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CHEM 27N: Light and Life

Preference given to freshman. Light plays a central role in many biological processes and color affects everything in our world. This includes familiar processes such as photosynthesis and vision, but also proton pumps in the organisms that make the Bay purple, green fluorescent protein (GFP), the light from fireflies, the blue and red light receptors responsible for directing how plants grow, the molecules responsible for fall colors, and repair enzymes such as DNA photolyase. Light is also used to interrogate (e.g. super-resolution microscopy) and manipulate (optogenetics) biological systems. Light causes sunburn, but can also be used in combination with special molecules to treat diseases. We will discuss the nature of light, how it is measured, how it is generated in the laboratory, how molecules are excited, and how one measures the fate of this excitation in simple molecules and complex biological systems. Chem 31X or 31A/B preferred, but not required.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Boxer, S. (PI)
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