Dr. Terry L. Helser, Professor of Chemistry
227 Physical Sciences Building, Oneonta, NY 13820-4015
Phone: (607)436-3518 or Email to:
Study Guide - Biochemistry, The Molecular Basis of Life, 4th Ed., 2009, T. & J.R. McKee (Oxford Univ. Press)
Chapter 1: Biochemistry & Cells

You can go back to the Fall, Spring or Summer schedules, to information on the lab , to the extra credit puzzles , or leave me a message

How do the following principles simplify the study of biochemistry?
    1. Evolution of all organisms occurred from a single, primordial "cell."
    2. Life obeys the laws of physics and chemistry, for example entropy and "organic" chemistry.
    3. Major macromolecules are polymers (amino acids » proteins, nucleotides » nucleic acids, sugars » polysaccharides, isoprene » simple lipids).
    4. DNA, that is genetic information, in any organism is finite.
    5. Multiple functions have evolved for each subunit. (What functions does ATP have, alone or as modified (cAMP, for example)?)
What are monomers? polymers? Give biochemical examples.

What are catalysts? Which came first, DNA, RNA or protein?

How do prokaryotes differ from eukaryotes? How are they similar? How does the division of life into the domains of Archaea, Eukarya and Bacteria relate to these divisions? What key features characterize each?

Develop a diagram showing how eukaryotes, prokaryotes, archaebacteria, mitochondria, eubacteria, cyanobacteria, extremophiles, plants, animals, fungi, protists and chloroplasts are related.

Diagram the hierarchy of organization required to go from simple molecules like amino acids and sugars to an organism like a human being.

What are functional groups in biochemistry? Which are vital to the structure of each category of small, building blocks in cells? In other words, which are found in sugars, fatty acids, amino acids and nucleotides?

What is a major function of each class of molecules in cells?

List the major types of reactions found in biochemistry, and give an example of each.

What has to be continually obtained by living organisms to create and maintain their ordered metabolic processes? How does this relate to the physical law of entropy?

Who is a heterotroph and an autotroph? Which came first? What happened when photosynthesis evolved?

What is the genetic code? What two types of macromolecule are involved?

What four basic themes do all cells share? What does each mean for life?

What three cellular shapes occur in prokaryotes?

List as many organelles or structures as you can in a typical prokaryote, and match each with a function.

Match a function with each of the major organelles in a plant or animal cell. Note especially the peroxisome for laboratory work.

What is the fluid mosaic model, and what structure has this?

How do materials get into cells? How do they get out? What structures/organelles are involved?

How did mitochondria and chloroplasts evolve? Are cilia similar? What is the endosymbiont theory of organelle evolution? How did the first cells evolve?

How are the structures of mitochondria and chloroplasts similar? Why are they similar? How do they differ?

What techniques are used to fractionate cell parts? Read over Biochemical Methods 2.1.

Do the end of chapter 1. review questions 1-3. 7. 8. 12. 14. 16. 18. 19. 21. 22. 24. 30. 32. 34. 37.

Would you like to go to the top of this page, or back to the Chem330 or Dr. Helser 's home page?

If you have questions or comments, write the:

  Author of this page: Terry Helser -
  Web Coordinator: Philip S. Bidwell -
Or return to the SUNY @ Oneonta Home Page to see where we live and work.
  Last Modified on 7/16/2008

Made on a Mac Made with Mac OS