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Taking Molecular Biology without Biochem and O-chem?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by boba96, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. boba96

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    Hello all! I need some help deciding if I should take a 5 week summer session course on Molecular Biology at my university without having taken Biochemistry or any O-chem. From your experiences, does a course in Molecular Biology require knowledge of Biochem or O-chem to understand concepts? Do you think its possible to do well without a background in Biochem or O-chem or I'm setting myself up to be screwed? (P.S. At my university Biochem precedes Molecular Biology and is a prereq for Molecular Biology. However, prereq restrictions are lifted during the summer. Also I have taken a Genetics course though which is a class that precedes Biochem at my university.) I would greatly appreciate all the help and input I can get! :) Thank you!
     
  2. GrapesofRath

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    If biochem is a pre-req during the school year I have a hard time saying take Molecular without biochem just because now it's allowed due to it being in the summer. Having taken both I could never imagine getting through molec bio without biochem background knowledge. Obviously, variations in class from school to school exist but pre-requisite classes exist for a reason.
     
  3. Meeehai

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    Why does the school lift pre-req restrictions over the summer anyway?
     
  4. boba96

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    They lift pre-req restrictions for all classes over the summer. I'm guessing to give students more liberty in taking classes that they want or for those who want to challenge themselves. I personally want to take Molecular Biology over the summer so that I don't have to mix it with ochem (tends to be harder/time consuming as you progress through the last of the 3 part series in the Spring) and it's concurring lab. However, I heard Biochem is suicide over the summer since it's already terrible during a 10 week quarter. So that's why I didn't take Biochem.
     
  5. Shirafune

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    Molecular bio at my school is fairly light on the biochemistry and ochem. Any biochem or ochem you encounter will be easy to self-study. Practical lab experience (i.e. knowing how to read a gel or a blot) is more useful, in my experience.
     
  6. Romz

    Romz Pharm ♥
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    As @Shirafune mentioned, understanding experimental procedure was more important in my undergraduate molecular biology class than were topics like O-Chem and Biochem. If anything, understanding genetics was vital relative to the other two pre-reqs.
     
  7. FutureOncologist

    FutureOncologist I support cancer... research
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    Audit it. You get to sit in on the class, take notes, and have access to all supplemental information released onto the school's portal. However, it doesn't give you any credits but will show up on the transcript as an "X" or a "Z," depending on the school.

    I'm telling you that (bio)molecular chemistry WILL require o-chem and biochem and if you don't have the fundamentals down, you will struggle in the class and you will either drop it or have a rather-childish blemish on your transcript and GPA.
     
  8. boba96

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    Just to clarify, is biomolecular chemistry the same thing as molecular biology? Are they synonymous?
     
  9. CaliforniaDreamer

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    I think Ochem is very helpful to take before any upper level bio class.
     
  10. boba96

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    So is Ochem needed/helpful in Molecular Biology in the sense of being able to have an ingrained image of how different organic structures look like (for example: the distinct structure of each dNTP)? Or is it needed/helpful in the sense of knowing reactive properties due to the structure of the molecule (for example: functional groups)?
     
  11. CaliforniaDreamer

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    I can't even be sure what I would not have known if I did not have Ochem under my belt. Ochem was unique, when it was all over I felt more like I had learned a bit of a new language rather than any solid material. I wouldn't say it is necessary, and like someone else metioned, lab techniques will likely be more important to understand. I don't think many bio classes go too hardcore with mechanisms or structure.
     
  12. FutureOncologist

    FutureOncologist I support cancer... research
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    Honestly depends on the chemistry department. It really seems synonymous, though just molecular chem may focus on larger picture content where biomolecular chem focuses on the minute details. In all honesty, at my undergrad, biomolecular chemistry was:

    55% molecular cell biology
    25% biochemistry
    15% organic chemistry
    5% general chemistry

    Nothing was really a new concept, but the content went into such detail that it was almost on par with medical school classes. It was a grad-level course that was required for my major and the professor was known for gearing it towards people looking into a medical career (medicine, dentistry, bio engineering, etc.) It was the most interesting class I took in all honesty, but it gave me a challenge. How I walked out with an A is beyond me and I am pretty sure kissing ass and visiting office hours every week to get as much help as possible pushed me towards it.
     
  13. snowflakes

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    OP, you need to talk to students at your school, and perhaps email the professor of the course. Personally, my molecular biology course had very little biochem and organic, but @FutureOncologist says his course was almost half chem. This is something that is going to vary by school.
     
  14. f4reignbeauty

    f4reignbeauty Nature lover <3
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    At my school, Molecular Biology was not an upper division class and Biochemistry was not required prior to. I was able to do well in the course, but I had a solid foundation due to a year of Ochem. Sure, there were folks in my classes who took the course without Ochem, and did well, but they put in extra study time to ensure they were up to speed with our class. If that's something you're willing to do, then go for it!
     

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