Professor Saltzman introduces the elements of molecular structure of DNA such as backbone, base composition, base pairing, and directionality of nucleic acids. He describes the processes of DNA synthesis, transcription, RNA splicing, translation, and post-translational processing required to make a protein such as insulin from its genetic code (DNA). Professor Saltzman describes the genetic code. RNA interference is also discussed as a way to control gene expression, which can be applied as a new way to treat diseases.
The course covers basic concepts of biomedical engineering and their connection with the spectrum of human activity. It serves as an introduction to the fundamental science and engineering on which biomedical engineering is based. Case studies of drugs and medical products illustrate the product development-product testing cycle, patent protection, and FDA approval. It is designed for science and non-science majors.