CHE 255                                                          Biochemistry                                                          Fall 2005

Instructor: Jeff Dahlseid, Ph.D.                                                                             Class: MTWF 11:30-12:20
Office: Nobel 221C, Phone: x6129                                                                             Classroom: Nobel 222
E-mail:                                                                                 Laboratory: Nobel 207
Class URL:                     Office hours: M 2:30, W 9:00, F 1:30
Texts: Chemistry 255 - Biochemistry Lab Manual
Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Nelson & Cox, 4th Ed., 2005, Freeman, NY, NY

Description and Course Outline:
        Biochemists study the molecular basis for the functioning of living systems, including the structures, chemical properties, physical interactions, and biological functions of biochemicals. Yet biochemistry is more than that. Authors of our textbook write that biochemistry's "ultimate concern is with the wonder of life itself." (pp. 3) Biochemistry is surely an exciting and integrative field of study. The four types of macromolecules central to biochemistry are called proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates. This semester you will discover these and a host of other biomolecules, be exposured to techniques and principles for biochemical investigation, and gain insight into the significance of biochemistry as part of our effort to understand the living world.
        In this course, we will study proteins, their building blocks, structure, and folding. We will learn about nucleic acids, their structure, building blocks, and how these molecules store genetic information. A case study of the proteins involved in oxygen binding and transport, including their physiological context, will serve to illustrate the relationship between protein structure and function. We will extend these ideas by considering enzymatic catalysis and kinetics of biochemical reactions. We will study lipids and the associations that give rise to membranes, the principal biological barrier. Consideration of biosignaling processes will help us appreciate the control of the metabolic processes we will study. An introduction to bioenergetics and carbohydrates will precede a study of energy metabolism including glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation. Examples of the mechanisms of protein catalysis and of the mechanisms regulating protein function will be integrated into the material.

Course Objectives:
        This course aims to integrate class and laboratory learning of biochemistry. Although a course in biochemistry necessarily involves learning new facts and laboratory techniques, my goal for this course is that you will come to appreciate the breadth of biochemistry and develop a solid background its fundamental principles and practices. Specifically, my objectives regarding content are that you:

        Laboratory is an integral part of this course. Our hands-on learning about biochemical investigations will focus upon protein enzymes and their activities, properties, and kinetics. Laboratory will also have an emphasis on scientific writing. For laboratory, my objectives are that you: Teaching approach:
        We will primarily use class time to engage in learning course material, and it is my hope that together we can cultivate an environment of active learning (including real discussion). Because of this approach and the challenging nature of the subject, you should expect effective learning to come from reading the text material for each class meeting ahead of time and preparing questions, points for clarification, or ideas for discussion in class. You are required to attend class, both physically and mentally, to give yourself every opportunity to learn the material. Repeated unexcused absences will be sufficient basis for a lower course grade. If you anticipate a valid excuse for being absent, please see me about being excused. In the event that you miss a class, you are responsible for understanding the material from class, including handouts, etc.
        We will use scheduled laboratory time to engage in hands-on learning about biochemical techniques and principles as well as to focus upon scientific writing. Coming prepared, as for class, is highly recommended. I believe this is so important that we will hold pre-laboratory meetings before each scheduled exercise. You are required to attend laboratory, both physically and mentally. Failure to do so will result in failure of this portion of the course. If your attendance is challenged by a crisis or emergency, please contact me as soon as possible. Arrangements will be made for valid circumstances.
        I welcome and encourage your participation in classroom and laboratory learning. Biochemistry is a rigorous topic and I expect everyone to work hard, but if you are having problems with the course please let me know. I am here to help you learn.

Academic honesty:
        It is my expectation and policy that you will participate in this class in an honest and honorable way; I will not tolerate academic dishonesty. While I encourage you to work together to learn biochemistry, the work you submit on behalf of an assignment or exam must be your own. Dishonesty includes plagiarism, which is presenting someone else's ideas or words as your own. It is your responsibility in all written work to credit sources from which you draw ideas and language (quotes are rare here) with proper referencing. Dishonesty also includes cheating on exams. Gustavus has an Honor Code and, by virtue of being a student here (as well as your signed agreement from course registration), you have agreed to uphold the Honor Code. In this course, you are required to sign the following statement for papers and exams (though it applies to all of your work): "On my honor, I pledge that I have not given, received, nor tolerated others' use of unauthorized aid in completing this work." Central to the code is non-tolerance for violations. Though you are not expected to police others' actions, under the code (and in this class), failure to report a violation of which you are aware also constitutes an honor code violation. Documented violations will result in a zero for the assignment in question, will be reported to the Dean's office, and may result in failure of the course. If you have questions concerning particulars of academic honesty, please see me.

Course Activities and Requirements:

Grading breakdown:              Article summaries (2 @ 30 pts)                 60
                                                    PE exercises (2 @ 20 pts)                             40
                                                    Midterm Exams (4 @ 100 pts)                    400
                                                    Comprehensive final exam                        100
                                                    Laboratory reports
                                                        Short reports (2 @ 20 pts)                         40
                                                        First draft full report                                 25
                                                        Final draft full report                                 75
                                                        Peer evaluation                                         30
                                                        Experimental investigation                     70
                                                    DAQs (3 @ 10 pts)                                         30
                                                   Laboratory Notebooks (2 @ 20 pts)             40
                                                                                                            Total       910

Final grades will be assigned according to a straight percentage scale. The following percentage scale will serve as a guideline for letter grade assignment:
                                                                                90-100% = A
                                                                                80 - 89% = B
                                                                                70 - 79% = C
                                                                                60 - 69% = D

Class e-mail policy: I use e-mail to help manage the course and field questions about the material, so I require that you use your Gustavus e-mail account. The advantages to this system include speed, avoided trips to Nobel Hall for simple questions, and a generally smoother running course. Here's the protocol. When you have questions, e-mail them to me. If your question is very specific, I will reply directly. If the question seems potentially interesting to the entire class, I will forward the question (anonymously) and my reply to the class. I will assume you do not object to sharing your question unless you specifically state so. I also encourage you to use the f-che-255 class alias to ask each other questions. As I may refer to e-mail questions in class and I use e-mail for general class announcements, I encourage you to check your e-mail before class. Campus rules for alias use apply and abuse will not be tolerated.

Feedback: I am very enthusiastic about being and becoming an outstanding educator, both for you and future students. I welcome constructive suggestions about how to improve class, my teaching, and the course. I expect to learn from you this semester how I might teach better. I invite you to discuss your suggestions with me in my office at any time.

 Students with disabilities: Appropriate accommodations will be made for students with specific, documented disabilities of a physical, psychiatric or learning nature. Related information will be kept strictly confidential. Please contact either me or Laurie Bickett (x7027) in Academic Advising if this applies to you.

Note this syllabus and schedule are subject to change at the instructor's discretion.