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Course Information

Instructor Info:John Castorino
Office Extension x6239
TA Info:Rachel Keeney
Bea Carbone
Term: 2013F
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Cole Science Center 316
09:00 AM - 10:20 AM Cole Science Center 316

Biochemistry is the study of the molecules and chemical reactions of life. Considering the vast diversity of living organisms, one might also expect them to be composed of significantly different biomolecules, and to use unique mechanisms for obtaining energy and communicating different biological information. To the contrary, the principles and language of biochemistry are common to all life: in general, the same chemical compounds and the same metabolic processes found in bacteria exist in organisms as distantly related as whales. To fully appreciate life, people should consider their biochemistry. Classroom topics will include the structure and function of proteins and carbohydrates, metabolism and bioenergetics, but will not include nucleic acids. Prerequisite: none, but Organic Chemistry is desirable.

Evaluation Criteria:

Two major points will be used for evaluations: problem sets and participation in class discussions.

I guarantee you an evaluation if you (a) participate in all class sessions, (b) complete all homework assignments on time, and (c) post your questions to the forum every week and when appropriate respond to other students' questions.

Below is an approximate schedule and it is subject to change, particularly the problem sets. Adjustments will be announced in class.

You must come prepared to discuss the readings. You might do this by (a) completing the assigned readings by Tuesday, (b) taking notes while reading, (c) visiting the forum to post questions and answer questions.

In this course, students are expected to spend at least six to eight hours a week of preparation and work outside of class time. This time includes reading and completing problem sets and other assignments.

Additional Info:

The general layout of the course will be that we will have lectures on Thursdays and problem sets will be assigned. There will be an associated chapter from the book for each lecture; it is your choice to read the chapter before or after class, but come up with questions about the readings/lecture and address other students' questions about the chapter (Questions must be submitted to Moodle by 7AM every Monday).

Tuesdays, we will go over questions about the readings and go over the answers to the problem sets. Students will be predominantly responsible for providing the answers to the reading questions and problem sets, so be prepared!

Textbook: Essential Biochemistry, 2nd Edition by Charlotte W. Pratt & Kathleen Cornely. 2011. Wiley Press. (NOTE: There is a 3rd edition text out now.  I designated the 2nd edition in the course info, but if you got the 3rd edition, that is fine.  The chapters are identical and should not cause any problems.  It seems the biggest difference between the revisions is that the newer one has prettier pictures.)