What is your favorite class?
My favorite class so far is MCB C100A - Biophysical Chemistry: Physical Principles and the Molecules of Life. It's cross-listed with the chemistry department and is co-taught by a team of 2 professors - one from the MCB department and one from the chemistry department. It's definitely not an easy class, as the chemistry portion of is very math intensive and requires a lot of motivation and hard work, but the course describes key concepts of biology from a very molecular and physical approach. You come out with a good thermodynamic and kinetic understanding of very important concepts and processes such as protein/DNA/RNA structure and enzyme/reaction kinetics.
Other proteins released from Damaged Mitochondria, SMAC (Second Mitochondria-Derived Activator of Caspase)/ Diablo, Arts and Omi/HTRA2 (High Temperature Requirement Protein-A2), counteract the effect of IAPs (Inhibitor of Apoptosis Proteins), which normally bind and prevent activation of Caspase3. The interaction between Bcl family members, IAPs, SMAC and Omi/HTRA2 is central to the intrinsic Apoptosis pathway. Recent studies demonstrated that another nuclease, EndoG (Endonuclease-G), is specifically activated by Apoptotic stimuli and is able to induce nucleosomal fragmentation of DNA independently of Caspase and DFF (DNA-Fragmentation Factor)/ CAD (Caspase-Activated DNAse). EndoG is a mitochondrion-specific nuclease that translocates to the nucleus and cleaves chromatin DNA during Apoptosis. Another protein, AIF (Apoptosis Inducing Factor) has also been attributed a role in Apoptosis, becoming active upon translocation from mitochondria to nuclei, where it initiates chromatin condensation and large-scale DNA fragmentation (). Programmed cell death and its morphologic manifestation of Apoptosis is a conserved pathway that in its basic tenets appears operative in all metazoans. Apoptosis also operates in adult organisms to maintain normal cellular homeostasis. This is especially critical in long-lived mammals that must integrate multiple physiological as well as pathological death signals, which for example includes regulating the response to infectious agents. Gain and loss of function models of genes in the core Apoptotic pathway indicate that the violation of cellular homeostasis can be a primary pathogenic event that results in disease. Evidence indicates that insufficient Apoptosis can manifest as Cancer or Autoimmunity, while accelerated cell death is evident in Acute and Chronic Degenerative diseases, Immunodeficiency, and Infertility ().
Also in 1969 computer scientist Alvy Ray Smith completed a Stanford PhD dissertation on Cellular Automata Theory, the first mathematical treatment of CA as a general class of computers. Many papers came from this dissertation: He showed the equivalence of neighborhoods of various shapes, how to reduce a Moore to a von Neumann neighborhood or how to reduce any neighborhood to a von Neumann neighborhood.  He proved that two-dimensional CA are computation universal, introduced 1-dimensional CA, and showed that they too are computation universal, even with simple neighborhoods.  He showed how to subsume the complex von Neumann proof of construction universality (and hence self-reproducing machines) into a consequence of computation universality in a 1-dimensional CA.  Intended as the introduction to the German edition of von Neumann's book on CA, he wrote a survey of the field with dozens of references to papers, by many authors in many countries over a decade or so of work, often overlooked by modern CA researchers.