Humans adapt to technology very easily. We can drive cars without knowing what’s under the hood. We can use computers and smartphones much the same way. Among all the different pieces of technology used by us, an obvious but often overlooked example is that of our own body. Not many of us think about the Biochemistry that is always taking place in our body.
This course will link everyday experiences with topics that lie at the core of Biochemistry.
By studying how our body transforms sugars, fats, and the proteins, we will follow the transformations of the food stuffs in our breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We will read lectures from Nobel Laureates, we will peer into the active sites of enzymes, and we see how modern medicine deals with things going wrong.
- Lecture 0
- Lecture 1
- Lecture 2
- Lecture 3
- Lecture 4
- Lecture 5
- COURSE EVALUATION
- Lecture 6
- Lecture 7
- Lecture 8
Some organic chemistry.
This course will taught in an essay-type format on Reddit.
At its core Biochemistry really deals with two direct yet deceptively simple questions. These are: (1) where did it come from, and (2) where does it go?
Lecture 1 -- The hemoglobin-oxygen complex: We will use the two core biochemical questions to interrogate the hemoglobin-oxygen complex. We will touch upon heme biosynthesis and breakdown, oxygen transport to the cells, and the expression and degradation of proteins.
Lecture 2 -- The Electron Transport Chain and Oxidative Phosphorylation: We will trace the source of electrons that are added to oxygen to generate water. We will also learn how a gradient of protons is converted into ATP.
Lecture 3 – Structures: We will focus on the structures of FADH2 and NADH. We will also play close attention to the structures of folate, guanine, adenine, uracil, thymine, cytosine, thiamine and pyridoxine. We will bank on the knowledge of these structures for the familiarity we need as we journey deeper into Biochemistry.
Lecture 4 – The high-carb meal: We will eat a high carbohydrate meal, (in our imaginations) and then we will herd the carbons of glucose down the glycolysis pathway, and around the TCA cycle. Then, we will travel with these electrons up the Electron Transport Chain, all the way to oxygen, to make water.
Lecture 5 -- Glycogen and Fatty Acids: We will store some carbohydrates as glycogen, and we will funnel some of the carbon from carbohydrates into fatty acids. We will also study glycogen breakdown and fatty acid breakdown.
Lecture 6 – The high-fat, high-cholesterol meal: We will eat a 4-egg cheese omelet (again in our imaginations) and learn how lipids are digested, how they are packaged and shipped into the blood stream. We will also travel on a few different lipid cargo-ships in our blood stream.
Lecture 7 – The all-meat meal. We will study protein digestion, and the urea cycle. By now, all of us should be experts at herding carbons into the TCA cycle.
Lecture 8 – Purines and Pyrimidines: We will ask the two core biochemical question to the molecules that make up our DNA. Understandably, in cancerous tissues these biosynthetic pathways work overtime, and we will see how some anticancer treatments are based on chemically inhibiting these pathways.
GENERAL DISCLAIMER: This aim of this course is to provide an overview of Biochemistry, and to convey its importance to a general audience. Selected topics from Biochemistry are presented to the best of my own ability and current understanding. However, it is possible that some of my presentations may not fit with what is commonly accepted. In those cases, the student is to give less importance to my presentations, and to give more importance to the concepts that fit with what is commonly accepted. This is an evolving course, and I appreciate feedback.
PhD, Medicinal Chemistry.