551-0125-00L  Fundamentals of Biology I: From Molecules to the Biochemistry of Cells

SemesterAutumn Semester 2021
LecturersJ. Vorholt-Zambelli, N. Ban, R. Glockshuber, K. Locher, J. Piel
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman


AbstractThe lecture provides an introduction to the basics of biochemistry and molecular biology as well as evolutionary principles. The focus is on bacteria and archaea under consideration of universal concepts.
ObjectiveIntroduction to biochemistry, molecular biology and evolutionary principles
ContentThe lecture introduces biology as an interdisciplinary science. Links to physics and chemistry will manifest as biological processes that operate within the laws of thermodynamics and are rooted in elements, molecules and chemical reactions. The transition from geochemistry to biochemistry is discussed and considered in relation to the origin of life. Evolutionary principles are introduced and resulting processes are used as a guiding principle. Unifying concepts in biology are presented, including the structure and function of cellular macromolecules and the ways in which hereditary information is encoded, decoded and replicated. Central principles of universal energy conversion are looked at, starting from redox processes and focusing on bacteria and archaea. Finally, biological processes are put into an ecosystems perspective.

The lecture is divided into different sections:
1. Geochemical perspectives on Earth and introduction to evolution
2. Building blocks of life
3. Macromolecules: Proteins
4. Membranes and transport across the plasma membrane
5. Universal mechanisms of inheritance, transcription and translation
6. Reaction Kinetics, binding equilibria and enzymatic catalysis
7. Essentials of Catabolism
8. Essentials of Anabolism
9. Metabolism and biogeochemical cycling of elements
Lecture notesThe newly conceived lecture is supported by scripts.
LiteratureThe lecture is supported by scripts.
The lecture contains elements of "Brock Biology of Microorganisms", Madigan et al. 15th edition, Pearson und "Biochemistry" (Stryer), Berg et al. 9th edition, Macmillan international.