Highlights Lecture #1 Spring 2017

Highlights Introductory Material

1. All students need to read the course syllabus. You can download it from the Canvas Home page.

2. Biochemistry as a science is relatively new, at least in its present form.

3. Our understanding of the basis of life has evolved from examining the organism as the foundation of life down to cells, then down to organelles, and finally down to molecules.

4. Molecules are the foundation of life and are the basis of molecular biology.

5. Prokaryotes (bacteria) differ from eukaryotes in the strucdture of their cells. Eukyaryotes have organelles and prokaryotes do not.

6. All prokaryotes are unicellular. Eukaryotes include unicellular organisms, such as yeast, and multicellular organisms, such as dog, cats, plants, humans, and more.

7. Eukaryotic organelles have specialized functdions. The nucleus holds DNA, chromosomes, and RNA. The mitochondrion is involved in energy production. The chloroplast is involved in photosynthesis in plants. Other organelles have other functions.

8. In this class, we will consider three classes of macromolecules – nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates.

9. Building blocks of the macromolecules in #8 respectively as nucleotides, amino acids, and sugars.

10. Of the building blocks, the most diverse ones chemically are the amino acids.

11. There are 20 amino acids in proteins.

12. Structure is essential for function. We will talk about structure with an aim to understanding function.

13. Enzymes can speed reactions ENORMOUSLY. The key to this ability is their flexibility.

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