All life forms rely on information processing to maintain their highly organised state. Macromolecules and supramolecular structures are key to the special properties that set living systems apart from dead matter. The course will adopt an engineering perspective to introduce the molecular biology (proteins, RNA, DNA) and the physics (thermodynamics, kinetics, dynamics) required for understanding the operation of the molecularmachinery at work in living cells. On this basis the role andthe processing of information at the molecular level will be discussed - covering topics such as noise, molecular motors, conformational switching and intracellular networks - leading to decision making in cells (chemotaxis, development). Throughout the course the potential transfer of concepts from nature to artificial systems will be explored (robustness, self-repair, nano-engineering, molecular computing).
Author: Srinandan Dasmahapatra, University of Southampton