This course is designed for life science students who are prepared to dive deeper into the details of life processes and pre-medical students. New discoveries and advancements in scientific research are proposed everyday all around us. It can be overwhelming to keep up. This course provides the foundation for students to understand a vast array of practical applications in a multitude of life science topics (e.g. biotechnology, industry, medicine, agriculture, ecology, etc.). Students will take a closer look at the cellular biology of mostly eukaryotes, but also prokaryotes, gaining a comprehensive understanding of cell structure and physiology. Concepts from the SCILIFE101 course, Introduction to Life Sciences, will be revisited and students will learn the underlying molecular mechanisms. By applying their detailed understanding of molecular biology, students will examine current research topics and examine methods used to study the invisible world of molecular biology. From the student’s independent research, they will analyze methods in published studies and evaluate those results. Students will also be encouraged to question the reproducibility of results and to propose how modernization of methods using existing (and/or theoretical) technologies would improve the limitations of research and the validity of results.

The course consists of five themes:
1 – The fundamental units of life: Cellular components, chemistry and energetics
2 – Genomes: DNA to Proteins, replication, repair and regulation of gene expression
3 – Cellular dynamics: Membrane trafficking, transport and signaling pathways
4 – Cell fate: Cell division, tissues, stem cells and cancer
5 – Methods used in molecular biology