Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedGippsland First semester 2015 (Day)
Malaysia First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Jenny Mosse (Gippsland); Dr Ton So Ha (Malaysia)


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 be able to:

  1. Discuss the buffering mechanisms that operate in biological systems;

  1. Recognise the role of non-covalent interactions in the maintenance of tertiary and quaternary conformation of biological macromolecules;

  1. Explain the connection between protein structure and function;

  1. Discuss strategies for the isolation and purification of proteins from biological samples;

  1. Discuss the principles of storage and transmission of genetic information and describe control mechanisms which operate at the level of gene expression;

  1. Use spectrophotometric methods to assay biological molecules in solution;

  1. Analyse and interpret laboratory data and present in an appropriate format.


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

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


CHM1011 or CHM1051, plus one of BIO1011, BIO1022 or BIO1722