A project-based biochemistry laboratory promoting the understanding and uses of fluorescence spectroscopy in the study of biomolecular structures and interactions

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Biochemistry | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Chemistry | Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Higher Education | Life Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics


A laboratory project for a first semester biochemistry course is described, which integrates the traditional classroom study of the structure and function of biomolecules with the laboratory study of these molecules using fluorescence spectroscopy. Students are assigned a specific question addressing the stability/function of lipids, proteins, or nucleic acids, and asked to design an experiment to answer the question using fluorescence methodologies. Students study phase equilibria and determine the critical micelle concentration of single chain amphiphiles, the melting point of multilamellar vesicles, and the melting points and thermodynamic constants (K(eq), ΔG(0) , ΔH(0) and ΔS(0)) for denaturation of ds-DNA and proteins. In addition, they examine binding properties of proteins. These laboratory experiments are designed to support student learning of the major themes of structure and function in the course.


DOI: 10.1002/bmb.56