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Introduction To Biological Physics For The Heal...


Biophysics is an interdisciplinary science that applies approaches and methods traditionally used in physics to study biological phenomena.[1][2][3] Biophysics covers all scales of biological organization, from molecular to organismic and populations. Biophysical research shares significant overlap with biochemistry, molecular biology, physical chemistry, physiology, nanotechnology, bioengineering, computational biology, biomechanics, developmental biology and systems biology.




Introduction to Biological Physics for the Heal...


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The term biophysics was originally introduced by Karl Pearson in 1892.[4][5] The term biophysics is also regularly used in academia to indicate the study of the physical quantities (e.g. electric current, temperature, stress, entropy) in biological systems. Other biological sciences also perform research on the biophysical properties of living organisms including molecular biology, cell biology, chemical biology, and biochemistry.


Molecular biophysics typically addresses biological questions similar to those in biochemistry and molecular biology, seeking to find the physical underpinnings of biomolecular phenomena. Scientists in this field conduct research concerned with understanding the interactions between the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA, RNA and protein biosynthesis, as well as how these interactions are regulated. A great variety of techniques are used to answer these questions.


Medical physics, a branch of biophysics, is any application of physics to medicine or healthcare, ranging from radiology to microscopy and nanomedicine. For example, physicist Richard Feynman theorized about the future of nanomedicine. He wrote about the idea of a medical use for biological machines (see nanomachines). Feynman and Albert Hibbs suggested that certain repair machines might one day be reduced in size to the point that it would be possible to (as Feynman put it) "swallow the doctor". The idea was discussed in Feynman's 1959 essay There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom.[8]


Medical physicists specialized in nuclear physics mostly conduct functional imaging of patients using positron emission tomography (PET), gamma camera, and biological substances labeled with radioactive markers (radiopharmaceuticals).


The Undergraduate Program in Biophysics at York University is a comprehensive four-year undergraduate degree program that allows students to learn about biophysics and its applications. The program is special because it is strong in both physics and biology, focussed by courses dedicated to biophysics, and sufficiently broad in scope to expose students to knowledge and techniques applicable not only to humans but to all of the kingdoms of life. Students acquire a theoretical and practical understanding of biology, physics and biophysics through both lecture-based and lab-based courses. The program offers experiences with lasers that are unique in Canada. Practical skills in mathematics and computing are developed by promoting applications to physical and biophysical problems. Powers of lateral thinking are enhanced through the mixing of physics and biology courses and the unification of material through biophysics courses. In the end, students learn to recognize biological problems that could benefit from physical insights as well as physical principles that might productively confront biological challenges. Most important, students gain the ability to think critically and to analyze and solve complex problems, talents that are in high demand in both the private and public sectors.


Biophysics is an interdisciplinary frontier of science in which the principles and techniques of physics are applied to study living things and how they work. Biophysicists are also involved in applying their knowledge of fundamental physics to develop and implement new techniques for analyzing organisms. Biophysicists may even facilitate the application of biological knowledge to problems in physics. The Undergraduate Program in Biophysics is a path of study which allows students to learn not only fundamentals of biology and physics, but also how to apply the laws and methods of physics to understand biological processes.


An introduction to biophysics is provided at the website York University Biophysics. Besides describing what biophysics is all about, the site provides links to articles and videos about current topics. It also gives an overview of the myriad of exciting career opportunities afforded to students with a background in the field.


A biological physics major explores the physical behavior of biological and biologically-inspired systems, applying physical techniques to solve problems in physics, biology, and medicine. The program is multi-disciplinary, drawing from coursework in physics, biology, chemistry, and mathematics. It combines a broad science curriculum with physical and mathematical rigor in preparation for careers in biological physics, biophysics, medical physics, medicine and biomedical engineering. 041b061a72


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