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BSc Biochemistry / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This unit provides you with a grounding in the basic principles of Biochemistry. It aims to provide an understanding of the basic chemical properties of molecules that make life possible and a description of the key components of the cell and their biochemical interactions. You will learn about the processes that allow energy to be harvested from sunlight, converted and stored in food and released to drive biochemical reactions within cells.
To provide grounding in the basic principles of Biochemistry for students in Biological Sciences. To provide a description of the principal components of cells. To demonstrate how energy is harvested from sunlight, converted and stored in food and then released into high-energy compounds capable of driving biochemical reactions.
To understand basic chemical properties of molecules that make life possible, and how these properties relate to specific macromolecular structures and functions. Proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids and biological membranes will be understood. The mode of action of enzymes and macromolecular complexes as protein machines will be investigated. An introduction to biochemical and biophysical methods will be given. The functions of mitochondria and chloroplasts in oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis respectively will be discussed, as well as how energy can be released during catabolism and how it can be stored during anabolism.
Chemistry of Life: geometry of covalent bonds, key functional groups, common linking bonds in biomolecules; characteristics and importance of noncovalent interactions; properties of water, pH and buffering
Protein structure: amino acids, primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins
Carboydrates and nucleic acids: carbohydrate taxonomy, stereochemistry, ring formation, polysaccharides and glycoproteins; nucleosides, nucleotides, RNA and DNA; structure of DNA
Biological membranes: types and structure of lipids; structure and properties of biological membranes; three classes of membrane proteins; membrane transport
Enzymes: thermodynamics of catalysis, types and mechanisms of enzymes, substrate binding, active site, specificity and rate of reaction, effect of temperature, pH, concentration, Michaelis-Menten, Lineweaver-Burk; enzyme inhibition: reversible, non-reversible; allosteric regulation
Biochemical and biophysical methods: cell disruption and separation of cell components; protein purification and detection methods, chromatography, electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, use of antibodies; introduction to protein folding, the Levinthal paradox, diseases in protein folding
Metabolism and bioenergetics: metabolic pathways, catabolism, anabolism and free energy changes; concept of high energy carriers, ATP, acetyl CoA, and co-factors NAD+, NADP+, and FAD; glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, glycogen breakdown, gluconeogenesis, fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism
- Analytical skills
- Developed through ELearning exercises on Blackboard .
- Problem solving
- Developed through ELearning exercises on Blackboard.
1.5 hour written examination consisting of 50 multiple choice questions (85% of unit credits)
Set exercise – Online coursework assessment
Electronically marked Blackboard eLearning modules (LMs) consisting on online MCQ tests (15% of unit credits). Each LM is linked to a specific part of the syllabus and released separately with its own deadline.
Immediate feedback will be available via Blackboard for the e-Learning modules. Staff will also feed back comments to students through Discussion Board and –briefly- after lectures. Some of the lectures will be held in flipped format where the lecture slot is mainly used for live interactive quizzes and detailed feedback on practice exercises. In this format, the material is first learned in private study with the help of textbooks and online material including videos.
Moran LA, Horton, RA, Scrimgeour G, Perry M (2012) Principles of Biochemistry (5th edition), Pearson. New International Edition (2014) and older editions also suitable for this course. Optional
Berg, JM, Stryer, L, Tymoczko, J and Gatto, G (2019) Biochemistry (9th edition), WH Freeman, NY. Older editions also suitable for this course. Optional
Berg, JM, Tymoczko, JL and Stryer, L (2002) Biochemistry (5th edition), WH Freeman, NY. Optional. Freely available online at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21154/
Nelson, DL and Cox MM (2017) Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (7th edition), WH Freeman. Older editions also suitable for this course. Further reading
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||1.5|
|Independent study hours|
|Jordi Bella||Unit coordinator|