alpha-cobratoxinBiochemistry 352 - Syllabus Fall 2010

Last Modified 6 Sept 2010

Week

Lectures (T & Th 10:30 - 11:50 am)

Reading

Lab

Q
A D

PS
A D

P
A  D

1.

9/7

General Review; Energy

           

 

 
 

9/9

Enzyme Structures and Mechanisms

9

     

*    

     

2.

9/14

Regulation of Enzymes & Pathways

10

             
 

9/16

Carbohydrates and Empty Calories

11

       

*

   

3.

9/21

Regulating Glycolysis and Gluconeogenesis

16.0-16.3

 

*

         
 

9/23

Regulating Carbohydrate Metabolism

16.4, 21.5

   

*

   
*

 

4.

9/28

Mitochondria, Chloroplasts and Other Parasites

18.0-1,19.0-1

         

 

 
 

9/30

The Citric Acid Cycle

17.1-17.2

*

   

*

     

5.

10/5

Oxidative Phosphorylation

18.0-18.3

             
 

10/7

Oxygen Toxicity

       

*

   

6.

10/14

The World's Smallest Motor

18.4

             

7.

10/19

Regulating Oxidative Phosphorylation

17.3-4, 18.5-6

 

*

         
 

10/21

The Other Functions of Mitochondria

 

*

 

     
*

8.

10/28

Werewolves, Vampires and Oxygen Metabolism

               

 9.

11/2

Fat: Was Atkins Right?

12.0-12.2
         
*
 

11/4

Lipids and Phospholipids

12.3-12.6

 

*

   

*

   

10.

11/9

Lipid and Steroid Synthesis

26.1-26.4

   

*

       
 

11/11

More Fat

22.0-22.3

             

11.

11/16

Regulation  and Disorders of Lipid Metabolism

22.4-22.6
             
 

11/18

Membrane Transport and signaling

13.0-13.2

         
 

12.

11/23

Orderly Membranes and Transport

13.3-13.4

             

13.

11/30

More Transport, Less Order

13.5-13.6

*

   

*

     
 

12/2

Signal Transduction Pathways

14
           
*

14

12/7

Protein Induction, Degradation, and Doom

23.1-23.2

 

*

   

*

   
 

12/9

Protein Metabolism
23.3-23.6
   

*

       

15.

12/14

 
             

Legend: Numbers in bold are chapters in Berg et al.; numbers in parentheses refer to additional readings; * = Assignment dates; Q = Quiz; PS = Problem Set; P = Paper; A = Assigned date ; D = Due date; + Final lab report due 12/22/06; Colored bands indicate assignment duration and are probably completely incomprehensible.

Text: Biochemistry, 6th ed. J. Berg, J. Tymoczko and L. Stryer. 2006, W. H. Freeman and should be completed by the dates shown. Additional readings from the current literature also will be assigned.

Course Topic: The topic for BCH352 this year will be energy. More precisely, how do our bodies obtain energy, and how do they control our energy use? How does our energy use affect how energetic we feel?(Examples: Why is it so hard to get up in the morning, especially when you didn’t make it to bed the night before? Why are some people more energetic than others, and why are they always so obnoxious about it? How can we feel more energetic, like those people?) We will also examine the relationship between energy use and obesity, and the theories for why obesity has increased at such an alarming rate over the last ten years. (Currently, almost two thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and obesity has passed tobacco the leading cause of preventable death in the . The National Institutes of Health has proposed that obesity be considered an epidemic.) We will examine how our body mass is controlled (or not controlled), and what some of the various diet plans (Atkins, Long Beach, USDA-CNP, etc.) claim is wrong with our diet, and why following their plan will correct the dietary imbalance that causes weight gain.

Paper Topics:
Paper 1; Describe one of the following theories; (1) the CORR Hypothesis, (2) the mitochondrial theory of aging, (3) the cancer-inhibitory role of mitochondrial respiration.  Give evidence from the scientific literature that supports this theory, and evidence against it.  Explain why or why not, you are inclined to favor or reject the theory.

Paper 2; Describe one of the following areas of research; (1) The lipostatic theory states that our BMI is set, i.e., that our body balances our metabolism and our food consumption to maintain a fixed BMI.  What evidence is there that supports this theory? Does the current obesity epidemic disprove this theory? (2) The inhibitors of fatty acid synthase both slow tumor growth and causes dramatic wieight loss. What is the mechanism for each of these effects? Could such compounds have application as cancer treatments, dieting aids, or both? Explain why or why not, supporting your position with evidence from the scientific literature. (3) There are an increasing number of reports that suggest that the obesity epidemic may be due, at least in part, to a bacterial infection. What is the evidence for this? Do you think this is the primary cause of the epidemic, a minor contributor, or just wishful thinking?

Presentations: During the semester you will each give a brief presentation (10 minutes) on a topic related to the area of study.  Presentations will be evaluated on the content and how it is presented.

Quizzes, Problem Sets and Class Problems:Quizzes will be in class or on Moodle, and problem sets will be on Moodle. They are all open book and notes. I encourage you to work together on the problem sets, as these will be directed more toward the "big issues," and the questions will allow more speculative answers.  We will also consider problems in class, usually as small groups.  Problem sets are due one week after their assignment. Quiz questions will be more narrowly focused and require more precise answers.  Quizzes should take about 1 hour to complete, and must be done separately, without collaboration, and when on Moodle, within 24 hours of their posting. 

Grades: Your grade will be based on the following:

  1. 10% Class/group participation
  2. 10% Presentations (1)
  3. 40% Quizzes (4)
  4. 20% Problem Sets (4)
  5. 20% Papers (2) (3~5 pages each)

Late work policy:It is important that your time be spent on the topics we are studying. After their due dates assignments become progressively less relevant, until finally they are simply distractions - providing lots of angst and guilt but having very little educational value. If a particular due date conflicts with other obligations, or if for other reasons you cannot turn in work by or before its due date, talk to me (before the date the work is due), and we can try to make other arrangements. Late work (without a previous arrangement with me) will be penalized by (2 n)% of its total value, where "n" is the number of days late (including weekends and vacations). The objective of this rather complicated policy is to minimize the penalty for work that is only slightly late, but to increase the penalty as the work becomes more overdue, and less relevant to what we are studying at the time. Note that work turned in more than a week late will actually subtract from your grade!

Where to find me:
David Bickar
Ford Hall 205B
tel. 585-3837 (Don't depend on PhoneMail)
e-mail mailto:dbickar@science.smith.edu

Office Hours:

Click on my schedule to see when I am where, but the relevant part is probably shown below;

Office Hours: Wed. 1:00 - 2:30, Thurs. 3:00 - 4:00 (Or by appointment)

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