Chemistry and Biochemistry for Nurses
CHEM 2090, 2092
(CHEM 2090 Lecture, CHEM 2092 Lab)
Instructor: Dr. Koni Stone, S213, 667-3570
, Office hours: T: 8-11,2:30-3:30, W: 10-11 and by appointment
Lab instructors: Dr. Koni Stone and Dr. Nhu Y Stessman

Text: General, Organic and Biochemistry, Connecting Chemistry to Your Life.  Ira Blei and George Odian, 2000, WH Freeman and Company, NY. ISBN: 0-7167-2872-9.

Prerequisite: Passing score on ELM exam, or exemption from ELM.  It is highly recommended that students have passed the EPT or are exempt. Also, if you have never ever taken a chemistry class, it is advised that you take CHEM 1000.  If you took Chemistry in high school (and retained some memory of it, you should be ok for this very fast paced course.)

Note: All cell phones must be turned off before lecture begins.  If your cell phone makes any noise during an exam, your exam will not be scored.

Brief description: This course has been designed in collaboration with the Department of Nursing to fulfill curricular needs of the pre-licensure program.   This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of chemistry such as the composition of atoms and molecules, mass balance, energy, properties of gases and solutions.  Then, students will study acid base chemistry and nuclear chemistry and their medical relevance.  A general description of organic chemistry will be presented with an emphasis on how molecular functional groups influence solubility and chemical reactivity; pharmaceuticals will be used as examples.  After gaining an appreciation for carbon based molecules (structures, nomenclature, functional groups and basic reactions), students will be introduced to the structure and functions of biological molecules (i.e. nucleic acids, amino acids, sugars etc.) Enzyme catalysis and an overview of metabolism will be introduced and then students will study the reactions involved in carbohydrate, lipid and protein metabolism.  

Since this is a general education class there are the following additional GE goals:

1. Subject Knowledge. To provide an educational experience that will enhance student's understanding of the discipline's basic principles, methodologies, and perspectives. The content for this class is chemistry as it applies to living systems.  Students will take quizzes and work on activities in class in order to prepare for 3 midterm exams.  Students mastery of the content will be assessed with a comprehensive final exam.
2. Communication. To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to communicate. Students will write a 4-5 page research paper and work in groups to present information that they have learned from their research papers.  Students will also be actively involved in problem based and directed inquiry based learning activities that will require them to work in groups.  Hence, their small group interaction communication skills will be enhanced.
3. Inquiry and Critical Thinking. To provide an educational experience that will enhance critical thinking skills and will contribute to continuous inquiry and life-long learning.  (see #4 below)
4. Information Retrieval and Evaluation.
To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to find, understand, examine critically, and use information from various sources. Students will do independent research on a topic that they select from a pre-approved list.  (Alternatively, students may choose another topic, in consultation with Dr. Stone.)  They will be required to think critically about the information they retrieve and then synthesize their papers based upon their research.
5. Interdisciplinary Relationships. To provide an educational experience that will enhance students' understanding of a discipline's interrelationships with other disciplines.  Chemistry is considered to be the central science.  While medical applications will be emphasized, the connections to physics, biology, and earth science will be introduced.  For example, autoclaves work because of the direct relationship between pressure and temperature.  As pressure is increased, the temperature of steam increases.  This high temperature steam can then be used to sterilize glassware for microbiology experiments.
6. Global or Multicultural Perspectives. To provide an educational experience that will enhance the ability to look at issues from multiple perspectives and/or that will describe a discipline's impact on or connection to global issues.  Global topics will be introduced, such as the role of humans in global warming.  For example, long hot showers and SUV's require burning fossil fuels, this combustion reaction increases levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.  Carbon dioxide traps heat in the earth's atmosphere by absorbing infrared radiation.  Also, some populations have higher rates of genetic anomalies.  Sickle cell anemia results from a single amino acid change in a hemoglobin molecule.  This disease is most prevalent among people with ancestors that were originally from lands that are close to the equator where there are lots of mosquitoes!  It is thought that a mild form of the disease protects people from malaria infection.

Learning assessment devices



Percent of Total

Quizzes/class activities



Laboratory Weekly lab reports and quizzes


Biochemical topic paper Disease symptoms and overview: March 4, 2005 (1.5%)
Biochemical basis of the disease  April 8, 2005  (3.5%)
Treatments (related to biochemistry) May 6, 2005  (5%)


Exams Three midterms: March 9, April 13, May 11 (Exam dates were changed so that the students in the Monday afternoon labs will not be adversely affected.)


Comprehensive Final Exam

 Monday, May 23, 2005; 2:00-4:00


This course is graded with letter grades using the following minimum scores: A, 90%; B, 80%; C, 70%; D, 60%. Plus/minus grades may be assigned. The last day to withdraw from this course is March 11, 2004.

Quizzes will be based upon the homework (heavily weighted on the end of chapter exercises).   The exams will be based on the quiz and homework questions.  The Comprehensive Final Exam will be based on the quiz  and exam questions.  There may be some essay questions, but most questions will require short answers and many will involve calculations.  You will need a calculator that has scientific notation and log functions.

No make-up exams, quizzes or class activities will be given.  If you have extenuating circumstances that involve serious and compelling reasons for missing class, you are advised to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stone as soon as possible, so that an appropriate plan of action can be developed.

Biochemical Disease Paper: Choose a disease from the list provided on the www. Only four students will be able to sign up for each disease.  So, sign-up quick to be sure to get your first choice.  Note: All papers must typed  using  a 12 point font and double spaced.  No handwritten papers will be accepted.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

Research your disease using www and library resources. Excellent sources of information are: the library (Chemical and Engineering News, Science, Nature, American Scientist, Science News, Lancet, Scientific American), the Internet, and newspapers.  Encyclopedias and our text book do not count as references.  After finding at least three different sources of information about the disease of your choice, condense the information from those sources into three papers:

  1. Description of the disease, include the symptoms and who is affected. Due: March 4thPage limit: 1 page.
  2. How is this disease related to biochemistry?  Fully describe the biochemistry of the disease. Due: April 8th.   Page limit: 2 pages.
  3. What are the treatments/cures for the disease.  Describe how the treatment relates to the biochemistry of the disease.  Due: May 6th.  Page limit: 3 pages.

Sources must be cited in the text, and listed in the bibliography.  You may use the same three sources for all three writing assignments.  You may not count multiple pages of the same web site as multiple sources.  You may be requested to provide copies of your sources, so do not throw them away until your paper has been returned, failure to provide copies of your references upon request will result in an automatic "F" for the assignment.  For materials that were published on the world wide web (www), please report the complete URL address of the site for the information, the date of publication and the author or organization that produced the page.

The audience for this paper consists of the other students in the CHEM 2090 class. Therefore, terms need to be defined and concepts must be simplified. Explain the concepts in your own words, do not lift phrases from the research paper and put quotes around them. Do not copy sentences from your sources and change one or two words (paraphrasing can be dangerously close to plagiarism).  Be sure to site all of your sources of information in the text.  There should be NO QUOTATIONS in any of these papers. Again, use your own words to convey your understanding of the material. 

The paper should be written in a style that is similar to scientific writing. There should be no first person (and no second person) and most sentences should use the passive voice. Major points will be deducted for using either first or second person.  Science writing puts the emphasis on the data, (not on the writer) to be as objective as possible about the facts.

In the first example, credit is given to the author for increasing the entropy in the universe. The second example just states the facts.

Again, students are encouraged to consult the instructor for additional guidance. This assignment is designed to encourage exploration of the media and library resources for information about biochemistry. Also students will gain an appreciation for writing a paper in "scientific style". 

The following categories will be used to assess the final submission of your paper: 

Grading of papers

-- Percent
Depth of Research, quality of information 40
Organization/Clarity  30
Grammar, spelling (be sure to use a spell checker)  20
Over all impression  10

Late papers will be penalized 10% per 24 hour period.  (This includes weekends and holidays.)   Papers may be submitted electronically.  Note: All papers must typed  using  a 12 point font and double spaced.  No handwritten papers will be accepted.  NO EXCEPTIONS!

Laboratory:  You must take the laboratory portion of this course and complete each lab exercise with a passing score.  Every lab will incorporate the following:

Each lab will have a connection to material that is covered in lecture.  Please see the lecture and lab schedule that is shown below.  (Instructions for each lab will be hyper-linked to the title of the lab.)

WWW and Email:  All course announcements and homework assignments will be posted on the www. If you do not know how to get to the www, please see Dr. Stone  immediately. Grades will not be posted, however you can receive information about your grades via Email.  For a fast response, please put   CHEM2090 in the subject line of your email message.

Lecture and Lab schedule

You must read the instructions for checking into lab and the SAFETY sheet before coming to your lab class.  Here is a guide to how to keep a notebook.  

Lab Dates Chapter(s), topics Lab
February 14,15 1,2  Language of Chemistry, Atomic Structure, Check-in, No lab this week
February 21,22 3  Molecules and Chemical Bonds "He's not Heavy, He's my Metal"
February 28, March 1 4,5  Chemical calculations, Gases "Ions, Moles and Molecules, Oh My: Identification of an Unknown"
March 7,8 6 Interactions between molecules  "How pale can you go: Neutralization of HCl with NaOH"
March 14,15 7 Solutions "How much Calcium is in an Eggshell?"
March 21,22 8 Rates of reactions, catalysis, equilibrium "Pop, Pop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh What Fun Chemistry Is
April 4,5 9 Acids and Bases "pHun with Buffers"
April 11,12 10, 11-17 Effects of radiation, Organic Chemistry Synthesis of Aspirin
April 18,19 18,19 Carbohydrates, Lipids Purification of Glucose from Starch "
April 25,26 20, Proteins Molecular Dimensions
May 2,3 21, Nucleic acids There's a Dye in my Drink"
May 9,10 23, Carbohydrate metabolism Potato Oxidase lab
May 16,17 24,25 Fatty acid and amino acid metabolism Smoothie Chemistry, Isolation of DNA from Strawberries and Pea Soup DNA   Check-out 


Back to the main page for CHEM 2090.

Last updated by Dr. Stone on 03/04/2005