A5: The Foundations of Biology: TFOB

Foundations of Biology:

Backdrop:

Biology is the science of life. Its name is derived from the Greek words “bios” (life) and “logos” (study). Biologists study the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution and distribution of living organisms. 

It seems that unlike Physics or Chemistry there are no basic laws in biology; where everything is contingent and could have been otherwise, being solely the result of historical accidents. Furthermore, the customary introduction of fundamental biological entities such as individual organisms, cells, genes, catalysts and motors remains largely descriptive; constructive approaches involving deductive reasoning appear, in comparison , almost absent. As a consequence, both the logical content and principles of biology need to be reconsidered. This new introductory course attempts to  describe the foundations of biology. The foundations of biology are built in terms of elements, logic and principles, using both the language and the general methods employed in other disciplines. This approach assumes the existence of a certain unity of human knowledge that transcends discipline boundaries. 

All the branches of biology can be unified within a framework of five basic understandings about living things. Studying the details of these five ideas provides the endless fascination of biological research:

  • Cell Theory: There are three parts to cell theory — the cell is the basic unit of life, all living things are composed of cells, and all cells arise from pre-existing cells.
  • Energy: All living things require energy, and energy flows between organisms and between organisms and the environment.
  • Heredity: All living things have DNA and genetic information codes the structure and function of all cells.
  • Equilibrium: All living things must maintain homeostasis, a state of balanced equilibrium between the organism and its environment.
  • Evolution: This is the overall unifying concept of biology. Evolution is the change over time that is the engine of biological diversity.

Darwin’s theory of natural selection, an informational theory of life (which includes Mendel’s theory of inheritance) and a physico-chemical theory of life. Atomism and deductive reasoning are shown to enter into the elaboration of the concepts of natural selection, individual living organisms, cells and their reproduction, genes as well as catalysts and motors. This work contributes to clarify the philosophical and logical structure of biology and its major theories. This should ultimately lead to a better understanding of the origin of life, of system and synthetic biology, and of artificial life.

Proposed/tentative list of themes of 20 WhatsApp sessions. Following the principles of evolution, they may be somewhat changed by the time, a learner is actually pursuing this course.

Week 1: What is Biology?

1: The map of Biology

2: What is life?

3: What is a virus?

4: The Baltimore classification of viruses

5: mRNA vaccines: the latest technology of the 21st Century

Week 2: Key topics in Biology

6: Cellular Biology

7: Molecular Biology: DNA, RNA and proteins 

8: Structural Biology: protein engineering

9: Neuroscience

10: Immunology

Week 3: Evolutionary Biology 

11: Abiogenesis

12: Developmental Biology

13: Equilibrium : Homeostasis

14: Genetics: population genetics 

15: Ecology

Week 4: The future of Biology?

16: Theoretical Biology

17: Quantum Biology

18: Synthetic Biology

19: Astro-Biology

20: Complexity: the core of Biology

Enrolment procedure:

Fresh batches of this 4 week program begin on the first Monday of every month. 

In order to enroll for the Programme, please send a WhatsApp message, with the following text:  FOB to +91 98100 73724.

Please do mention your name and WhatsApp mobile number on which you would like to pursue the programme through WhatsApp

You will be included in the cohort beginning from the nearest Monday to your request date. 

The Programme Fee of Rs. 5000/– (Rupees Five thousand only) may be remitted by PayTM to mobile number 9810073724 or deposited into the following Bank account:

Name: Madan Mohan Pant

HDFC Bank Account No. : 26451000000301*

*(The account number is 26451 followed by six zeroes followed by 301)

IFSC: HDFC0002645

Address: HDFC Bank, Unitech Cyber Park, Sector 39, Gurgaon

Should you desire to know more, please WhatsApp, your query to :

 Prof. M. M. Pant  at +91 98100 73724