Study the Molecules that Living things are Made of.
All life is made up of molecules: chemicals that are constantly changing. This course develops a foundation for understanding those life forming chemicals.
Together with our other biochemistry courses, this lays a foundation that is comparable with what you might learn in the first year of a university of college program.
- Work in Fitness, Health, Horticulture, Agriculture, Food Processing, Scientific Research, Education, Veterinary and other industries.
- Learn from university trained tutors who have worked in the real world, and applied their biochemical knowledge in real life situations
- Our style of education is unique, not only raising your understanding of biochemistry, but developing your understanding of commercial applications; and setting a foundation that can be grown in whatever direction you need to grow it. When you have a solid foundation like this, it will become easier understand unforseen things you encounter as the years go by after you complete your studies.
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Introduction to Biochemical Molecules
- What is Biochemistry?
- Cells – Prokaryote Cells, Eukaryote Cells, Viruses and Prions
- Biomolecules – Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Nucleic Acids, Vitamins and Co-enzymes, Hormones and Nuerotransmitters
- Metabolic Processes – Catabolism and Anabolism
- Amino Acids
- Amino Acids – Biochemical Nomenclature
- Amino Acid Properties – Acidic and Basic, Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic, Polarity of the Side Chain, Amino Acid Polarity and Non-standard Amino Acids
- Genetic Coding of Amino Acids
- Structure of Proteins
- Proteins Functions
- Protein Structure – Primary Structure, Secondary Structure, Tertiary Structure, Quaternary Structure
- Fibrous Proteins – Collagen, Elastin, Keratin, Globular Proteins, Albumin
- Cofactors and Conformation
- Post-Translational Modifications
- Protein Denaturation
- Protein Degradation
- Protein Dynamics
- Protein Folding
- Molecular Chaperones
- Heat Shock Proteins – HSP90, HSP70, HSP60, Small Heat Shock Proteins
- The Importance of Understanding Protein Structure
- Structural Evolution of Proteins
- Dynamics of Haem Proteins – Haemoglobin Co-operativity
- Sugars and Polysaccharides
- Saccharides – Monosaccharides, Oligosaccharides, Polysaccharides, Lectins
- Polysaccharide Bonds
- Polysaccharide Function – Classification of Monosaccharides, Ring or Chain Types, Complex Sugars
- Monosaccharides – Glucose, Fructose, Galactose
- Disaccharides – Sucrose, Maltose, Lactose
- Polysaccharides – Starch, Dextrin, Glycogen, Cellulose
- Lipids (Fats) and Membranes
- Lipids – Fatty Acids, Tryacilglicerols, Neutral Lipids, Phospholipids, Glycolipids, Terpenoids
- Cellular Membranes
- Enzymes, Vitamins and Hormones
- Enzymes - Coenzymes
- Vitamins – Vitamin Classification, Reviewing Vitamin C
- Hormones – Plant Hormones
- DNA and RNA
- Nucleic Acids – Structure of DNA, Types of RNA
- DNA Replication
- Interesting facts about DNA
- Labratory Techniques
- Laboratory Health and Safety
- Common Experimental Methods – DNA Methods, Protein Methods, General Methods
- Describe the characteristics of a range of biochemical molecules
- Distinguish between different groups of biochemical molecules.
- Describe the structural characteristics and other properties that differentiate standard amino acids one from another.
- Discuss structures of different proteins (both covalent and 3-dimensional).
- Describe common protein dynamics including folding, structural evolution and haemoglobin function.
- Describe the structure and dynamics of different types of saccharides and polysaccharides.
- Discuss the composition and structure of both lipids and membranes.
- Describe the structure and dynamics of different types of enzymes, vitamins and hormones.
- Describe the structure and function of different types of nucleic acids including DNA and RNA.
- Identify some of the basic laboratory techniques used in biochemistry and to appreciate the importance of safety in the laboratory.
What are Living things Made of?
Living organisms exhibit a high degree of order. This order is expressed as organized structures that contain the different processes that make up life. If these organized structures are lost, life is threatened or ends. The body is made up of organs, which are made up of tissues which are made up of cells, which are made up of molecules. Cells are the ‘building blocks’ of all living beings, they are the basic organized structure that can sustain itself. All cells consist of liquid medium called cytoplasm contained inside a double layered fatty membrane, known as the plasma membrane. In plants, this is surrounded by a tough protective outer layer known as the cell wall.
Life manifests itself as a continuous flow of molecules from one state to another, and as connectivity, where every molecule connects to others to allow that flow to occur. Life is therefore a number of ongoing processes such as propagation, metabolism, response to environmental influences, evolution, etc. Molecules make up organelles and cells. Different cells and different cell groups fulfil different functions. Every function is therefore performed through the flow of molecules from cell parts and cell groups to other cell parts and cell groups, connecting them. That is the way communication occurs within the parts that make up an organism.
There are two types of cells – Prokaryote cells and Eukaryote cells. The major and extremely significant difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is that eukaryotes have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, while prokaryotes do not.
In this way we can see that the cell as we know it now evolved from simple structures to higher levels of organization in a very energy-saving manner, integrating already existing structures instead of evolving completely new ones, which is something that rarely happens in nature. Thus, the organelles of eukaryotes allow them to exhibit much higher levels of organization expressed as intracellular division of labour than is possible in prokaryotic cells. This sounds like a winning situation, however, prokaryotes, having a simpler structure and makeup are often able to survive in amazingly harsh conditions, to adapt to new conditions and to mutate to combat threats (antibiotic resistance for example).
All cells are made of molecules; and all molecules are made up of atoms.
This course focuses on learning more about the molecules that make up living things.