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Arts and Sciences Learning Objectives

Biochemistry

Educational Goals and Required Knowledge and Skills for Undergraduate Majors

General education goals

  1. Communication. The ability to write, display information, and orally communicate in a scientific format.

  2. Primary literature. The ability to search, read and understand relevant primary literature and databases.

  3. Understanding data. The ability to understand biochemistry data, and how it is produced, analyzed, and applied.

  4. Quantitative analysis. The ability to apply quantitative measurement and analytical laboratory techniques to scientific problems.

  5. Scientific method. The ability to develop a hypothesis, design experiments to test that hypothesis, execute experiments, interpret data, and refine a hypothesis in light of new data.

  6. Interdisciplinary nature of biochemistry. The ability to make connections between biochemistry and other computational, physical, chemical, and biological sciences.

  7. Critical evaluation. The ability to critique scientific claims in the technical and popular press with respect to accuracy, interpretation, and application.

  8. Integrity. The development of honesty, responsibility, and integrity with respect to the generation and interpretation of data as a scientist and as a citizen.

  9. Science and society. The development of a sense of responsibility for promoting education, diversity and functional literacy in science within the larger community.

Knowledge and skills requirements

In preparation for post-graduate work in science and health, biochemistry majors should know:

  1. Key chemistry concepts, including molecular structures, reactions, equilibria, thermodynamics and kinetics.

  2. The basic structures and functions of biomolecules, including proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates.

  3. The organization of the cell and the functions of key cellular components.

  4. The fundamentals of genetics, inheritance and evolution at the levels of individual genes and entire genomes.

  5. Molecular details of information flow among DNA, RNA and proteins, and how phenotype is controlled by regulation at every level.

  6. Advanced, molecular-level structural and functional aspects of biomolecules (for example, enzyme mechanisms and kinetics, protein structure, folding, modifications and regulation, and macromolecular interactions and assemblies).

  7. How biomolecules are organized within pathways and networks, and the function of those pathways and networks in normal and disease states of cells, tissues, and organisms.

  8. Key tools and techniques used by biochemists and molecular biologists to interrogate biomolecules in vitro and in living systems, including genetic engineering, biochemical assays, and microscopy.

  9. How to safely and effectively execute key analytical and preparatory laboratory techniques. The students should further have hands-on laboratory experience in many of these techniques.

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