Course Review: CH 864

CH864: Biopolymers

~ By Abhirup Majumdar

Disclaimer: The contents of this page are opinions expressed by individual students. The information provided is for guidance purposes. Use the information at your own risk.



During which semester & year you took the course ?

Spring Semester 2019-20

Course Instructor

Prof. K. Sharma & Prof. I. Sengupta

What grade was awarded to you?


Course Difficulty (On a scale of 1 to 5)


Comment on the grading done by the professor in your opinion?

Fair enough

What was the Attendance Policy?

There wasn’t any, but attending every lecture is recommended.


Basic knowledge of molecular biology (CH 546/bio minors), thermodynamics (CH 229)

This Course evaluation comprises of

Since the semester got pre-terminated, we were graded till mid-sem. 45% on quiz (best of 2) and 55% on mid-sem.

What are the topics covered in the course?

Amino acids, chemical nature of polypeptides, amino acid analysis. Protein sequences and evolution. Conformational characteristics of polypeptides. Conformational predictions. Proteins in solution. Interactions with other molecules. Nucleosides and nucleotides. Coenzymes. Physical characteristics. Conformational features. Hydrogen bonding and base stacking. The double helix. DNA polymorphism. RNA-structure. RNA- protein interaction. Higher organization of DNA. Brief survey of Replication, Transcription and translation. Protein biosynthesis. Covalent modification and topogenesis. Site-directed mutagenesis. Perspectives of chemical synthesis. Functional group protection-deprotection. Condensing reagents. Solution vs solid phase synthesis.

How were the Lectures for this course?

I only took this course because of my keen interest in molecular biology and wanted to explore it further from a different perspective. The content is relatively new (i.e. not taught in any previous courses) and indeed interesting. It might seem a bit tough initially if you struggle in physical chemistry like me, but you can catch on by studying diligently. The lectures are very interactive and slides are provided.

How were the Exams for this course?

The papers are okayish; not too hard, not too easy either.

Any tips for the junta to perform well in the course?

You may have to spend some time going through the slides and the references to comprehend the concepts properly. External reading from internet sources is very helpful too.

References used in this course:

Polymer Physics by Michael Rubinstein and Ralph H. Colby, Polymer Solutions: An Introduction to Physical Properties by Iwao Teraoka, Introduction to Biopolymer Physics by Johan R. C. van der Maarel

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