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Biochemistry, The Magic that Keeps Us Alive

Course enrollment will be available for this course once it is scheduled.

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Course Description

In this course, we will unveil the chemical “magic” that dictates when and how the human body behaves, in its everyday grind to keep us alive. Every biological process in our body, from the most basic function of glucose utilization to complicated pathways of drug metabolism, heavily depends on basic concepts of chemistry in order to function. Without understanding the chemical basis of these interactions, it is almost impossible to fathom the incredibly diverse processes that are constantly occurring in the body.

This course provides us an introduction to the chemical and cellular basis of biochemistry. We will first introduce basic organic chemistry such as the structure and function of functional groups such as alkanes, ketones and carbocyclic acid. By understanding these important properties student will be able to further understand the major chemical reactions that occur in the cell. We will then switch gears and focus on the structures, chemistry, and function of proteins, nucleic acids and amino acids, lipids and carbohydrates. We will then finish with how modifications to these processes occur as a means of regulation and disease states. Additional hands on experiments such as chromatography, DNA isolation and protein separation via gel electrophoresis will be performed to further your understanding of common biochemical tools.

By the end of the course, students will:

  • gain an understanding of the chemical basis behind biological systems
  • be able to make sense of various biochemical interactions
  • have the ability to take concise and accurate notes of lectures, and focus on the important aspects of what is being taught
  • develop critical thinking strategies from the assigned case studies that will require them to critically apply what they learn in lecture to a real life case study in which answers are not straightforward and requires certain degrees of thought. This will hone the student's abilities to apply basic knowledge to more advanced applications, which will prepare them for their college studies and professional careers.

One year of basic Chemistry and Biology is highly recommended.

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