Biochemistry Study Habits

The school experience. School related queries, discussions, and stories that aren't specific to a subject.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
themonk
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:45 am UTC
Location: Around
Contact:

Biochemistry Study Habits

Postby themonk » Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:27 am UTC

I am taking Biochemistry at the university at the moment, but am having a hard time focusing on it and absorb the information. I have been reading a text book (Biochemistry / Berg, Tymoczko, Stryer) and have other books (Biochemistry for Dummies, Basic Concepts in Biochemistry; A Student's Survival Guide, Lehninger's Principles of Biochemistry 4th Edition, etc.). I have been focusing on the main book (Berg), so I haven't ventured much into the other ones. My biggest problem is that I cannot absorb the information as I usually could in other subjects - I think it has to do with my interest level with Biochemistry.

Some things that have been recommended to me:
  • Draw molecules - just like in other chemistry courses - any suggestions on how much? Probably until I learn most of them.
  • I tend to focus on all the small details, making it difficult to take in everything quickly. Are there certain things I shouldn't focus on too much?
  • Anything I should focus on primarily to get the "big picture" and to help me on later?
  • Are there any books/resources you would suggest? Practice problems?

Other tips on approaching Biochemistry?

Cheers
Image
- click for the One Sentence Project (OSP). (Nothing to do with Oral Sodium Phospate)

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: Biochemistry Study Habits

Postby BlackSails » Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:16 am UTC

What level biochemistry is this?

User avatar
themonk
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:45 am UTC
Location: Around
Contact:

Re: Biochemistry Study Habits

Postby themonk » Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:16 pm UTC

3rd Semester University Biochemistry (Technische Universität München) for Chemistry/Biochemistry/ChemE/Medicine students

What we cover includes: enzymes, glycolysis, Pentose phosphate pathway, amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism, nucleotide metabolism, Citric acid cycle, respiratory chain, photosynthesis, alternative energy

German: Enzyme, Glykolyse, Pentosephosphat-Weg, Aminosäurestoffwechsel, Lipidstoffwechsel, Nukleotidstoffwechsel, Zitrat-Zyklus, Atmungskette, Photosynthese, Zusammenfassung des Energiestoffwechsels, Alternative Energiegewinnung

I'm taking it in German, but my native language is English. German resources are good, too.

I did not do well in Freshmen Biology, which may have to do with it.
Image
- click for the One Sentence Project (OSP). (Nothing to do with Oral Sodium Phospate)

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: Biochemistry Study Habits

Postby BlackSails » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:56 am UTC

Just read alot, and remember your orgo and physics.

User avatar
MiB24601
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2008 11:13 pm UTC
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Biochemistry Study Habits

Postby MiB24601 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:32 am UTC

Drawing molecules is a big help. I had a biochem prof who wanted us to memorize the molecular structures of the standard amino acids and the nucleobases (as the individual base, as a nucleoside and as a nucleotide). It was such a pain but it did help us all learn the material. Once you remembered which of the amino acids contain large aromatic structure, it became easy to see why a peptide chain that had those specific residues every 8 amino acids would form a beta sheet.

Go back over your electron pushing. A certain reaction may seem bewildering at first but once you recognize that it happens because of the addition of a nucleophile, the underlying mechanism will become easy to see.

Remember your bond angles. You'll certainly want to play with some physical models of molecules so you clearly envision the structure of the molecules in three dimensions.

Good luck.
"There's no point being grown-up if you can't be childish sometimes." - The Fourth Doctor, Doctor Who

User avatar
psychosomaticism
Posts: 210
Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2007 6:01 am UTC
Location: Canada

Re: Biochemistry Study Habits

Postby psychosomaticism » Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:29 am UTC

Mnemonics help, especially with memorizing amino acids (I got all of them down with structures and categories in a couple days). I would also write a few structures on my whiteboard and have them passively in my eyesight all day (not sure how much that helped, was probably moreso the writing it out). Enzyme kinetics is a pain, but it's important, so pay attention to it. When/If you need to memorize glycolysis and TCA cycle, just draw the structures all out in a flowchart, while circling the parts that change; usually these cycles are a lot easier if you look at what's the same from step to step.


Return to “School”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests