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Unit Summary

Unit type

UG Coursework Unit

Credit points

12

AQF level

7

Level of learning

Intermediate

Unit aim

Provides an overview of general biochemistry to enable students to understand the role of chemical reactions in biological systems. Covers basic biochemical organisation and processes of the body, bioenergetics, selected metabolic pathways, and methods of separation and characterisation of molecules of biological interest.

Unit content

  • Review of organic functional groups, cellular structure and function, and properties of water
  • Amino acids and protein structure, function, biological roles, and metabolism
  • Enzymes, coenzymes, reaction kinetics
  • Metabolism and bioenergetics: Krebs cycle, electron transport chain and ATP synthesis
  • Carbohydrates: structure, function, biological roles, and metabolism
  • Lipids: structure, function, biological roles, and metabolism
  • Nucleic acids and protein synthesis

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

GA1: Intellectual rigour, GA2: Creativity, GA3: Ethical practice, GA4: Knowledge of a discipline, GA5: Lifelong learning, GA6: Communication and social skills, GA7: Cultural competence
On completion of this unit, students should be able to: GA1 GA2 GA3 GA4 GA5 GA6 GA7
1 Describe the organisation of living systems with emphasis on the chemistry of human physiological processes. Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
2 Describe the physical and chemical characteristics of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
3 Relate the chemical and structural characteristics of nucleic acids, protein, carbohydrate, and lipid molecules to their biochemical functions. Intellectual rigour Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
4 Discuss the kinetic and thermodynamic significance of protein enzyme catalysed reactions in living systems. Intellectual rigour Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
5 Describe and discuss the significance of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, gluconeogenesis, Krebs cycle, fatty acid synthesis and beta oxidation, in terms of intermediary metabolism and bioenergetics. Intellectual rigour Creativity Knowledge of a discipline
6 Use laboratory equipment, methods and techniques to separate, purify and characterise the biochemistry of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. Intellectual rigour

On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the organisation of living systems with emphasis on the chemistry of human physiological processes.
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  2. Describe the physical and chemical characteristics of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  3. Relate the chemical and structural characteristics of nucleic acids, protein, carbohydrate, and lipid molecules to their biochemical functions.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  4. Discuss the kinetic and thermodynamic significance of protein enzyme catalysed reactions in living systems.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  5. Describe and discuss the significance of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, gluconeogenesis, Krebs cycle, fatty acid synthesis and beta oxidation, in terms of intermediary metabolism and bioenergetics.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour
    • GA2: Creativity
    • GA4: Knowledge of a discipline
  6. Use laboratory equipment, methods and techniques to separate, purify and characterise the biochemistry of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.
    • GA1: Intellectual rigour

Prescribed texts

  • McMurry, J, Ballantine, DS, Hoeger, CA & Peterson, VE , 2013, Fundamentals of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry, 7th edn, Pearson Education Inc, USA.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.