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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedGippsland First semester 2010 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2010 (Off-campus)
Sunway First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Jenny Mosse (Gippsland); Dr Ton So Ha (Sunway)


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, we will study the structure and function of proteins and the techniques for their isolation and purification. The composition of biological membranes and 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.


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; understand the control mechanisms which operate at the level of gene expression and discuss strategies for the isolation and purification of proteins from biological samples. 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%

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Jenny Mosse

Contact hours

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


CHM1011 and one of BIO1011, BIO1022 or BIO1722