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Unit of study_

CHEM2523: Chemistry of Biological Molecules

All known life is based on four extraordinary families of molecules: carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and the nucleic acids. While the chemistry of these molecules within living cells is the subject of biochemistry, this unit of study explores the chemistry beyond that of normal biological function to provide the foundations for drug design, development of bio-sensors and programmed self-assembly. This unit of study will cover the fundamental chemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. You will learn about the spontaneous organisation of these molecules into larger structures - globular proteins, DNA helices, and lipid membranes - and the new properties that emerge as a result. You will explore how metal ions interact with proteins to produce a variety of catalytic and molecular binding sites. Powerful modern techniques such as fluorescence and cryo-electron microscopy will be explained and their capacity to provide deeper insights in biological and medical applications explored. By doing this unit you will develop a fundamental understanding of the properties of biological molecules and a firm foundation for further studies in drug design, food and cosmetic science, advanced bio-sensing and the growing field of chemical applications based on biological materials. These same lectures are also covered in CHEM2533 Concepts in Chemistry of Biological Molecules but with the laboratory program replaced by a series of classroom workshops and assignments.

Code CHEM2523
Academic unit Chemistry Academic Operations
Credit points 6
(CHEM1111 or CHEM1911 or CHEM1991 or CHEM1011 or CHEM1101 or CHEM1901 or CHEM1903 or CHEM1001) and (CHEM1112 or CHEM1912 or CHEM1992 or CHEM1012 or CHEM1102 or CHEM1902 or CHEM1904 or CHEM1002)
CHEM2923 or CHEM2533 or CHEM2403 or CHEM2913

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understand and describe the chemistry of biological molecules.
  • LO2. ​Work safely and competently in a chemical laboratory
  • LO3. ​Communicate scientific information and laboratory findings effectively using a range of modes (written, oral, visual etc.) for a variety of audiences.​
  • LO4. ​Recognise the relevance of the chemistry of biological molecules to applications beyond the discipline of chemistry and articulate the social value of the subject.
  • LO5. ​Evaluate and interpret chemical data to resolve chemical questions and advance chemical inquiry​ into the the chemistry of biological molecules.
  • LO6. ​Work collaboratively and responsibly in data collection, analysis and communication.​