Posted on

NUS Chemistry Module Review: CM4227 Chemical Biology


This module is not an easy module. Primarily, experimental designs and literature reviews are focused. Having CM3225 may help to give you some edge towards this module but at the end of the day not much.

Longer Version:

This modules builds its chapters from the core concept from the central dogma of biology (DNA –> RNA –> Proteins). The first few chapters acts as a gentle introduction towards the module by having recap of some of the simple concepts covered in year one biochemistry (Would be a breeze if you had taken CM3225 prior to this however, it is not a big deal.)

Following, the syllabus starts to ramp up by blurring the interface between biology and chemistry (Opinionated Perspective: To me this was rather interesting as it not only blur the lines between chemistry and biology but it also seemed like concepts and ideas that were ripped straight out of a sci-fi film.). Some of the things you might expect would for instance includes interesting ideas such as increasing the number of base pairs beyond the standard ATGC, incorporation of unnatural moiety on to cell membranes and principles in bio-conjugation. Another point to note is that Prof Yao usually goes through concepts rather quickly so what I would advice is to pre-read your lecture notes before coming for class :).

This module also focus heavily on literature review and experimental designs. Expect to be reading a lot (easily 4/5 chemical biology related reads per week). The number of literature to review per week may seem daunting however, fret not it does gets easier as time goes by. As a chemistry major student, most of us would probably be confused by the content chemical biology literature however, from the tutorial sessions you slowly develop the capability to pick up key information from a chem-bio literature quickly.

The tutorial sessions in this module serves mainly as a platform for discussion. Students would be expected to pair up and every week two groups would be selected to present on their given article. While the students present would be expected to ask questions/discuss ideas on the given article. Students are allowed to choose their presentation slots so, it would be important that you plan ahead so as to avoid the mid-term periods.

You can also expect an original proposal (OP) assessment that must be handed in at the end of the course. The OP primarily focuses on experimental design in chemical biology where you have to come up with an original experimental design to tackle an existing problem in chemical biology. This in my opinion is the cream of the crop in this module as you would be expected to apply what you have learnt and use it in a dynamical manner to solve problems. Being proactive in your research and asking Prof Yao for feedback on your ideas. Personally I went through about 3 iterations of ideas before arriving at one that I was satisfied with.

Click HERE if you need help with assignments, essays, reports etc.
Click HERE to obtain full access to CHEAP online courses.
Click HERE to get access to popular lifetime subscriptions.
Click HERE to get university module notes and packages.
Click HERE to get A Level material, papers, notes & guides.
Click HERE to get O/N Level PYP, notes & guides.
Click HERE to get PSLE & Pri 1-6 prelim exams, papers & answers.