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Chapter 3 Blog: The Chemical Basis of Life II (Ambika)

Page history last edited by Ambika Sharma 13 years, 7 months ago

In the first section of this page, you will write a daily summary of that day's class.  For example in  your chapter 2 blog, your first entry should be titled 9/3/10.  You should then write a one or two paragraph summary of that day's lecture, outlining the major points.  In the second section, you are required to add two items (link to a website, video, animation, student-created slide show, student-created PowerPoint presentation) and one journal article pertaining to a topic in this chapter.  A one-paragraph summary must accompany each item describing the main idea and how it applies to the lecture topic.  Please see the PBWorks help guide for assistance embedding video and other items directly in the page.  I will also produce a how-to video on using tables to wrap text around items and other useful tips.  Please see the syllabus for organization and grading details.


A.  Daily Blog


Friday, 9/10/10


     Today's class was pretty much dedicated to going a few different functional groups. Functional groups are groups of atoms with special chemical features that are functionally important. Each type of functional group shares the same properties. The functional groups we went through include amino, carbonyl, ketone, aldehyde, carboxyl, hydroxyl, methyl, phosphate, sulfate and sulfhydryl. At first when Dr. Weber started explaining them in class, I was terrified that I was not going to be able to learn all this different information and confused about what all this information was. As we went through examples as a class, I felt more comfortable with most of the functional groups we learned. The picture below represents my favorite functional group: Amino- NH2. This is my favorite functional group so far because its the only out of the ones we learned that has an "N" in it which thus makes it easily distinguishable. ;o)           


                                   Can't wait for class this week !



Wednesday, 9/15/10


      Today's class was dedicated to Dr. Weber's favorite topic... PROTEINS! Proteins are composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and small amounts of other elements. Sulfur is probably the most important of the small amounts of other elements. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are compounds with a structure in which a carbon atom, called the α-carbon, is linked to an amino group (NH2) and a carboxyl group (COOH). The following image is of an amino acid.

     Another topic we covered in class was the structures of proteins. The primary structure is the linear sequence of amino acids of a polypeptide. The secondary structure is the bending or twisting of proteins into helices and the β pleated sheet. The tertiary structure is the the three-dimensional shape of a single polypeptide. Lastly, the quaternary structure is the association of polypeptides to form a protein. In order to protect their structure and their hydrophobic side, There are five factors that are critical for this. These five factors are hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds and other polar interactions, hydrophobic effect, van der Waals forces and disulfide bridges. One really interesting thing that we were introduced to was this site (http://fold.it/portal/info/science) This site is REALLY cool and allows you to virtually play around with the protein! I tried it out and was able to complete four! Everyone must try this out!



Friday, 9/17/10


      Dr. Weber loves proteins SO much that we spent another day on it ;o) Except today instead of listening to lectures, we had even more of an interactive class. We were given a sheet of paper with an experiment about.. PROTEINS! The experiment tested whether or not proteins require a cellular environment in order to fold. We were given time to discuss and understand the experiment with our partners. Then we went through the each step of the experiment and the roles each material played in the experiment. I felt that by having groups come up and discuss the experiment, everyone was able to understand the experiment better. I enjoyed class and I am looking forward to more interactive activities like this!


B.  Useful Materials





This video talks about some of the different functional groups.  It is a good video because it gives little notes about what each functional group is made up of. Plus, the catchy song is always stuck in your head.
Video:    YouTube plugin error


This is a link to a site I found especially helpful. It breaks down protein folding for you with an interactive lesson. Everyone should check this out if they did not quite understand protein folding or why protein folding occurs.
Link:  http://www.dnatube.com/video/159/Protein-Folding



This article from the Scientific American talks about how there was a gaming company that may help us understand protein unfolding and problems that may arise because of it. When I first read the title of this article, I was really curious as to what the game could be. When I opened the article up, I found out it was Fold-it! Fold-it is the game that Dr. Weber introduced to us the other day in class! I recommend everyone try that game out because it is SO much fun!
Article: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=gaming-the-system-video-gamers-help-researchers-untangle-protein-folding-problem



Comments (1)

Derek Weber said

at 4:43 am on Sep 16, 2010

9/15: Updated. Thanks for sharing.

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