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Universidade Lusófona

General Biochemistry

Part of this Programme

Nutrition Sciences

Level of Qualification|Semesters|ECTS

Bachelor | Semestral | 5,5

Year | Type of course unit | Language

1 |Mandatory |Português

Total of Working Hours | Duration of Contact (hours)

143 | 60



Recommended complementary curricular units


Prerequisites and co-requisites




Professional Internship



I. Introduction to Biochemistry.
I.1. Biochemistry and its objectives.
I.2. Origin of Life.
I.3. The cell - Fundamental unit of biochemical processes.
II. Water.
II.1. Properties of water.
II.2. Acids, bases and buffers.
III. Aminoacids and proteins.
III.1. Aminoacids.
III.2. Peptidic bond.
III.3. Protein structure levels.
III.4. Active centres and regulation centres.
III.5. Myoglobin and hemoglobin.
III.6. Enzymes.
IV. Lipids.
IV.1. Definition and classification of lipids.
IV.2. Biological membranes.
V. Glicids.
V.1. Definition and vocabulary.
V.2. Classification.
VI. Introduction to bioenergetics.
VI.1. Principles of thermodynamics.
VI.2. Gibbs free energy.
VI.3. ATP ¿ production and hydrolysis.
VII. Biological information.
VII.1. Composition and primary structure of nucleic acids.
VII.2. 3D structure of DNA.
VII.3. 3D structure of the various RNAs.


The discipline of General Biochemistry aims to define the concept of biochemical reaction, introduce students to the different actors of biochemistry, water and biomolecules, and introduce the major biochemical functions such as the functioning of enzymes, the synthesis and degradation of biomolecules, bioenergetics, biological information. At the end of the course, students should master perfectly the bases that will allow the approach to metabolism and its changes that will be addressed in the following curricular units.

Knowledge, abilities and skills to be acquired

Understanding the basic methodology in the scope of biochemistry (performing reagent solutions, potentiometry and acid base determinations, spectrophotometry and determination of solution concentrations, extraction and purification of biomolecules chromatography) enzymatic kinetics.

Teaching methodologies and assessment

Theoretical classes: Magistral lectures (facultative participation) respecting the oficial programme and the objectives of the discipline.
Laboratory classes: classes guided by a professor (mandatory participation) and dedicated to a more detailed study of some of the concepts presented in the magistral lectures through an experimental approach.
1) Continuous assessment
The final grade (FG) is the weighted average of the following components: Preparation of laboratory work 5% (component A), Performance and Attendance in the laboratory 5% (component B), reports of laboratory work 20% (component C), 2 Frequencies theoretical 70% (component D, each frequency is 35 %).
NF = A (5%) + B (5%) + C (20%) + D (70%).

2) Final exam:
Final exam covering all of the syllabus, taught in lectures, theoretical-practical and practical / laboratory.


Voet, D. & Voet. J.G. (2010) Biochemistry, (4th Ed). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Halpern M, Freire A, Quintas A. (2008) Bioquímica Organização Molecular da Vida. Lidel
Berg, J.M. et al. (2010) Biochemistry (7th Ed). New York: Freeman and Company.
Devlin T. (2011) Textbook of biochemistry; with clinical correlations. (7th Ed). Blucher
Weil, J.H. (2000) Bioquímica Geral (2ª Ed). Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.