meliora27

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I'm working with my BR bio books now and they are so dense. I'm starting with Book 2 fwiw. I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to use EK for content review and BR for the passages. What is the prevailing wisdom regarding BR for bio. I'm a post-bacc so with the exception of genetics, I've taken no other upper level bio courses. So far, this book seems super biochem intensive.
 

Omni

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EK I heard is the way to go for bio. They're not too detailed, so if you have any knowledge of bio from classes you may have taken, EK is the way to go.
Also, genetics is the current trend where the MCAT is headed towards.
 

Spiker

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I'm working with my BR bio books now and they are so dense. I'm starting with Book 2 fwiw. I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to use EK for content review and BR for the passages. What is the prevailing wisdom regarding BR for bio. I'm a post-bacc so with the exception of genetics, I've taken no other upper level bio courses. So far, this book seems super biochem intensive.
Lol i taken all the upper bio class and it is still incredibly hard because they expect you to know so much detail that they dont even teach. and crazy curve...
 
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meliora27

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Good to know that those with a more extensive bio background than myself still have similar sentiments. This stuff is dense.
 

Baboo Bhaiya

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meliora.. I agree that the BR Bio books (atleast the 2nd one) are way way way tooo dense; however, I don't think that the authors intended for us to memorize all that information.. I think that lot of the information is just there so you are familiar with that particular topic if that happens to show up on an MCAT passage. For example, when I read through the Lac Operon and Tryptophan Operon in Section 10, I would just read it to get a general idea of what the whole concept it (Operons are found in prokaryotes and that it is a transcription unit that codes for multiple proteins that are designed to do a similar tast -- either metabolize lactose or produce trp. Operons are a way of regulating at the transcription level. Lactose acts as an inducer by binding to the repressor protein and thereby allowing transcription. The repressor protein is made by the gene I, and contstantly acts to repress transcription since glucose is the primary source of energy and lactose metabolism proteins are only required when glucose levels are low. There is an operator site, where either the repressor protein or the activator protein (CAP-cAMP) bind, thereby the operator site "operates" wheter transciption will occur or not. Finally, there is the promter sequence, where the RNA polymerase can bind and initiate transcription.) That's pretty much the jist of those 6 pages. Trp operon is pretty much the same except that it is regulated differently. Also, one more thing I have noticed about BR BIo book is that they tend to repeat stuff so randomly. I mean look at Figure 10-16 and 10-23 and even the text that surrounds those figures.. it the same exact thing - I guess that helps in reinforcing the material.

Anyways, I would suggest that you focus on 2nd book (Metabolism and Genetics) instead of the Physio book, because the MCAT seems to be shifting gears towards Biochem & Genetics thesedays. Also, the BR BIo passages are great and as usual, their explanations are great as well.

Bottom Line: Don't get caught up in memorizing the nitty gritty details in the BR Bio books, and above all, use the passages and the explanations.
 
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meliora27

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Baboo---

What are your thoughts on the Sections 2 and 3 in Book 2. I have NEVER seen anything like this before for the most part. For biochem/cellular respiration stuff do you think EK will suffice. I'm intimidated by these chapters before I even start them, a quick glance was quite overwhelming. I admit that this is probably the area in bio that I am weakest, my bio pre-req did not cover this stuff very in depth.
 

Baboo Bhaiya

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Meliora.. For the Metabolic Components section (Section 7),

the part on Activation Energy & Catalysts is worth reading; just know how to use Michaelis-menten equation (even in the book, they say that the derivation is just for completeness) I am not sure whether or not we have to memorize that M-M equation; you may be better off using EK Bio book for the Enzyme Inhibition (BR goes way in depth)

for the part on Enzyme Mechanisms, I skipped the Chymotrypsin Mechanism because I can bet 20 dollars that if there is a question on chy mechanism on MCAt, it will be explained in the passage.. besides, I think the only reason they have given chy mechanism is to give you an idea how enzymes work (if you have taken a Biochem class, you would have gone over atleast one mechanism and that would suffice for MCAT as long as you know the jargon about mechanisms); that whole para on RNA as an Active Enzyme could be summarized as RNA can act as enzymes. Para on Inactive Enzymatic Precursors can be summarized as An -ogen ending for an enzyme name indicates that the enzyme is in its inactive form. You may want to read the Transition State Analog for fun.

The main thing I got out of the 5 pages on Metabolic Molecules is that ATP is the source of energy. ATP has 3 phosphates, most of the times, it provides energy by phosphorylating (transfering a phosphate group) to another molecule. EK Bio gives good definitions for cofactors and coenzymes. As for NAD, FAD, and CoA, do NOT worry about all their structural details; instead, try to understand how they work in the process of cellular respiration. Understand how these electron carriers play a MAJOR role in cellular respiration. If you understand the role of these electron carriers in the context of cellular respiration, you'll be all set.

For the section on Metabolic Pathways (Section 8), Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, Electron Transport Chain, and Oxidative Phosphorylation are the main pathways. I dont know if you have to know all the steps for these pathways. EK says you just have to get a jist of glycolysis (in fact in one of their 30 min exam, they have a passage on glycolysis where they give the whole pathway) but I think some other companies say that you should memorize the whole pathway (all the 10 steps and the enzymes/substrates).. so, I am not sure what to tell you here. You may want to ask this on a new thread. Going back to BR Bio, I would say you should probably read the sections on those 4 pathways (not intending to memorize every little detail, but to get a big picture) - you may want to check out some videos on youtube for cellular respiration as well. Here is one. As for the other pathways, personally, I am just going to google them and get a general idea of what are the substrates and what are the products and what is the purpose of that particular pathway. I have seen practice passages where they would describe one of these pathways (PPP, Urea, etc) so being familiar with them is a good idea.

Finally, don't forget to do those passages at the end of those sections and equally important, don't forget to read the explanations once you are done with the passages.