Introduction to biochemistry

Published on October 31, 2019 Reviewed on November 27, 2022   31 min

Request access to the Principles of Biochemistry lecture series, an extensive introductory to the field of biochemistry. An HSTalks representative will contact you with more information about this series and getting unrestricted access to it.

A selection of talks on Biochemistry

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Greetings. Welcome to this Principles of Biochemistry lecture series. I am Jerry Feigenson. I am a professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Cornell University in the USA. These biochemistry lectures cover a wide range of topics. A student or viewer might want to refer to the presentation that lists all the lecture topics to be covered in this series.
I assume some prior knowledge of chemical principles. For example, a year of general chemistry that should provide you with some knowledge of acid-base chemistry and some very basic thermodynamics. Although, when we get to thermodynamics, I will discuss each principle.
One semester of organic chemistry will also be useful. For example, we discuss functional groups, alcohols, aldehydes, carboxyls as shown here. When we get to enzyme mechanisms, we will use the arrow pushing that shows the electron flows. We will discuss chemical bonding, stereochemistry and resonance. Some knowledge of general biology will be useful. Not so much is required, for example, remind yourself of the structure of eukaryotic cells.
A key to biochemistry is that all the parts are interconnected. For example, four main classes of biomolecules, proteins, RNA and DNA, carbohydrates, lipids and membranes, they're all connected to each other. We will study these individually. We will study proteins, we'll look at their structure, how proteins can signal RNA and DNA. We will hardly talk about RNA and DNA in this course. We will save those for a separate course on molecular biology. Carbohydrates. We'll talk about carbohydrates, their structures, their synthesis, and some of their reactions and metabolism. Membranes and lipids. We will look at lipid structures and lipid phases and their chemical reactions. Those are four classes of biomolecules. In addition to those, in biochemistry, we see a very large number of chemical reactions and they're all interconnected. Shown here is a chart that shows connections among about 500 different small molecules. In fact, in a real cell, there are 10 times this number, about 5,000 chemical reactions, and they're all interconnected. Interconnected, what's the mechanism of interconnection? Protein-protein interactions, protein-membrane interactions, protein-small molecule metabolite interactions, and protein-DNA and RNA interactions.