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8.592 Statistical Physics in Biology, Spring 2003

A charged polymer.
Condensation of counterions on a charged polymer. (Figure by Prof. Mehran Kardar.)

Highlights of this Course

This course includes extensive lecture notes as well as assignments.

Course Description

Statistical Physics in Biology is a survey of problems at the interface of statistical physics and modern biology. Topics include: bioinformatic methods for extracting information content of DNA; gene finding, sequence comparison, and phylogenetic trees; physical interactions responsible for structure of biopolymers; DNA double helix, secondary structure of RNA, and elements of protein folding; Considerations of force, motion, and packaging; protein motors, membranes. We also look at collective behavior of biological elements, cellular networks, neural networks, and evolution.

Technical Requirements

Any number of biological sequence comparison software tools can be used to import the .fna files found on this course site.



Prof. Mehran Kardar
Prof. Leonid Mirny

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session




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