Fall 2017

Biochemical Principles of Life at the Molecular Level

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


Richard A. Aronson (Section 01)
Patricia B. O'Hara (Section 01)


(Offered as CHEM 330 and BIOL 330) 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.  A student may not receive credit for both CHEM 330 and BCBP/BIOL/CHEM 331.

Requisite:  BIOL 191 and CHEM  221.  Limited to 40 students with 20 students per discussion section.  Fall semester.  Professor O'Hara and Professor TBA.

If Overenrolled: Over-enrollment will be handled by permission of instructor; preference will be given to seniority.


Quantitative Reasoning


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016, Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022