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Library Course Guide for: BIOCHEMISTRY


Course Description

Examines the chemical, mechanistic, and structural basis for enzymatic catalysis. Uses examples from the recent literature to examine how the experimental and conceptual tools of chemical synthesis, isotopic labeling, stereochemistry, enzymology, kinetics, and protein structure can be brought to bear to unravel the chemical and physical principles underlying the enormous catalytic acceleration and exquisite structural specificity of enzyme-catalyzed reactions.

Term Paper

"Each paper should focus on a single enzyme or a closely related group of enzymes for which a body of explicitly mechanistic data is available and, preferably, for which there is at least one relevant protein structure. Although there are many important and interesting enzymes and proteins that are also relevant to cell biology, molecular biology, virology, and medicine, you must choose an enzyme for which mechanistic experiments have been carried out and where the mechanism has been determined directly and not just assigned by analogy to a well-studied class based on sequence or structural similarity."

"Coverage of the relevant literature should be thorough and up-to-date, but need not be encyclopedic or exhaustive."

"For an introduction or for general information on any specific topic, you may wish to consult first the relevant sections of the standard Biochemistry texts such as Walsh or Garrett & Grisham that are on reserve in the Sci. Lib. More thorough literature searches can be performed used Medline, which is available on-line through PubMed . Recent reviews will usually have comprehensive lists of recent references. Publications such as Annual Reviews of Biochemistry or Critical Reviews of Biochemistry may have useful reviews to use as starting points ."

Welcome CHEM124 Students

This course guide has been created to assist you in finding information for your term paper assignment. At the left are links to pages where you can find help with managing the knowledge you collected for this paper and others and linking to databases (Library subscriptions and free-web), ejournals (Library subscriptions), and ebooks (Library subscriptions) recommended for this project..


  • Scifinder (hence known as SF) is essential to use for the Registry (CASRN number for your enzyme) record including reactions.
    • the more complete your search question, the more options for combining concepts.
    • downloading to reference management software requires checking the software help or consulting with your chemistry librarian (Lee).
    • use deduplicate button to end up with the Chemical Abstracts version instead of Medline; SF defaults to searching both databases. (Medline is the human-assigned index subset of PubMed)
    • Refining or analyzing by document type can be quite helpful especially for review articles.
    • Searching on the CASRN as an Explore Substances task can help focus the search; can be better than structure search.
  • PubMed search is best managed not by keyword but by MESH (medical subject headings).
  • Reaxys is a tool that searches Beilstein and 2 other chemistry databases simultaneously.
  • Try the following sites for references to your topic:
  • There are print resources at SciLi:
  • Your chemistry librarian (Lee) and your biology/biochemistry librarian (Ned) are ready and willing to consult on your project; contact information is through the Your Librarians link on the left side.