We are using an online homework/learning system from sapling learning. The homework will count 100/600 points for the course. You should be able to get 100% if you pay attention and put in the time.
Discussion is also worth 100/600 points. 50% of your points will be based on Discussion attendance, with the other 50% based on working with your group to prepare weekly summaries of the discussion.
These two items give you 1/3 of the course points for conscientious participation.
I am planning to base my exams partially on the sapling homework and text testbank- so you should be rewarded by keeping up with these assignments.
Finally, I will be posting my lecture notes as I have traditionally done, but I also plan to explore some other methods other than lecture, so what is on the notes may expand what I actually said in class.
Don't rely on/be seduced by on-line notes, most students find taking their own notes to be a valuable learning exercise—you have to be engaged to learn effectively!.
We will look at Discussion this Friday in the Discussion sections as I am still working on some details. Important info will be posted on:
I am using an online homework/learning system this semester from sapling Learning. You can get it directly from sapling learning. Student instructions for getting started on sapling are on my Moodle site.
You will be expected to do some synthesis and problem solving in doing this course.
Biochemistry focuses on a limited range of areas within the manifestation of life, but as we shall see this range is still vast:
In this course I will focus on these issues in eukaryotes, specifically humans, because I want you to understand a functional system with all of the regulation etc. it requires. We will look at eukaryotes because they involve intracellular compartmentation and humans because I want a system with multiple intercommunicating organs and cell types, and because the human system is probably the best understood eukaryote system.
We will not study biological information (#6 above) in depth since most of you will cover that in your Biology courses, particularly genetics.
First, we will start with the basic requirements of an idealized, simplest life form and ask why life should use the particular atoms and molecules we see dominating in living organisms.
The following observations may be made regarding the elements of life:
Life is largely a phenomena of hydrogen and the second period of the Periodic Table. That is, the major component elements (red) in all known organisms are from these periods. Why these four elements?
- First, we might observe that H, O, N, and C are the smallest elements capable of forming 1, 2, 3, and 4 bonds respectively. Smallest is important because that means they can form the strongest most stable covalent bonds. So these atoms are going to be capable of forming some of the most stable molecules, an important consideration for something that needs to grow and reproduce in a hostile environment.
- C is particlarly noteworthy because it forms strong, stable bonds with itself. As a result it can form the backbone of large chain and branched structures, a unique charecter among the elements.
- Second, C, N, and O are also the only elements capable of forming strong multiple bonds (carbon and nitrogen can form triple bonds, all three can form double bonds).
Last modified 23 January 2013