Kenyon College -- Department of Biology

Biol 470 - Size and Scaling in Biological Systems

 Overview: Although we often look at biological phenomena as if they are distinct and separate from other processes, fundamentally, they are limited by the same physical constraints of non-living processes. More specifically, organisms and biological phenomena are constrained by physical limits to size and shape, and over time, evolution has led to different solutions to specific problems imposed by physical constraints. The aim of this seminar is to investigate how physical limits affect the function of biological systems at all levels, from that of the ecosystem to that of the organelle, and to see common threads and disparities in how biological systems deal with similar problems imposed by physical limits.

This senior-level seminar class will rely heavily on the primary literature.  Students will orally present and critique relevant papers.   A synthetic paper (12-15 pages) will be the major course assignment.  Some class time will be devoted to "workshop" sessions where students will provide peer review on each otherís work.


Fall 2001
Fall 2002