citations shall be detailed in the course script.
- A. Fersht, Structure and mechanism in protein science, Freeman, 1999 (Chapters 1 and 6).
- M. van Heel et al., Single-particle electron cryo microscopy: towards atomic resolution, Quart. Rev. Biophys. (33), 307-369 (2000).
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course will be held in English. Students should have either completed courses:
551-0307-00L Biomolecular Structure and Mechanism I: Protein Structure and Function
551-0307-01L Biomolecular Structure and Mechanism II: Large Cellular Machines
or equivalent courses covering the structure and function of biological macromolecules.
551-0118-00LPlant Cell Biology Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 12.

The enrolment is done by the D-BIOL study administration.

The course «551-0118-00L Plant Cell Biology» must be booked as «BIO 281 Plant Cell Biology» in the block course tool.
W6 credits7GC. Sánchez-Rodríguez, J. Vermeer
AbstractThe course is a collaboration of the Plant Cell Biology groups of ETHZ and UZH. The students will learn key concepts related with the remarkable ability of plants to adapt to challenges provided by their environment (both biotic, such as pathogens, and abiotic, like nutrient deficiencies). A multidisciplinary approach including molecular genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and bioinformatics tool
ObjectiveIn this course, students will get cell biological and molecular genetics insights into the developmental plasticity of plants to adapt to their environmental conditions using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. With this aim, they will actively participate in ongoing research projects tutored by doctoral students.
ContentStudents will be engaged in research projects aimed to understand the specialized mechanisms evolved by the plants to grow under challenging environments. In a lecture series, the theoretical background for the projects and their interrelationship is provided.
Students will design and perform experiments, evaluate experimental results, present their projects, and discuss recent publications to understand the relevance of their work in the context of the current state of plant development and stress response.
Lecture notesNo script
LiteratureThe recommended literature and list of individual reading assignments will be provided during the course
Prerequisites / NoticeAll general lectures will be held at ETH Centrum (LFW building). Students will be divided into small groups to carry out experiments at ETH (Central; LFW) and UZH (Botanical Garden)
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