Session S53a (Tuesday, 9:30am, Wartik 108)

P470: Aromatic rings, DNA and cancer: Integrating biochemistry and organic chemistry in GOB

Gretchen Anderson (Indiana University – South Bend, USA)

Health Science majors stop asking why chemistry is a required course when they see the immediate practical applications of fundamental chemical concepts in their future careers.  There has been recent interest in ways to more fully integrate biochemical concepts with general and organic chemistry. These approaches can be anything from short, interesting asides to multi-lecture integration of biochemistry and organic chemistry.  One example is to show that the flat shape of aromatic rings (fundamental concept) is responsible for the same of DNA (rungs in the ladder) and also the target of many chemotherapy agents (intercalators).  This aside requires discussion of not only DNA structure, but also DNA replication, transcription and translation, and enzyme specificity on a rudimentary level.  In this way, concepts of DNA and enzyme specificity are integrated early in the traditional discussion of organic compounds.


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