Friday, October 9, 2009

Chem 391: Biophysical Chemistry

With registration fast approaching, we want all students aware that Chem 391: Biophysical Chemistry will be offered in the Spring '10 semester.  The prerequisite for the course is Chem 371: Physical Chemistry.  Historically, the course has been offered T and Th from 8-9:20.

Course Description:
Did you know that a single base-pair in DNA is hydrated by about 70 water molecules?  Or that high temperatures can unfold proteins, but cold temperatures can as well?  And what is up with A- or B- DNA and RNA?

In Chem 391: Biophysical Chemistry, you will have the opportunity to answer these questions and delve into others relating to the physical chemistry of nucleic acids, proteins, and membranes.  Chem 391:Biophysical Chemistry advances the thermodynamic topics you learned in Chem 126 and 371, which makes the course incredibly relevant to anyone interested in experimental biochemistry, biological chemistry, and physical chemistry.

The course is divided into two sections: the first two-thirds of the course involves lecture and group discussions while the remaining one-third of the course involves a research project.  The research project does not need a full-blown research proposal.  In the past, students have just selected topics from lecture and ran with their ideas in the lab.  Research projects have ranged from variants of the lysozyme experiments in Chem 357: Physical Chemistry Lab to predicting protein-protein binding energies using molecular dynamics simulation. The culmination of the course is a poster presentation of the class's research projects to the FNSM community.

If you have an interest in the course or want to know more about the course, don't hesitate to contact me.

Jeff Schwinefus

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