Chemistry 240 Spring 2018

Structure & Function of Biomolecules

Gatherings: Class: 8:00 - 9:00 am MWF Julian 374. Lab: 8:30 - 11:20 Th Julian 333


Office Info: JSMC 363 e-mail "hanson" Please feel free to drop by, or for more certainty, make an appointment if you have any questions or problems. E-mail is always welcome!

Grading: Grades will be calculated based upon exam scores, lab work and quizzes. There will be three 100 point midterm exams and a 200 point final. Weekly quizzes will be given on Fridays. Details about how I grade are available at the Class Policies and Grading page. It is your responsibility to know them.

Assignments & Reading: Problems will be assigned but will not be turned in or graded. However, the material in the problem sets will appear on the quizzes and exams.

Digital Etiquette: Do not use your phone during class to send or read texts, catch up on e-mail, chat etc. Professors, and everyone around you, find it very distracting when you are using these items. If you cannot keep your eyes off of these devices, please skip class and study elsewhere. Don't kid yourself – you are not getting anything out of the class when you read or send a text every few minutes. The university does use our mobile devices to notify us in an emergency. If that happens, it should be obvious, since they will all buzz within a few seconds.

Other Important Stuff:

Course Content Goals

  • Understand how the structure of a biomolecule affects its function in a living system.
  • Know the structural features, behavior, properties and corresponding functions of the "big four": proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids.
  • Understand the relevance and be able to apply the concepts of organic chemistry in the realm of much larger biomolecules.
  • Understand the multiple scales and overall integration and coordination of the chemical processes typically occuring in cells.
  • Become familar with both the practice and theory behind the most common biochemical lab procedures.

Course Process Goals

  • Learn to "think like a biochemist".  This is distinct from how other branches of chemistry might look at the same system due primarily to scale and complexity.
  • Work on visualization skills.
  • Learn to use the language and jargon of biochemistry appropriately.
  • Learn the laboratory and troubleshooting skills unique to biochemical lab procedures.
  • Continue to develop all those supporting skills (critical thinking, problem solving, clear writing, record keeping, computer use etc) that scientists need in good measure.

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