Scope and Sequence for Biochemistry Unit


Combine the topics of evolution, cell biology, genetics and basic chemistry. Utilize comparative anatomy as a gross view of evolution and comparative molecular anatomy as the zoom view for evolution. (Computer analogy may be useful to focus in and out of the two facets of evolution.)


Combine the following topics to create the unit of study for Biochemistry:

The nature of the Carbon atom
      Bond angels/3D shape
       Types of Bonds/steric hindrance and electron dispersion
       R-chains/How they change the nature of the molecule
      Amino acids/fundamental units in living things.

      The nature of bonds: Ionic, covalent, polar covalent, hydrogen,
      and van der Waals.
             Concentration of electrons
             Attractive and repulsive factors
             Size/Steric hindrance
             Hydrophobic/Hydrophilic interactions

            Basic Composition
            Number of and types that exist
                   Formation from amino acids
                   Linear sequence
                   3D structures/protein folding
                   How? Hydrophobic/Hydrophilic interactions
                   Why? Efficiency/Entropy

           Work done by proteins in living organisms to sustain the organism
           Fundamental importance to variation within a species
           Genetic proteins G C A T U
           Genetic codes
           Genetic code disrupters
                   causes: environmental factors, evolutionary changes
                   effects: desired/homeostasis
                                not desired/disease, defects, death

The Basics of Variation Within Living Things.

Introduction: What makes you unique?

Bring in a collage of pictures of my/any family scanned onto a disc. Go back as far as possible. Allow students to laugh at the clothes and hairstyles while narrating familial distance to the person and reiterate the fact that these individuals were at the height of fasion.

Have each student assess there own family with themselves:

Concentrate on what you look like. Next, compare yourself with you parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. Of the following facial parts: nose, eye shape, eye color, eye brow shape, smile, tooth arrangement, outer ear shape, and chin, who in your family has similar looking features in comparison to you?10 minutes to asses then discuss.

Have each student compare themselves with the other students in the room. have them repeat the exercise to see if they can come up with any similarities. After 5 minutes they should be able to express that only the possession of a nose, eyes, chin, mouth and ears is what they have incommon.

Questions to pose:

If we are all people why don't we look more the same?
Why could we trace some of our features to another family member?
Why doesn't every family member show similarly expressed features?
If you couldn't trace one of your features back to another family member what could that mean? Look out for sorted stories about who's
a Player in the family!

Hook: Lead questions toward the possibility that something more is going on than           what we can see. If we can't see it how these variations are caused how do           we prove there is a mechanism for variation within all living things?

Visual: Create and present scanned images in a sequence going from large view to           small focus: people, to couple, to medical reproductive structures of each,           to sources of gametes, to gametes, to chromosomes, and to DNA. (for later           discussion continue sequence from DNA to proteins, proteins to amino acids,           and amino acids to basic chemical structures of amino acids)

Laboratory Exercise: Isolation of DNA from Duck Blood (proof.)
* Note: Use the from msoe with the web site at the end of it and add this information: If a small red clump ends up at the bottom of test tube
        #4 this will not affect your results. It is the white material we will          concentrate on for the DNA; the red spot is remaining garbage from the          lysing of the cell membrane. A pipet can be used to carefully remove the          spot, as well as, pull up DNA later.

Introduction: At this point in time, we have been made aware of DNA. We may         know a little bit about what it does, but those who worked on the "idea"
        of DNA had far less to go on.

Questions to pose:

Where would you start to unravel the mystery?
Remember that the scientists, Watson and Crick, had the work of other
scientists to draw on: Mendel's genetic experiments,


 MMD links