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Unit information: Biological Chemistry 1B: Powering Biomolecular Interactions in 2015/16

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Unit name Biological Chemistry 1B: Powering Biomolecular Interactions
Unit code BIOC10002
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Leo Brady
Open unit status Not open

Biological Chemistry 1A



School/department School of Biochemistry
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The overall aim of this unit is to extend training in the fundamental biomolecular concepts introduced in Biological Chemistry 1A. Specifically, the unit aims to provide coverage of the key concepts of biomolecular interactions. This includes ligand binding and enzyme catalysis, and the role of energy in driving biomolecular interactions including redox, photosynthetic and chemiosmotic concepts. In addition, the unit will also provide elementary training in mathematical techniques used in the analysis of biomolecular interactions. The unit also aims to familiarise students with the operation of academic biomolecular research practice including examples of current hot research topics, and to introduce elementary scientific writing skills. Together with Biological Chemistry 1A, the content of this unit provides a foundation for students going on to take all second year Biochemistry units and many other FMVS I-level units. The general aims of the unit are:

  • to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the key concepts describing and driving biomolecular interactions;
  • to familiarise students with basic mathematical operations used in biomolecular research;
  • to expose students to current biomolecular and biomedical research practice;
  • to provide opportunities for students to engage in a range of scientific writing styles.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  1. An understanding of the basic concepts surrounding ligand binding and enzyme catalysis;
  2. An appreciation for the different forms and role of energy in driving biomolecular interactions;
  3. Knowledge of how biomolecular interactions are driven by redox, photosynthetic, proton gradient and thermodynamic processes;
  4. Proficiency in the use of basic mathematical operations used in the analysis of biomolecular interactions.
  5. An ability to perform basic biochemical analyses and use simple laboratory apparatus, follow instructions and operate in a safe manner;
  6. Familiarity with the practice of biomolecular research within an academic environment;
  7. An ability to comprehend, communicate and explain scientific knowledge and research methods within the field of biomolecular research at an elementary level in writing.

Teaching Information

Lectures, small group tutorials, calculation workshop sessions, work shadowing and independent study. The e-Biolabs Dynamic Laboratory Manual provides important e-learning resource in advance of (and during) the workshop sessions. A small amount of pre-tutorial online material will be provided to assist students with tutorial work. Online self test questions within e-Biolabs. Breakdown of teaching delivery: 3 lectures per week for 9 weeks 2 practicals 5 workshops 2 tutorials Guided project work including work shadowing in research laboratory

Summative examination at end of unit

Assessment Information

Students will be: (i) continuously assessed in practicals (summative and formative, 10%) [ILOs 1-5]; (ii) will experience formative assessment within the unit, particularly in the five calculation workshops [ILOs 1-4] (iii) Students will be further assessed on this unit by 2 guided projects (each requiring submission of a 800-1000 word prepared essay (summative and formative, 20%) [ILOs 6 & 7] (iv) and an end of unit 2-hour written examination comprising MCQs, calculations and short answer questions (summative, 70%) [ILOs 1-4, 7].

Reading and References

Chemistry for the Biosciences, 2nd edition, J Crowe and T Bradshaw, Oxford 2010 The Molecules of Life, 1st edition, J Kuriyan, B Konforti and D Wemmer, Garland Science, 2013.