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Unit Bio Chemistry

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Unit: Biochemistry



Big Idea:

Biological systems utilize free energy and molecular building blocks to grow, to reproduce, and to maintain dynamic homeostasis.


Enduring Understanding:

2.A.1: All living systems require constant input of free energy. 

2.A.2: Organisms capture and store free energy for use in biological processes.

3.A.1: DNA, and in some cases RNA, is the primary source of heritable information.

4.A.1: The subcomponents of biological molecules and their sequence determine the properties of that molecule.

4.A.2: The structure and function of subcellular components, and their interactions, provide essential cellular processes.  


Required Reading:

  • Campbell: Chapter 2, 3, 4, 5, 8


    • Free Energy Pogil Activity

    • Oenology Case Study 


Learning Objectives:By the end of this unit, you should be able to.... 


Describe the three subatomic particles and their significance. (Ch 2)

2. Compare and contrast the types of chemical bonds and their relative strengths. (Ch 2)
3. Explain the importance of hydrogen bonding to the properties of water. (Ch 3.1)
4. Provide examples for the major properties of water (cohesion, heat of vaporization, density, polarity) and explain how they help to support life on Earth. (Ch 3.2)
5. Explain how acidic and basic conditions affect living organisms on Earth. (Ch 3.3)
6. Use Stanley Miller's experiment to explain the importance of his finding and the implication it has on the origin of organic molecules. (Ch 4.1)
7. Use structural formula, molecular model, or Lewis dot structure to demonstrate how carbon form diverse molecules. (Ch 4.2)
8. Compare and contrast between isotopes and isomers. (Ch 4.2)
9. Identify the chemical groups (functional groups) when you see them in biomolecules and be able to understand its possible interaction based on the properties of the specific group. (Ch 4.3)
10. Recognize the ATP molecules explain its importance in biological process. (Ch 4.3)

Compare the synthesis and decomposition of biological macromolecules. (Ch 5).

12. How does the structure of  X (all four of the macromolecules and its constituents) influence the function of those molecules. (Ch 5).
13. Explain why lipids are useful in biological systems if most of the chemistry in life occurs in aqueous solution. (Ch 5)
14. Explain why starch is easily digestible but cellulose is not. (Ch 5)
15. Explain how the sequence of amino acids in a protein determines each level of that protein's structure. (Ch 5).

Explain how the condition of the environment that a protein is in affect the structure and function of the protein. (Ch 5).


Describe the relationship between the structure and function of enzymes. (Ch 5)


Explain how environmental conditions can affect enzyme function. Provide examples. (Ch 5)


Explain how enzymes accomplish biological catalysis. Provide examples. (Ch 5)


Describe how enzyme-mediated reactions can be controlled through competitive and non-competitive interactions. (Ch 5)

21. Propose experimental design by which the rate of enzyme function can be measured and studied. (Ch 5)
22. Define metabolism and explain the difference between anabolic and catabolic pathway. (Ch 8)
23. Compare and contrast kinetic and potential energy. (Ch 8)
24. Be able to use free energy concept to determine the spontaneity of a reaction (ex: photosynthesis & respiration). (Ch 8)
25. Provide examples for functions that cells can perform that require energy. (Ch 8 )
26. Identify and describe an ATP molecule and how it couples exergonic reactions to endergonic reactions. (Ch 8)
27. Explain energy coupling. (Ch 8)
28. Create a model that demonstrate molecules that make-up the ATP molecule, and where the bond breaks. (Ch 8)
29. Explain how enzyme speeds up metabolic reaction in terms of activation energy and free energy. (Ch 8)
30. Interpret a reaction graph when enzyme is used to speed up the reaction. (Ch 8)
31. Provide examples for factors, aids, inhibitors, that can affect the rate of enzyme reaction and be able to provide example for some enzymes listed in the book. (Ch 8)
32. Be familiar with some important human enzymes that functions in our body. (Ch 8)
33. Explain how regulation of enzyme activity help control metabolism. (Ch 8)
34. Explain allosteric regulation and compare the difference between allosteric activator and allosteric inhibitor. (Ch 8)
35. Explain how hemoglobin shows cooperativity. (Ch 8)





Below is a list of vocabularyterms used in this unit. By the end of the unit, you will be able to write a working definition of each term and correctly use each term. 


matter element compound
essential element trace element neutron
proton electron atomic number
atomic mass isotope electron shells
energy potential energy valence electron
molecule electronegativity nonpolar
polar anion cation
hydrogen bond van der Waals interactions chemical equation
dynamic equilibrium cohesion adhesion
surface tension specific heat evaporation
heat of vaporization hydrophobic hydrophilic
acid base pH
hydrocarbon isomer enantiomers
functional group macromolecules polymer
monomer hydrolysis dehydration synthesis
carbohydrate disaccharide monosaccharide
-ose glycosidic linkage polysaccharides
lipids glycerol  unsaturated
saturated trans sis
protein amino acids R-group
peptide bond polypeptide (levels of protein structure)
denaturation chaperonins nucleic acids
DNA RNA directionality 
antiparallel metabolism
catabolic spontaneous process free energy
endergonic exergonic ATP
energy coupling catalyst activation energy
enzyme substrate induced fit
cofactors coenzymes competitive inhibitors
non competitive inhibitors allosteric regulation cooperativity





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