Biochemistry Courses (biochemistry + course)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Purification of colored photosynthetic proteins for understanding protein isolation principles

M. Teresa Bes
Abstract The purification of a protein is the essential initial step in the study of its physical and biological properties and is one of the most common procedures in biochemistry. This article describes a method for teaching purification skills through the partial isolation of ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase and ferredoxin from a single cell batch. The method has been used for several years in an introductory biochemistry course using spinach leaves as cellular source. The protocol gives a complete picture of the preparation of a crude extract and the subsequent isolation of both electron transport proteins on a laboratory scale. It introduces students to the use of different techniques for the purification and detection of proteins and allows them to develop a number of valuable experimental and analytical skills without necessarily resorting to complicated or expensive equipment. [source]

The Relevance of student seminars on clinically related subjects in a biochemistry course for medical and nutrition students,

Marcelo Hermes-Lima
Abstract The aim of this study was to determine the value of a system of seminars on clinically related biochemistry topics for undergraduate students in medicine and nutrition at the University of Brasília, Brazil. During the second semester of 1998 (1998,2), the teaching staff decided to establish new and stricter rules for the seminar method and to adopt a system of peer tutoring, whereby former good to excellent students of the class Bioquímica e Biofísica helped in the planning and preparation of the oral presentations. The average performance grades for the seminars in the first semester of 1998 (1998,1) (7.19 ± 1.42) were significantly lower than those for the following semesters (ranging from 8.10 to 8.91), indicating some degree of success with the new system. We also conducted, by means of questionnaires, an evaluation (scores ranging from 0 to 4) of each student seminar (14 topics) in relation to the overall biochemistry learning experience connected to the clinical expectations of the students. All seminars but one averaged above 3.0. Moreover, when asked whether (i) the seminars were relevant to a more clinical approach to biochemistry and whether (ii) the oral presentations could be viewed as valid tools for the understanding of biochemistry, 96% (n = 188) and 80.6% (n = 150) of the students, respectively, answered, "yes." The students also scored the work of the peer tutors high (ranging from 3.38 to 3.90, out of 4). A seminar system for a clinically related biochemistry course may also open the minds of students about the relevance of biochemistry to their future medical or nutritional practices. [source]

The new biochemistry: in praise of alternate curricula

Ross S. Feldberg
Abstract The problem of what to include or exclude in designing a modern biochemistry course is becoming increasingly difficult to resolve. In this article, I suggest that the focus on which topics are to be covered is misplaced. Since factual information is rapidly forgotten, whereas skills can be retained, students would be better served if we designed our courses around those skill sets we desire our students to learn. © 2001 IUBMB. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. [source]

An analysis of the effectiveness of analogy use in college-level biochemistry textbooks

MaryKay Orgill
Science instructors and textbook authors often use analogies to help their students use information they already understand to develop an understanding of new concepts. This study reports the results of an analysis of the use of analogies in eight biochemistry textbooks, which included textbooks written for one-semester survey biochemistry courses for non-majors; two-semester courses for chemistry or biochemistry majors; and biochemistry courses for medical school students. We present an analysis of how analogies are used and presented in biochemistry textbooks, and we compare the use of analogies in biochemistry textbooks to the use of analogies in other science textbooks. We also compare the use of analogies in biochemistry textbooks with the factors known to promote spontaneous transfer of attributes and relations from analog concept to target concept. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 43: 1040,1060, 2006 [source]

Evaluation of software for introducing protein structure

Visualization, simulation
Abstract Communicating an understanding of the forces and factors that determine a protein's structure is an important goal of many biology and biochemistry courses at a variety of levels. Many educators use computer software that allows visualization of these complex molecules for this purpose. Although visualization is in wide use and has been associated with student learning, it is quite challenging to develop visualizations that allow students to interactively observe the effects of altered amino acid sequence on protein structure. A software simulation, the protein investigator (PI), has been developed to specifically facilitate this type of exploration. When using the PI, students enter or edit an amino acid sequence; the software then simulates its folding in two dimensions using the major forces involved in protein structure. This study explores freshman undergraduate students' use of visualization and simulation when learning about protein structure. It also evaluates some of the learning outcomes from these two approaches. Our results show that simulation leads to similar learning outcomes as visualization. Because simulation allows a more interactive exploration, a combination of the two approaches may be an effective approach to introducing the basic principles of protein structure. [source]

Teaching of biochemistry in medical school

A well-trodden pathway?
Abstract Biochemistry and molecular biology occupy a unique place in the medical school curriculum. They are frequently studied prior to medical school and are fundamental to the teaching of biomedical sciences in undergraduate medical education. These two circumstances, and the trend toward increased integration among the disciplines, have led to reconsideration of biochemistry instruction in many medical schools. We conducted a survey to explore the evolving trends in biochemistry education. A broad diversity was evident in parameters including course content, faculty, governance, prerequisites, and teaching methods. Notably, sharp differences were apparent between freestanding biochemistry courses and those in which biochemistry is integrated with other subjects. Furthermore, the data imply a likely trend toward increased integration of biochemistry with other disciplines in the medical school curriculum. [source]

Improvement of student understanding of how kinetic data facilitates the determination of amino acid catalytic function through an alkaline phosphatase structure/mechanism bioinformatics exercise,

Sandra K. Grunwald
Abstract Laboratory exercises, which utilize alkaline phosphatase as a model enzyme, have been developed and used extensively in undergraduate biochemistry courses to illustrate enzyme steady-state kinetics. A bioinformatics laboratory exercise for the biochemistry laboratory, which complements the traditional alkaline phosphatase kinetics exercise, was developed and implemented. In this exercise, students examine the structure of alkaline phosphatase using the free, on-line bioinformatics protein-modeling program Protein Explorer. Specifically, students examine the active site residues of alkaline phosphatase and propose functions for these residues. Furthermore, by examining the mechanism of alkaline phosphatase and by using the published kinetic data, students propose specific roles for several active-site residues. Paired t -test analysis of pre- versus postexercise assessment data shows that the completion of the exercise improves student's ability to use kinetic data correctly thereby determining a probable catalytic function for an active site amino acid. [source]