Nucleic Acid Chemistry and Engineering

Course Aim

Students successfully completing this course will be able to critically evaluate chemical and biological methods, technologies, and science relevant to nucleic acids so that they can exploit the knowledge for their own research. The students will also be familiar with the facilities and instruments available for nucleic acid work at OIST.

Course Description

Learn basic principles of nucleic acid chemistry and engineering through lectures and discussions. Build on this basic knowledge to explore current research in the field of nucleic acid chemistry and engineering. Emphasis will be placed on discussing current and future applications of nucleic acids in diverse fields including chemistry, biology, materials, medicine, biosensors, and engineering through current literature. Depending on the number of students and availability of resources, either development of a research proposal or a short laboratory session will be performed.

Course Contents

1. Basic nucleic acid chemistry (structure and thermodynamics)
2-3. Chemical and biological synthesis of nucleic acids
4. Analysis of nucleic acids
5-9. Nucleic acid engineering topics (e.g., aptamers, ribozymes, DNA nanotechnology, DNA computation, DNA data storage, DNA materials, gene therapy)
10-11. Literature review and presentations
12-14. Proposal development or laboratory


Participation/engagement 40%, presentations 30%, research proposal or laboratory work 30%

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

Assumes undergraduate organic chemistry or biochemistry.


Original papers will be supplied as required