Free Lesson 18 (English)
This advanced lesson gives a sample of how high-level topics are presented in the Biochemistry Literacy curriculum. Students learn to interpret molecules using several unique notations, which by this lesson, will be very familiar to them. The lesson involves visualization and construction of phospholipids, the main component of all animal cell membranes. Other membrane-associated molecules, such as cholesterol and membrane-bound proteins and channels are discussed and modeled. The lesson culminates in a preview of medicinal chemistry. Students learn how to analyze the structure of small organic molecules to determine how they interact with the cell membrane, and how they may pass through it. Medicines often need to diffuse through the membrane, and students conclude the lesson by designing their own drug-like molecule, capable of reaching the interior of the cell.
I would like to thank Jacek Mysłowski for generously providing the beautiful microscopy images in this lesson.