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Te Tari Moromoroiti me te Ārai Mate

CHEM 191: The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health

First Semester,Summer School - 18 points

Course overview

An introduction to the concepts of chemistry underlying important processes in biology and human health, including chemical bonding, energetics, kinetics, equilibria and solubility, properties of water and solutions, acids, bases, complexation and electron transfer, mechanisms of organic reactions and properties of amino acids and carbohydrates.

CHEM 191 aims to instil a fundamental knowledge of chemical structure and reactivity, with particular focus on concepts which provide an understanding of why chemical reactions proceed and how this understanding may be applied to the chemical processes in biological systems.

CHEM 191 is a required part of the Health Sciences First Year programme at Otago and is a prerequisite paper for a number of other science courses.

CHEM 191 first semester: It provides an introduction to concepts influencing chemical reactions in biological systems including:

  • Concepts of Chemical Bonding
  • Thermodynamics/energetics of biological systems
  • Properties of water
  • Reaction rates and chemical equilibria
  • Metals in biology - electron transfer, complexation
  • Organic/carbon-based compounds - stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms, functional groups, polymers
  • Biological molecules - carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleic acids, nucleic acids, proteins/enzymes

CHEM 191 Summer School: This is a course designed to enable students who failed CHEM 191 in the first semester of the previous year to pass the paper and allow them to proceed to other courses that have CHEM 191 as a prerequisite.

For more information

For the full content of the course, see the CHEM 191 course page on the University of Otago website.

Students are encouraged to contact staff by email to make arrangements for a time to discuss course-related matters.

For more information on this course, please contact Course Coordinator Dr David McMorran (Department of Chemistry)