Bi9690en Synthetic Biology

Faculty of Science
autumn 2021
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 2 credit(s) (plus extra credits for completion). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught online.
Mgr. Karel Říha, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Ing. RNDr. Martin Marek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Panagiotis Alexiou, PhD (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Karel Říha, Ph.D.
Department of Experimental Biology - Biology Section - Faculty of Science
Contact Person: Mgr. Karel Říha, Ph.D.
Supplier department: Central European Institute of Technology
Basic knowledge of genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 50 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 0/50, only registered: 7/50, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 1/50
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 55 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Through the course, the students will gain in-depth knowledge in the field of contemporary synthetic biology. On completion of the course, the student should be able to: •describe origin and features of life • describe methods and approaches used for gene and genome engineering • describe fundamental principles of synthetic biology and engineering of living systems • describe how the regulation of gene expression and properties of gene products can be altered via synthetic biology approaches • propose synthetic gene regulatory circuits exploitable in biotechnology and biomedicine • describe how protein engineering yields the protein with novel functionality, and explain the theoretical principles of computer-aided de novo protein (enzyme) design • describe how to expand the building bricks of living systems, and how to create the synthetic protein nanomachine, the virus-inspired system or the artificial cellular organelle • depict the concepts of metabolic engineering and designing de novo biosynthetic cascades • describe how synthetic biology may alter the properties of the virus, the cell or the whole organism • apply a scientific approach to the planning, execution, and interpretation of synthetic biology projects with the goal to create replicating biological systems with new functionalities that can be regulated and controlled • characterize synthetic biology strategies and tools exploitable in immunotherapy, gene therapy, cancer therapy, epigenetic therapy, sustainable agriculture and biofuel production • critically analyse, present and defend scientific literature in the field of synthetic biology • understand ethical issues associated with synthetic biology
  • Over the past decades sufficient understanding of how biological systems work has been gained to allow advanced alteration of living systems driven by engineering principles. This has led to a new scientific discipline called synthetic biology that nurtures on technology breakthroughs in genomics, proteomics, genetic engineering, protein engineering, systems biology and bioinformatics to design new or extensively redesign existing biological properties for applications in biotechnology and biomedicine. In this lecture course students will grasp concepts in synthetic biology, become familiar with basic methodological approaches and learn about wide range of possible applications in science and technology. • Origin of life • Synthetic Biology – basic principles • Basic concepts in engineering • From genetic engineering to synthetic genomes • Protein engineering I. – computer-aided rational design; de novo protein design • Protein engineering II. – in-lab directed evolution techniques; semi-rational approaches • Design of large protein nanomachines, virus-like vehicles, and gene therapy tools • Expanding building bricks of life, genetic code expansion, usage of non-standard amino acids; optogenetics and photocaging in synthetic biology • Metabolic engineering, designing and realizing new biosynthetic (enzymatic) cascades • Synthetic epigenetics, epigenome targeting; synthetic biology and drug discovery • Artificial organelles • Minimal cells, artificial cells, synthetic ecosystems • Future directions and ethical considerations
  • Synthetic biology : parts, devices and applications. Edited by Christina D. Smolke. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, 2018. xvi, 409. ISBN 9783527330751. info
  • Synthetic biology : tools for engineering biological systems. Edited by Daniel G. Gibson - Clyde A. Hutchison - Hamilton Othanel Smith - J. Cr. Cold Spring Harbor, New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2017. viii, 280. ISBN 9781621821182. info
Teaching methods
Assessment methods
Written or oral exam for 3 credits Attendance and active participation in lectures for 1 credit
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught annually.
The course is taught: every week.
Teacher's information
Karel Říha, email: Martin Marek, email:
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2019, Autumn 2020.
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