muffinman23

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Mar 13, 2009
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I'm in my first year and I'm currently taking biochem and it's destroying my soul. Well maybe that's a bit dramatic, but I think you get the point. I'm practicing writing pathways and such, but I just can't keep all the regulatory effectors correct. I was wondering if any of you had some advice for how to study for this class (because according to my grades, I'm just barely getting by)? :confused:
BTW, we only really go by our class syllabus.

Thanks for your help!!!
 

silas2642

silas2642
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Jul 24, 2005
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I'm in my first year and I'm currently taking biochem and it's destroying my soul. Well maybe that's a bit dramatic, but I think you get the point. I'm practicing writing pathways and such, but I just can't keep all the regulatory effectors correct. I was wondering if any of you had some advice for how to study for this class (because according to my grades, I'm just barely getting by)? :confused:
BTW, we only really go by our class syllabus.

Thanks for your help!!!
The first thing I would do is go and see your professor for advice-- this accomplishes two things. First of all, it gets you on his radar and makes you proactive in your education. Secondly, I'm sure he/she has experience with this and may be able to offer you some helpful advice on how to succeed.

You may also want to consider getting a tutor from your student affair's office, if your school offers this service.

I seem to recall that Lippincott was pretty good for biochemistry-- it's a good overview and pretty comprehensive should you find that your syllabus sucks.
 
Dec 21, 2008
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Attending Physician
I'm in my first year and I'm currently taking biochem and it's destroying my soul. Well maybe that's a bit dramatic, but I think you get the point. I'm practicing writing pathways and such, but I just can't keep all the regulatory effectors correct. I was wondering if any of you had some advice for how to study for this class (because according to my grades, I'm just barely getting by)? :confused:
BTW, we only really go by our class syllabus.

Thanks for your help!!!
You're going to need to give a little more insight into what your problem is other than "I can't get the effectors sorted out." After all, we can't give suggestions on what to change when all we know that you do is "draw out pathways." But, I'll take a stab at it anyway.

1. Know the rate-limiting steps for the pathways. The whole cycle grinds to a halt if you knock out the rate-limiting enzyme, so know which regulators are responsible for controlling the activity of those enzymes.

2. Negative feedback mechanisms are more common than positive feedback mechanisms. That being said, the negative feedback regulator is often a product formed somewhere further along in the cycle. The cycle is kept in check by using some of the product as a gauge to know when to stop that particular reaction, and this is usually done by using the product to inhibit the action of some preceding enzyme in the cycle.

3. Work one step at a time. Drawing out the entire pathway and then trying to figure out where to go from there is probably not going to work too well. It didn't work for the brachial plexus, and it probably won't work now. Going one step at a time can allow you to make sense of why a particular regulator is well-suited for that step.
 

Rollo

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Mar 12, 2009
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Get a copy of either Lippincott's Biochem or Kaplan Biochem Lecture Notes.

They are both excellent resources which will tell you exactly what key features you need to know. Obviously, your class will go into more detail but I think if you understand the big picture, the little details will be easier to learn.
 

Mace1370

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Jul 9, 2007
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You aren't studying enough.

The tips greatnt gave above are excellent. I will also add that you should invest in Lippincott's if you are having trouble understanding anything (i.e. you find yourself memorizing a lot of steps and not really knowing which pathway you are in, what the overall goal of the pathway is, etc).
 

MagicDrumSticks

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Lippincott was ok IMO. I'd recommend Harper's Biochem over Lippincott because it goes into the meat of the subject and you will come out feeling like a pro. I aced USMLEworld in the biochem section after reading Harper.
 

HTxFrog

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Jun 19, 2008
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plus one on kaplan biochem. I had medessentials for step one and I thought the biochem section was really good. For class though I'm not sure it would be that awesome. I would just read the syllabus a lot since that is where questions come from most likely. MedEssentials is good for charts and stuff though so I'd buy it
 

ArcGurren

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Aug 6, 2010
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Lippincott's is a great book. Also depends on the way your school teaches it though, not every school teaches purely clinical biochem, our faculty loved to ramble on about how fascinating the ultrastructure of their chosen molecule of study was.
 
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muffinman23

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Mar 13, 2009
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Thanks so much for your advice. I think you were right in that I'm probably not studying enough/correctly; I've probably been treating this class as if it were an undergraduate class. Now I'm going to work on it everyday and keep up with the lecture material. I got myself a copy of Lippincott's- you guys are right, the pathways are really explained well. and I might also get a copy of Harper's but we'll see. I've also set up an appointment with my course director. and I'm going to work on the step-by-step method.


I'll let you know how this goes.

Anyways, you guys are awesome and thanks again. :D

Oh, I almost forgot-- do you guys know any sources for good practice questions? We are only supplied with a practice exam before each exam and that's not much to work with...
 

ArcGurren

only one will survive
Aug 6, 2010
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Pretest Biochemistry (while REALLY hard) prepared me well for the Biochem Shelf. Granted it was curved tremendously because our biochem class is really piss poor taught but still...