Bioinformatics constitutes a science which revolves around synthesising, analysisng, and managing biological data, through the development of methods and various calculation tools. Its interdisciplinarity lies in the fact that different subject areas are combined, such as Biology, Information Technology, Mathematics and Statistics, through all of which students can gain insight into the human brain. Simultaneously, they can get acquainted with its structure and some of its functions, such as the procedures that take place so that the central neural system can carry out the tasks assigned to it. In addition, students will be processing the biological data that are obtained. The aim of this course is to enable students, using the suitable software, to reach useful conclusions among a plethora of information by means of the analysis of images, the processing of signs, and the grouping of data.
Biochemistry is the chemistry of life; the study of all the chemical substances in living organisms; the investigation of chemical processes occurring into organisms. Biochemists have long been interested in the structures and physical properties of biological molecules; the mechanisms of enzyme action; the secrets of metabolism pathways; the molecular basis of genetics and the chemistry of the immune response.
In this workshop, students will follow a set of experiments in order to learn some basic techniques used in biochemistry and to realize the value of biochemistry in medicine and nutrition. Students will have the opportunity to:
- synthesize a pain relieving compound, evaluate the purity of their product and learn how the analgesics act,
- determine where specific biomolecules such as proteins, carbohydrates and lipids are digested, the use of enzymes and the effect of pH.
Evolution of human disease
Human evolutionary past shapes present human health. Studying the basic human evolution stages and how they formed our bodies will help us understand specific health problems humans are facing in the present. Nowadays we are getting sick from diseases unknown to our ancestors, such as diabetes, depression, heart diseases, osteoporosis, flatfeet, caries, myopia, etc. Despite the fact that we have achieved taller, longer lasting and healthier bodies, it seems we are getting sick more often. Agricultural, industrial and electronic revolution has affected human bodies that have been forged from millions of years of human evolution. Why do we get fat easier than getting thin? Why do we acquire bad habits? Why people in developed countries have more allergies? Links between human evolution and diseases can be made in the new field of Evolutionary Medicine, so we can decode the causes of modern diseases, in order to find better ways of effective intervention.
The rapid growth of Biological science and the potential of intervene in various biological procedures made it a necessity for Bioethics to arise. Bioethics involves with moral issues that arise in the field of Medicine, Biology and research in general. Bioethics combines various Biological subjects, such as Genetics, Biotechnology, Biomedical sciences, with Law, Philosophy, Sociology and Religion.
The course aims to familiarize students with the main principles of Bioethics, concerning decision making and human rights as far as who is responsible for judging specific human actions and procedures. In particular, there will be an approach in issues that have to do with the beginning and the ending of human life, assisted reproduction, surrogate mother, designer babies and the critical issue of abortion. Moreover, euthanasia with its various implications will be analyzed accordingly to the ethical theories that seek to judge human action.