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BTH2741 - Biochemistry

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Ms Jenny Mosse


Gippsland First semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia First semester 2007 (Day)
Malaysia Second semester 2007 (Day)


The unit begins with an introduction to the cellular environment, considering the interactions that stabilise biological macromolecules and the maintenance of constant pH within cells and organisms. Next, a study the structure and function of proteins and biological membranes is undertaken, then the structure of nucleic acids and their packaging within cells is considered. This is followed by a study of the mechanisms of synthesis, modification and degradation of nucleic acids and proteins. The mechanisms that control these processes are emphasised. The subject concludes with a brief introduction to the techniques of genetic engineering and their applications.


On completion of this unit students will appreciate the role of water as the primary solvent in living systems; understand the buffering mechanisms which operate in biological systems; be able to categorise biological molecules according to their structural and chemical characteristics; appreciate the role of non-covalent interactions in the maintenance of tertiary and quaternary conformation of biological macromolecules; understand the biological actions of selected macromolecules, singly or as components of aggregates; understand the principles of storage and transmission of genetic information and understand the control mechanisms which operate at the level of gene expression. Students will acquire laboratory skills, including the accurate measurement of physical parameters; use spectrophotometric methods to assay biological molecules in solution and acquire skills in the handling and presentation of laboratory data.


Assignment work: 20%
Practical work: 30%
Examination (3 hours): 50%

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures per week, 36 hours of laboratory per semester.


BIO1722, CHM1011 or CHM1731


BCH2011, BTH2746