Topics course. An investigation of the emerging fields of synthetic biology and bionanotechnology drawn from semi-popular and primary research literature. In this seminar, we focus on the central question of what can be achieved by approaching biology from an engineering mindset. Specifically, what can be learned by treating biological components (proteins and nucleic acids) and systems (signaling and metabolic networks) as interchangeable machine-like parts? We study examples of this intellectual and experimental approach and how its application has enhanced our understanding of cell biology. Harnessing biological systems for the production of pharmaceuticals and hydrocarbon fuel sources is also considered. Finally, we explore the prospect of affecting and interacting with cells using engineered nanoscale devices made from biological building blocks and the potential application of these techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Prerequisite: BIO 202 or 230 or permission of the instructor.