Synthetic biology applies a novel conceptual framework to
biology. By introducing engineering concepts, synthetic biology
forms the basis for new developments in medicine, pharmaceutical
science, plant biology, sustainable development, and material
science. Fundamental technologies that are central to synthetic
biology include: DNA synthesis, high-throughput genetic
manipulation methods, facile access to off-the-shelf standardized
biological parts, registries and foundries of parts, and
computer-aided genetic design. Advanced tools that enable the
integration of basic synthetic units into multi component devices
are continuously being developed, and a variety of modern
analytical techniques and computational tools are applied in the
design and testing of new systems. It is foreseen that synthetic
biology will address several of the world’s most pressing
challenges, including many of the Sustainable Developmental Goals
(SGDs) of United Nations, e.g. by generating new possibilities for
clean energy, more sustainable and healthy food production, better
medicines available for all people on Earth.
The course will bridge across different areas of contemporary synthetic biology. It will start from metabolic engineering of organisms for the production of high-value compounds and continue to explore topics at the frontier of synthetic biology, such as biosensors, gene circuits, synthetic metabolism, synthetic evolution, minimal organisms, etc. Some examples of topics covered in the course are given below:
1. General concepts and enabling technologies for synthetic biology
2. Plant metabolic engineering
3. Engineering photosynthetic organisms for light-driven synthesis
4. Yeast metabolic engineering for the production of high-value compounds
5. Single molecule fluorescence microscopy for the analysis of synthetic biosystems
6. Lipid membranes as tools for synthetic biology
7. Whole-cell biosensors
8. Engineering and evolution of synthetic metabolic pathways
Beside the selected topics, the course includes a journal club where hot topics in synthetic biology are presented and debated between the participants.
In addition to the lectures, a focal part of the course is the development of specific case studies by the students. In groups, the students are invited to bring their own synthetic biology ideas to life by conceiving and designing a complete synthetic biology project. The case studies include the complete activities from conceptualization to experimental design, intellectual property issues, commercialization strategy, communication and human practices, ethical aspects, and consideration of biosecurity issues.
MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Biotechnology
MSc Programme in Biotechnology with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine
Participants will obtain broad knowledge on the main subject
areas of synthetic biology with emphasis on interdisciplinary
studies and sustainability. A wide variety of topics in metabolic
engineering, biochemistry, protein engineering, biotechnology,
nano-technology, and structural biology will be covered. These
insights will stimulate participants for creative thinking, will
provide them the ability to work across disciplines, and inspire
them on how we can implement our knowledge for more environmentally
friendly applications and solutions. By introducing advanced
techniques from various research areas, students will acquire
practical skills that can be applied to other research fields. The
course will enhance group collaboration and interdisciplinary
communication. The course will emphasize the impact synthetic
biology can have to innovative and sustainable approaches and
strategies in order to mitigate climatic changes. In parallel,
show how synthetic biology can contribute to improved human
health, clean energy, or improved foods.
1. Understanding of the basic concepts of synthetic biology.
2. Acquisition of the common vocabulary essential for synthetic biology (e.g. standard part, chassis, etc.).
3. Familiarization with specific scientific, ethical, and regulatory aspects.
4. Knowledge of the prospects of combining biology with engineering and technology.
5. Broad insight and coherent knowledge on interdisciplinary research.
6. Familiarization with the most recent published literature in the field and insight into ongoing research.
7.Acquire digital competences in relation to scientific information search
Data source criticism
Search strategies and techniques
8. Obtain skills in communicating scientific data
1. Understand how fundamental tools can be applied to the engineering of biology.
2. Identify aspects of biotechnology that faciltate or prevent the faster, reliable programming of natural systems.
3. Understand current and future applications of synthetic biology.
4. Apply fundamental laboratory approaches into engineering biology.
5. Ability to engage in interdisciplinary research.
6. Preparation of reports and proper handling of scientific literature.
7. Preparation of digital scientific presentations and science
1. Ability to apply synthetic biology concepts and principles to solve a real life problem or develop new applications.
2. Ability to discuss the public concerns and ethical dilemmas and the potential solutions offered by synthetic biology.
3. Capability to find a solution for a problem and work independently.
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 situation.
6. Digital competences, such as scientific information search, evaluation of data sources, search strategies and search techniquesspecific to obtaining information relating to synthetic biology, identification of data in connection with synthetic biology problem-solving strategies, and synthetic biology results and data communication in oral and written form.
Lecture: Delivery of material in lecture format (30%) Discussion or group work, theoretical exercises & case studies (40%) Lab work: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (30%)
A combination of original research papers, review articles, and laboratory manual
The equivalent of a BSc in natural science (biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, physics or medical science).
- 7,5 ECTS
- Type of assessment
Oral examination, 25 min
- Type of assessment details
- No preparation time.
Weight: Oral examination 100%
Individual oral examination based on
• presentation of case study and questions related to it
• discussion and questions related to the written experimental reports and theoretical exercises
• discussion and questions related to general knowledge in synthetic biology, experimental applications and concepts
- Only certain aids allowed
Only copies of reports and written assignments and laptop or printed handouts for the case study ppt presentation.
- Marking scale
- 7-point grading scale
- Censorship form
- No external censorship
Several internal examinators
Criteria for exam assessment
See learning outcome
Part time Master and Diploma courses
- Theory exercises
- Practical exercises
- Course number
- 7,5 ECTS
- Programme level
- Full Degree Master
- Block 3
- No limitation
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
- Study Board for the Biological Area
- Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
- Department of Food Science
- Department of Media, Cognition and Communication
- Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology
- Department of Chemistry
- Faculty of Science
- Sotirios Kampranis (4-75716d6342726e6770306d7730666d)
Science; Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences:
Sotirios Kampranis, Birger Lindgerg Møller, Thomas
Günther-Pomorski, Irini Pateraki, Karel Miettinen, Feiyan Liang,
Jon Fugl, Yong Zhao
Science; Department of Chemistry: Nikos Hatzakis
Science; Department of Food Science: Poul-Erik Jensen
Humanities; Department of Media, Cognition and Communication: Sune Holm
Health; Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology: Søren G.F. Rasmussen
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