Administration and Lecture Notes

Session: 2

  • 3 units of Credit

Lecturer for part (a) Mary Beilby
room 9D, Biophysics Dept. xt 5463 (email)

Go to Lectures

Lecturer for Part B (weeks 8 - 14)
Krystyna Wilk

For Lecture material go to WebCT


(A) Membrane transport

  • Thermodynamics of life processes
  • Active transport in membranes
  • Membrane potentials
  • Experimental techniques
  • Current-voltage analysis of membrane transporters
  • Salt tolerance and turgor regulation

(B) Introduction to Protein Structure

Protein Structure & Stability

  • The Native State
  • Forces that Determine Protein Structure
  • Peptide Bonds

Protein Architecture

  • a, a/b, b And Other Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins

Nucleic Acid Structure

  • DNA and RNA
  • DNA and Protein

Proteins as Machines

Proteins are abundant in all organisms and are indeed fundamental to life.

Protein sequences are encoded in DNA, the holder of information.

Protein structures can be determines to an atomic level by X-ray diffraction and neutron-diffraction studies of crystalised proteins, and by nuclear magnetiuc resonance (NMR) spectroscopy of proteins in solution.

In part (B) students are introduced to the structure and function of protein.


  • Two assignments 35%
  • In-session exam 25%
  • * Final exam 40%

Textbooks and References:

* H.G.L. Coster, "Thermodynamics of Life Processes" (U.N.S.W. Press, 1989).

* Branden, C. and Tooze, J. "Introduction to Protein Structure" (Garland Publ. 1991)

* Other reference material: photocopies of appropriate material will be supplied to students.

Further Information

For more information about PHYS3410 contact:





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