Description of Professor Barton's Courses

Description of Courses


Chemistry in Context explores the world of chemistry through examing environmental and resource issues of interest to contemporary society.  The chemistry necessary to understand these issues is presented.  Topics and their biochemical iconnections  are addressed  in Air Pollution, Ozone Depletion, Global Warming, Energy Sources, Water, Acid Rain, Nuclear Chemistry, and Plastics.  This General Education course also teaches three skills that are integral to full comprehension of the chemical topics:  1) Reasoning mathematically and understanding numerical data, 2) Solving problems using the methods of analyusis considering evidence, relevance, and validity, and 3) Process inofrmation both in terms of synthesis and analysis. 

Biochemistry I considers the chemistry of proteins and nucleic acids and the tools necessary to understand the concepts of and investigate the conformation and functions of these biomacromolecules.   The organizaton of conformation, expecially for proteins, evolves from sequence through secondary structure and the domains of tertiary structure to culminate in quaternary structure.  The study of enzyme kinetics, specificity, mechanism and regulation reveals the functioning of  enzymes and the mechanizm of action of vitamins and coenzymes. 

Biochemistry Laboratory uses modern technology to examine the properties of proteins and nucleic acids and their building blocks.   These biomolecules are isolated and examined using electrophoresis, sequence analysis, HPLC, FTIR,, FTNMR, and electronic data acqusition of enzyme kinetics.   The course culminates with a formal research report on enzyme kinetic data written in the form of an ACS (American Chemical Society) journal. 

Biochemistry II peers into the world of energy generation and utilization.  Catabolic and anabolic pathways of carbohydrates and lipids are linked to regulatory mechanisms.  Molecular mechanisms of nucleic acid and protein syntheses are revealed in concert with their regulation.


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