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LBIK10207U Synthetic Biology
Full Degree Master
Continuing and further
Study Board of Biomolecular Sciences and
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
Department of Chemistry
Seong Wook Yang (6-767a7c64716a436f6c6968316e7831676e)
Seong Wook Yang, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences/Section for Plant
Biochemistry, Phone: 353-32354
Kell Mortensen, email@example.com, Department of Basic Sciences and
Environment, Phone: 353-32311
Saved on the
MSc Programme in
The course is interdisciplinary and will be
guided by the strong scientific groups of the UNIK center for
Synthetic Biology of Copenhagen University. Synthetic biology is an
emerging technology that applies biological science as a basis for
new developments within medicine, pharmaceutics, plant biology and
materials sciences using combined concepts developed in
biotechnology and nano-science. Foundational tools to meet this
challenge include: Ready access to off-the-shelf standardized
biological parts and devices as well as advanced tools that enable
the integration of basic biological and synthetic units into multi
component systems. Further, a variety of modern measuring
techniques and computational tools are applied in the design and
tests of new systems. The richness and versatility of biology is
the basis for the great potential of synthetic biology, and it is
foreseen that several of the world’s most pressing challenges may
be addressed by these methods.
The course will focus on topics in the frontier of synthetic
biology. This will be guided by updated literatures. Examples of
selected topics are:
1. Lipid membrane nanotechnology for synthetic biology
2. Light-driven synthesis: Charging the future
3. Synthesis of terpene compounds and manipulation
4. Applications of silver nano-cluster technology
5. Single molecule fluorescence microscopy and spectroscopy
6. Biophysical analysis for synthetic biology using scattering
methods (light, X-ray) and thermal methods (DSC, ITC)
7. Intact Mammalian Cell Function on Semiconductor
Examples of experiments are:
Interface 1: Biology + Chemistry
1. Single molecule fluorescence microscopy
Demonstration of how we can record the emission of a single
molecule. Pyrelenemonoimide dyes will be excited with Argon-ion
laser and an image will be formed by a piezo scanner on top of an
inverted confocal microscope.
2. Application of silver nano-cluster probe
Students will study how DNA fragment forms silver nano-clustering
for a very strong fluorescence and possible applications of the
DNA/silver nano-cluster probe for the detection of biological
materials, e.g. miRNAs, nucleic acid binding proteins.
Interface 2: Biology + Physics
1. Nano-disc assembly
Self-assembly of monodisperse membrane nanoparticles is an
extremely useful tool to study membrane proteins in a controlled
native-like environment. Students will study how to make nano-disc
(protein self assembly) and its biological applications.
2. Biophysical analysis for synthetic biology
a. Scattering methods (eg. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and
Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS)) can be used to elucidate the
structure and size of biomelocules and bimolecular complexes.
Students will study scattering methods using nanodiscs.
b. Thermal methods (eg. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)) wil be used to study the
interaction of biomolecules as well as molecular transition and
Fundamentals: Core concepts, Definitions.
Tools: Introduction to major experimental tool applied for
Recent advances and future trends
Industry Applications: Linking theory and business
Ethical Issues: Public concerns and official debate
Participants will obtain broad interface insights
on the main subject areas of synthetic biology with emphasis on
interdisciplinary studies. A wide variety of topics in
biotechnology, nano-technology, neuroscience, structure biology and
more will have been covered on completion of the course. These
insights will develop creativity for the merging to other subjects.
By delivering advanced techniques from various disciplines,
students will acquire practical skills that can be applied to other
research fields. Group collaboration and interdisciplinary
communication will be enhanced by the course.
1. The basic concepts and perspectives of synthetic biology, e.g.
conventional synthetic biology and newly emerging synthetic
2. Acquire a common vocabulary useful for synthetic biology (e.g.
standard part, chassis, etc.).
3. Identify main current focus and hesitations concerning
scientific, ethical and regulatory aspects.
4. The prospects of combining biology to engineer and/or
5. Broad insights on coherent knowledge based on interdisciplinary
6. Knowledge of the most recent published literature in the field
and insight into ongoing research.
1. Understand foundational tools applied to the engineering of
2. Identify aspects of biotechnology that inhibit and enable the
faster, reliable programming of natural systems.
3. Comprehend current and future applications for synthetic
4. Apply fundamental laboratory approaches for engineering biology.
5. Ability to join in combinatorial interdisciplinary research,
e.g. communication and knowledge delivery.
6. Structure reports and handle scientific literature in the proper
1. Able to discuss the issues of public concerns and ethical
dilemmas and the potential solutions offered by synthetic biology.
2. Able to prepare and present oral and written work.
3. Capability to find a solution for a problem and work
4. Able to apply the concepts and techniques of synthetic biology
to other subjects at a high academic level.
5. Able to work efficiently in a collaborative work
A combination of original research papers, review
articles and laboratory manual
Teaching and learning methods
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format
(40%) Discussion or Group work (30%) Lab works: Demonstrations,
experiments, simulations (30%)
The equivalent of a BSc in natural science
(biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, physics or