Fundamentals of Biochemistry


Unit code: BIOL10551
Credit Rating: 10
Unit level: Level 1
Teaching period(s): Semester 1
Offered by School of Biological Sciences
Available as a free choice unit?: N

Requisites

None

Additional Requirements

A level Biology is strongly recommended.
 

Aims

•       To provide grounding in the basic principles of Biochemistry, which go well beyond the A-level Biology.

•       To provide a description of cell structure.

•       To show how biological information in nucleic acids is stored, replicated and translated into protein structure.

•       To explain the fundamentals of protein structure.

•       To show how proteins function, particularly as enzymes.

•       To demonstrate how energy stored in food can be converted to high-energy compounds capable of driving biochemical reactions.

Overview

This course unit provides a grounding in the basic principles of Biochemistry, which go well beyond A-level Biology. You will learn about the basic chemical properties of molecules that make life possible and how these properties relate to specific macromolecular structures and functions. Structural proteins, enzymes and macromolecular complexes as protein machines will be studied, as well as the functions of mitochondria in oxidative phosphorylation. The concept of food as a store of energy will be understood, including how this energy can be released during catabolism and how it can be stored during anabolism.

Learning outcomes

To understand: basic chemical properties of molecules that make life possible and how these properties relate to specific macromolecular structures and functions. Structural proteins, enzymes and macromolecular complexes as protein machines will be studied, as well as the functions of mitochondria in oxidative phosphorylation. The concept of food as a store of energy will be understood, including how this energy can be released during catabolism and how it can be stored during anabolism.

Assessment methods

  • Other - 10%
  • Written exam - 90%

Assessment Further Information

Consists of two parts: eLearning (Blackboard) assessment and exam. eLearning assessment (compulsory) will contribute 10% to the Unit mark. The exam will be 1 hour 45 minutes and composed of short answer questions, all of which are compulsory. Exam contributes 90% of the total mark.

Syllabus

Protein Structure and Function - Amino acids. Primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures. Examples of functional proteins. e.g. hemoglobin, collagen, ion channels. Introduction to carbohydrates and lipids

Enzymes - Discovery of enzymes, how enzymes work, kinetics, enzyme mechanisms

Cell Biology - Prokaryotes, eukaryotes, viruses, organelles, membranes, protein processing & trafficking

Bioenergetics - ATP, aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, oxidative phosphorylation, metabolic control

  Molecular Biology - DNA structure and replication, transcription, translation, genetic code, ribosome

Recommended reading

  • D Sadava, DM Hillis, HC Heller, MR Berenbaum. Life: The Science of Biology. Volume 1. (9th or 10th edition), W.H. Freeman.
  • J. Berg, T. Tymoczko and L. Stryer. Biochemistry (5th, 6th or 7th edition) W.H. Freeman

Optional Reading

  • B. Alberts, D. Bray, K. Hopkin, and A. Johnson. Essential Cell Biology. ( 3rd edition), 2009
  • D.L. Nelson, M.M. Cox, Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (4th edition), W.H. Freeman

Feedback methods

Feedback given after mid-semester optional mock-exam; Individual feedback on-line via 5 revision and 5 assessed sessions in Blackboard; general feedback post-exam.

e-Learning

5 nodes covering the material in the sections above, and providing further information, lecture notes, exercises and useful external web links. Each node also has around 15 revision (feedback will be given for each answer) and 5 assessed questions (without feedback for individual answers). Answering these questions is compulsory and will contribute to the Unit mark.

Study hours

  • Lectures - 22 hours
  • Independent study hours - 78 hours

Teaching staff

Alexander Golovanov - Unit coordinator

▲ Up to the top