Courses Catalogue

Biochemistry I

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Clinical Medicine and Community Health, Diploma
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Allied Health Sciences
PROGRAMME TYPE: Undergraduate

Course Content and Outline

I) Lectures (32 Hours)

i) Cell Biology (4 hours)
a)      Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cells
b)      Essential differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell
c)      Organelles structure and function: Nucleus, Mitochondrion, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi Complexes, Lysosomes Peroxisomes, and Cytoskeleton.
d)     Cell membranes, mechanism of transport across typical cell membrane, Chemical composition of the membranes
e)      Lipids and their types; Proteins present, their types, Integral, Peripheral and

Membrane proteins and their functions
f)       Nature of carbohydrates found in the lipid bilayers, Fluid Mosaic Model 
ii) Acid-Base Balance (4 hours)
a)      Basic concepts: pH, Acids, Bases, Buffers, strong acids/bases, weak acids/bases, Buffers Definitions, how buffers work in the body.
b)      Various buffer systems in plasma and erythrocytes
c)      Bicarbonate buffer and its link with the respiratory system, plasma proteins, hemoglobin as a blood buffer
d)     Intracellular buffer systems; phosphate buffer and its link with the kidneys
e)      Acid bases imbalances: Metabolic acidosis and alkalosis, Respiratory acidosis and   alkalosis; their causes, mechanism and biochemical characteristics

iii) Vitamins and Minerals (4 hours)
a)      Definition and classification Vitamins; dietary sources, functions and daily requirements, and diseases associated with their deficiency
b)      Dietary sources of minerals, normal blood levels and daily requirements, functions and clinical conditions associated with their excess and deficiencies in diet

iv)   Enzymology (4 hours)
a)      Basic concept of catalysis
b)      Enzyme classification
c)      Mechanism of enzyme activity
d)     Factors affecting enzyme activity
e)      Use of enzymes in clinical diagnosis.
v)     Carbohydrates structure and function (4 hours)
a)      Classification
b)      Functions and examples of; Monosaccharides, Derived monosaccharides, Disaccharides, Oligosaccharides, Polysaccharides (Homopolysaccharides: Starch, Glycogen, Cellulose, Chitin and Heteropolysaccharides Pectins and hemicelluloses,Glycosaminoglycans, Proteoglycans) vi) Proteins structure and function (4 hours)
a)      Amino acid structure
b)      Peptides: Sequences and conformation: Fibrous and globular
c)      Structural organization and function relationship of proteins e.g. Hemoglobin, myoglobin and collagen

vii) Nucleic acids structure and function (4 hours)
a)      Nucleic acid bases, purines and pyrimidines, Nucleosides, nucleotides, importance of nucleotides
b)      Nucleic acids (DNA and RNAs) structure and functions
c)      Nucleoproteins and viruses 

viii) Lipids structure and function (4 hours)
a)      Classification of lipids
b)      Physical, chemical properties and functions of simple lipids, complex lipids, derived lipids and cholesterol.

II) Laboratory Practical (15 hours)
a)        General introduction: Introduction of  the students to the general rules and regulations guiding the use of the laboratory
b)        pH and Buffers
c)        Qualitative identification of Carbohydrates
d)       Qualitative identification of Proteins
e)        Saponification of lipids
f)         DNA extraction from plant cells
g)        Enzyme assay of salivary amylase

10. Teaching/Learning Methods 
The course of biochemistry consists of the following teaching methods
a)      Lecturing programme.
b)      Teacher centered tutorials.
c)      Students centered seminars.
d)     Visual material; transparencies, PowerPoint and board
e)      Demonstrations for some practical work.

11. Teaching and Learning Materials 
a)      Whiteboards and markers
b)      Text books
c)      Laboratory equipment
d)     Biochemical Reagents