Fall 2011

Biochemical Principles of Life at the Molecular Level

Listed in: Biology, as BIOL-330  |  Chemistry, as CHEM-330


Patricia B. O'Hara (Section 01)


What are the molecular underpinnings of processes central to life?  We will explore the chemical and structural properties of biological molecules and learn the logic used by the cell to build complex structures from a few basic raw materials. Some of these complex structures have evolved to catalyze chemical reactions with enormous degree of selectivity and specificity, and we seek to discover these enzymatic strategies. We will consider the detailed balance sheet that shows how living things harvest energy from their environment to fuel metabolic processes and to reproduce and grow.  Examples of the exquisite control that permits a cell to be responsive and adapt its responses based on input from the environment will be considered.  We will also consider some of the means by which cells respond to change and to stress.

Requisite:  BIOL 191 and CHEM  221.  Limited to 30 students.  Fall semester.  Professor O'Hara.

If Overenrolled: Seniority, necessary for major