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SASTRA Deemed to be University                                               M.Sc. in Physics (Integrated)

                                                                             L   T    P   C
                    Course Code: BIS132                                      3   0    0   3
                    Semester: I
                                                 BIOLOGY FOR PHYSICIST

                    Course Objective:
                    This course aims to enable the learner to understand the basic functions of biomolecules, its
                    time scale, dynamics, and interaction energy employing the principle and theory of physics.

                    UNIT I Basics of Biology                                                  11 periods
                    Cells  as  unit  of  living  organism;  components  of  cells:    organelles,  small  molecules:  ions,
                    inorganic small molecules, sugars, fatty acids, water; macromolecules: DNA, RNA, protein-
                    Central  dogma,  lipids,  polysaccharides,  macromolecular  assemblies,  molecular  devices:
                    plasma  membranes,  ion-channels,  molecular  motors,  enzymes  and  regulatory  proteins;
                    multi-cellularity, multi-cellular organisms, domains of life; taking the molecular census.

                    UNIT II  Biological Time Scales                                           12 periods
                    Biological time scales: bond vibrations, enzyme turn over times, protein folding, cell doubling
                    time, animal life span and flowering plant life span; Procedural time: central dogma, clocks
                    and oscillators: embryonic development, construction of cell cycle oscillators, logic circadian
                    rhythm;  Relative  time:  cell  cycle,  measuring  relative  time:  gene  expression,  formation  of
                    bacterial  flagellum,  life  cycle  of  virus;  Manipulated  time:  chemical  kinetics  and  enzyme
                    turnover, beating the diffusive speed limit: molecular motors and membrane bound proteins

                    UNIT III  Random Walks, Friction and Diffusion                            11 periods
                    Fick’s  law:  applications-permeability  of membranes, limit  on  bacterial metabolism,  Nernst-
                    Plank  relation  and  membrane  potential;  Brownian  motion:  Random  walks,  diffusion  law,
                    stoke  formula,  Einstein  relation;  Reynolds  number,  time-reversal  property,  biological
                    application:  bacterial  swimming,  viscous  drag  at  the  DNA  replication  fork,  diffusion  in
                    crowded environments

                    UNIT IV  Entropy and Free Energy in Biology                               11periods
                    Laws  of  thermodynamics-  entropy,  enthalpy,  free  energy;  equilibrium  models: mechanical
                    and  chemical;  configurational  energy,  structures  as  free  energy  minimizers:  entropy  and
                    hydrophobicity,  competition  between  entropy  and  energy;  basics  of  statistical  mechanics,
                    applications: ligand-receptor binding, gene expression.

                       1.  P. Nelson, Biological Physics. W. H. Freeman and Company, New York, 2013.
                       2.  R. Phillips, J. Kondev, J. Theriot, Physical Biology of the cell. 2/e, Garland Science,

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