Module 11

Main Progression - Proteins, Carbohydrates, Nucleic Acids, Lipids, Biological Membranes, The Prokaryotic Cell, and The Eukaryotic Cell

Review & Preview - Begin a new comprehensive study cycle for another practice test in Module 14. For this module conduct an intense global review of Physics and General Chemistry aiming for mastery of the basics.

Knowledge Mapping - Apply Organic Chemistry concepts within the biochemical context. Integrate your understanding of the macromolecular, cellular and physiological level. The coaching discussions have much practice for reading dense MCAT passage level scientific discussions.

Essay & Verbal Reasoning - Perform another ten Verbal Reasoning passages, assessing strengths and weaknesses. Write another essay.

Main Progression

Videos

Assignments


Disciplined work with the MCAT Primer becomes more important at this stage in the course as we move into Biology where there is a huge fact horde. Read the Proteins chapter in the MCAT Primer with your question slider. Take your time to look carefully at the figures in the margins. It is my opinion you must know all of the Level 2 vocabulary. Although terms of greater difficulty will often appear on the exam, anything at Level 2 you must commit to memory.
Check your mastery of the vocabulary of Proteins with a drill of Levels 1,2, and 3 Question Server. Then see if you can perform the Fundamental Terms Crossword Puzzle without pausing. Click here for the Solution to the crossword.
Work carefully through the materials in the Learning Center describing the many facets of Proteins starting HERE. MCAT difficulty in this topic is greater than a typical Biology 101 course. Imagine a very demanding Biology 101 treatment which becomes almost a lite Biochemistry. That is what you should aim for.
Read pp. 79-82 in Examkrackers Organic Chemistry. Perform the questions on pp. 83-84. Read pp. 4-6 in Examkrackers Biology. Perform the questions on p. 10. (after study of the other types of biomolecules) Read pp. 11-15 in Examkrackers Biology. Perform the questions on p. 16.

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Goals


Be able to describe amino acid structure and able to categorize amino acids based on the chemical properties of their side chains.
Possess a good familiarity with the acid-base characteristics of amino acids including an understanding of amino acid titration curves and the isoelectric point.
Understand how steric considerations of peptide bonds play a role in determining protein structure.
Be able to distinguish primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary protein structure articulate the significance of the (limited) reversibility of protein denaturation.
Recognize the various types of post-translational modifications of proteins.
Understand and contextualize various protein functions at the cellular, tissue, physiological levels including enzyme activity, transport & storage, structure, immunity, and signalling.
Become familiar with the basics of enzyme activity and enzyme kinetics.
Understand the nomenclature and implications within enzyme kinetics of the regulation of enzyme catalysis such as with competitive & noncompetitive inhibition.
Be able to point to a few specific examples demonstrating the role of cofactors and coenzymes.
Be able to point to a few specific examples demonstrating regulation of enzymes by covalent modification or proteolytic activation.
Point to several examples of structural proteins, transport proteins, signalling proteins, and proteins involved in immunity.

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Videos

Assignments


Read the Carbohydrates chapter in the MCAT Primer with your question slider. Take your time to look carefully at the figures in the margins. Make sure you can answer all Level 2 questions. Study the more difficult terms as well, which can appear in MCAT passages.
Check your mastery of the vocabulary of Carbohydrates with a drill up to Level 3 at the Question Server, and then try to perform the Fundamental Terms Crossword Puzzle without pausing. Click here for the Solution to the crossword.
Work carefully through the materials in the Learning Center on Carbohydrates starting HERE.
Read pp. 85-86 in Examkrackers Organic Chemistry. Perform the questions on pp. 87-88. Read pp. 6-7 in Examkrackers Biology. Perform the questions on p. 10. (after study of the other types of biomolecules)

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Goals


Be able to describe the structure of carbohydrates and name the mono- and disaccharides which are prominent in the biochemistry.
Gain familiarity with the basic carbohydrate nomenclature including the simplest fundamentals of the D,L system and terms such as ‘aldose’, ‘furanose’, or ‘anomeric carbon’.
Understand how to read Fischer and Haworth projections depicting the stereochemistry of carbohydrate ring structures.
Know which monosaccharides combine to form sucrose, lactose, and maltose.
Distinguish glycogen, amylose, amylopectin, and cellulose.
Understand the structure and purpose of glycoproteins and proteoglycans.
Be able to define a glycoside and provide a few examples.
Have familiarity with the purposes of carbohydrates as fuel, biosynthetic precursors, in cell-cell recognition, and as structural components at the tissue level.

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Videos

Assignments


Read the Nucleic Acids chapter in the MCAT Primer with your question slider. Take your time to look carefully at the figures in the margins. Make sure you can answer all Level 2 questions. Study the more difficult terms as well, which can appear in MCAT passages.
Ensure your mastery of the vocabulary of Nucleic Acids with a drill of Levels 1,2 and 3 at the Question Server. Then try to perform the Fundamental Terms Crossword Puzzle without pausing. Click here for the Solution to the crossword.
Work carefully through the materials in the Learning Center on Nucleic Acids starting HERE.
Read p. 8 and pp. 25-26 in Examkrackers Biology. Perform the questions on p. 10. (after study of the other types of biomolecules)

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Goals


Understand the structure of a nucleotide. Be able to distinguish deoxyribonucleotides and ribonucleotides.
Be able to characterize purines and pyrimidines and name the five bases, knowing which occur in DNA and RNA.
Be familiar with the general organic mechanism of phosphodiester bond formation in the polymerization of nucleoside triphosphates in DNA and RNA lengthening.
Understand the structure of the DNA as a helix of two complementary antiparallel strands joined by base pairing.
Be familiar at a basic level with how the A-form, B-form, and Z-forms of DNA are distinguished.
Be able to describe the processes of DNA denaturation and renaturation (annealing).
Understand why RNA is less stable under basic conditions than DNA.
In clear, basic terms, demonstrate the ability to describe the building up of the DNA superstructure in eukaryotic chromatin beginning with the formation of nucleosomes.
Understand the varieties of RNA (mRNA, tRNA, rRNA, snRNA and scRNA) in terms of their structural and functional difference4s.
Recall the important adenosine derivative, 3'-5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate, cAMP and its importance as a second messenger involved in passing signal transduction events from the cell surface to internal proteins.

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Videos

Assignments


Read the Lipids chapter in the MCAT Primer with your question slider. Take your time to look carefully at the figures in the margins. Building vocabulary is crucial in Biology! Make sure you can answer all Level 2 questions. Study the more difficult terms as well, which can appear in MCAT passages.
Ensure your mastery of the vocabulary of Lipids with a drill up to Level 3 at the Question Server. Then try to perform the Fundamental Terms Crossword Puzzle without pausing. Click here for the Solution to the crossword.
Study the Lipids resources in the Learning Center carefully. Work to master this material one step beyond first year Biology.
Read pp. 2-3 in Examkrackers Biology. Perform the questions on p. 10. (after study of the other types of biomolecules).

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Goals


Understand that the definition of the category of lipids is not strictly structural but relies on solubility.
Be able to draw the structure of a fatty acid, glycerol, and a triglyceride molecule. Understand the acyl substitution dehydration pathway of formation of a tryglyceride molecule from glycerol and three fatty acids.
Be able to explain why saturated fats have higher melting points than unsaturated fats.
Understand the structure of soaps and detergents and how they function.
Be able to distinguish the structure of phospholipids from triglycerides in general terms as well as distinguish a few different varieties of phosopholipids from each other including lecithin and sphingomyelin. Understand how their behavior underlies the properties of cell membranes.
In basic terms, understand why the terpenes usually have a number of carbon atoms that is a multiple of 5.
Be able to draw the generic structural formula for steroids. Be able to name several examples of steroids and describe their functions.
Recognize the eicosanoid lipids: the prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes.

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Videos

Assignments


Read the Biological Membranes chapter in the MCAT Primer with your question slider. Take your time to look carefully at the figures in the margins. Make sure you can answer all Level 2 questions. Study the more difficult terms as well, which can appear in MCAT passages.
Check your mastery of the vocabulary of Biological Membranes with a drill of Levels 1,2, and 3 at the Question Server, and then try to perform the Fundamental Terms Crossword Puzzle without pausing. Click here for the Solution to the crossword.
Work carefully through the materials in the Learning Center on Biological Membranes starting HERE. The materials from Kimball's Biology Pages and the Medical Biochemistry Page are especially excellent.
Read pp. 61-64 in Examkrackers Biology.

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Goals


Be familiar with how the lipid components of the plasma membrane form a bilayer in aqueous solution.
Be able to describe the structure of integral and peripheral membrane proteins.
Under stand which substances can pass freely through the lipid bilayer and which cannot.
Comprehend the difference between facilitated diffusion and active transport.
Be able to distinguish and give examples of ligand-gated, mechanically-gated, and voltage-gated facilitated diffusion channels.
Understand the difference between direct (ATPase driven) and indirect (co-transport) active transport mechanisms.
Be able to describe osmosis comfortably employing the terms hypotonic, isotonic, and hypertonic.
Recall the various types of vesicle mediated transport mechanisms.
Be able to describe the major types of membrane bound signal transduction mechanisms.
Distinguish the primary kinds of cellular junctions: Desmosomes, Zonulae Adherens, Tight Junctions, and Gap Junctions.

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Videos

Assignments


Read the Prokaryotic Cell chapter in the MCAT Primer with your question slider. Take your time to look carefully at the figures in the margins. Make sure you can answer all Level 2 questions. Study the more difficult terms as well, which can appear in MCAT passages.
Check your mastery of the vocabulary of the Prokaryotic Cell with a drill of Levels 1,2, and 3 at the Question Server, and then try to perform the Fundamental Terms Crossword Puzzle without pausing. Click here for the Solution to the crossword.
Work carefully through the materials in the Learning Center on the Prokaryotic Cell starting HERE.
Read pp. 58-68 in Examkrackers Biology (some overlap with Biological Membranes) and perform the questions on p. 69.

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Goals


Understand in both simple and complex terms how prokaryotic cells differ from eukaryotic cells.
Be prepared to describe the structure of the prokaryotic nucleoid as well as plasmids.
Comprehend the basic structure of the bacterial flagellum.
Be able to distinguish the structural differences in the cell walls of gram negative and gram positive bacteria.
Understand the basic narrative of bacterial reproduction.
Be capable of describing the function of bacterial pili.

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Videos

Assignments


Read the Eukaryotic Cell chapter in the MCAT Primer with your question slider. Take your time to look carefully at the figures in the margins. Make sure you can answer all Level 2 questions. Study the more difficult terms as well, which can appear in MCAT passages.
Check your mastery of the vocabulary of the Eukaryotic Cell with a drill of Levels 1,2, and 3 at the Question Server, and then try to perform the Fundamental Terms Crossword Puzzle without pausing. Click here for the Solution to the crossword.
Work carefully through the materials in the Learning Center on the Eukaryotic Cell starting HERE.
Read pp. 73-80 in Examkrackers Biology. Perform the questions on p. 81.

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Goals


Recall the names and descriptions of the various membrane bound organelles found in animal cells.
Understand the structure and functions of the endomembrane system including the nuclear envelope, rough and smooth ER, and the Golgi apparatus.
Be able to describe the regulation of transport through nuclear pores.
Comprehend cellular structure in the light of central dogma, i.e. transcription and translation.
Be familiar with the functions of lysosomes and peroxysomes.
Be able to relate mitrochondrial structure with function.
Possess a solid understanding of the various cytoskeletal structures such as flagella and cilia and their related basal bodies and centrioles.
Be able to distinguish the various proteins of importance in the cytoskeleton.

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Preview & Review

Assignments


Now we start another cycle in which once again imagine you have put off studying for the MCAT and you need to cram. In module 14, we'll have another practice test. Take at least a third of your study time this module preparing for this exam. Try to break through with your ExamKrackers study package in Physics and Chemistry. Aim to know how every page looks, the images, the formulas, the bold headings, and the conceptual discussions. The ExamKrackers books do a good job of presenting the fundamental, bread-and-butter MCAT knowledge. This is a baseline you need to attain several months before the exam because you are aiming higher than this on exam day. During this module work to get above the city of knowledge with a bird's eye view of the comprehensive whole of Physics and Chemistry and ensure your knowledge base has a foundation at least as good as the basic Exam Krackers treatment. Study every conceptual chapter in Physics and Chemistry and try to complete every 30 minute in-class exam in the book as you go. This is a lot of work, but if you cram now, you won't have to later. Focus in on understanding your strengths and weaknesses. Next week we will do the same for Organic Chemistry and then Biology in Module 13.

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Goals


Hold yourself responsible for solid mastery of the fundamental principles in Physics and Chemistry.
Have a clear mental image of the model phenomena within each physics and chemistry topic and be able to describe the five to ten main concepts of each topic.
Gain an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses at the level of fundamentals. Begin to see your knowledge base as a performance you can refine by study and practice.

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Knowledge Mapping

Assignments


Read the Coaching Discussions associated with the Main Progression topics of Proteins, Carbohydrates, Nucleic Acids, Lipids, Biological Membranes, Prokaryotic Cell and Eukaryotic Cell. Start HERE and proceed by clicking 'Next Discussion'.

For a reason I can't figure out in the scripts, there seems to be a hiccup from Proteins to Carbohydrates in the discussion sequence. If this happens for you, just re-establish your place in the discussion thread after Proteins and begin Carbohydrates HERE).

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Goals


Be prepared to discuss the basic biochemistry of macromolecules with the language of organic chemistry, for example, relating peptide bond formation, for example, to acyl exchange mechanisms or ring formation of monosaccharides to hemiacetal formation.
Be able to apply physical science concepts to the biochemistry of macromolecules such as the role of solubility effects in determining tertiary protein structure.
Work on integrating your knowledge of the biological macromolecules with concepts from molecular genetics, cell biology, metabolism, and physiology.
Integrate membrane functions within the broader biological context. Examples include the importance of membranes in energy and signal transduction.
Understand the structure of the Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic cell in the light of the transcription and translation of genetic material.

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Verbal Reasoning

Assignments


Two or three times this module, sit down for one half hour and read from the following works in the category of LITERARY CRITICISM. Practice sustaining your focus for active listening. Imagine the author. Try to hear the voice in the writing. You are working to develop stronger abilities for mindful reading.

accessiblePost-Augustan Poetry - H.E. Butler
moderateAesthetic Poetry - Walter Pater
difficultThe Poetics - Aristotle (translated by Ingram Bywater)
 
Let's practice being an MCAT test writer. In this exercise, write a 'correct' and an 'incorrect' answer corresponding to questions following a typical verbal reasoning passage. Pretend you are part of a committee making the test, and your job is to write a 'best answer' and a 'second best' (tricky but wrong) answer. We will do this exercise often throughout the course to help you understand the nuances of the Verbal Reasoning questions. Print and complete this exercise. Click Here.

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Goals


Improve the stamina of your reading attention. Practice sustaining your focus through dense reading material.
Understand the intentions of the writers of Verbal Reasoning questions on the MCAT.
Verbal Reasoning Tip of the Week
Take a moment after reading an MCAT passage to identify the manner of organization. Is the passage organized serially, chronologically, logically? This will help you retain the flow of the argument and better understand the author's intention.

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Essay

Assignments


Read the WikiPremed guide to Writing the MCAT Essay.
Arrange an undisturbed half hour to write an essay. Click Here for your essay topic for module eleven. Don't advance to page 2 until you are ready to begin writing.

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Goals


Achieve steady improvement in your skill at writing MCAT essays.

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MECHANICS & WAVES
MCAT course 
syllabus module 1
Kinematics
Newton's Laws
Work, Energy, & Power
Momentum & Impulse
MCAT course syllabus module 2
Rotation  
Harmonic Motion
Elastic Properties of Solids
Fluid Mechanics
Waves
FUNDAMENTAL FORCES
MCAT course syllabus module 3
Gravitation
Electricity
THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER
MCAT course 
syllabus module 4
Atomic Theory
Periodic Properties
The Chemical Bond
Intermolecular Forces
MCAT course syllabus module 5
Functional Groups
Stereochemistry
THERMODYNAMICS & KINETICS
MCAT course syllabus module 6
Temperature & Heat Flow
Ideal Gas & Kinetic Theory
1st Law of Thermodynamics
Stoichiometry
Thermochemistry
MCAT course syllabus module 7
2nd Law & Heat Engines
Chemical Thermodynamics
The States of Matter
Orgo Physical Properties
Chemical Kinetics
AQUEOUS SYSTEMS
MCAT course syllabus module 8
Water
Solutions
Acids & Bases
Organic Acids & Bases
ORGANIC REACTION CHEMISTRY
MCAT course syllabus module 9
Nucleophiles & Electrophiles
Rearrangements
Radical Intermediates
Conjugation & Aromaticity
Alkanes
Alkenes  optional
Alkynes  optional
Alkyl Halides
Allylic Conjugation
Aromatic Compounds  optional
Alcohols & Ethers
Aldehydes & Ketones
Carboxylic Acids
Amines
Phosphorus Compounds
Sulfur Compounds
MCAT course 
syllabus module 10Overall Review
BIOMOLECULES
MCAT course syllabus module 11
Proteins
Carbohydrates
Nucleic Acids
Lipids
THE CELL
Biological Membranes
The Prokaryotic Cell
The Eukaryotic Cell
BIOENERGETICS & BIOSYNTHESIS
MCAT course syllabus module 12
Coordination Chemistry
Oxidation/Reduction
Redox in Organic Chemistry
Electrochemistry
Cellular Respiration
Photosynthesis  optional
Integration of Metabolism
GENETICS & REPRODUCTION
MCAT course syllabus module 13
Gene Expression
Cellular Reproduction
Mendelian Genetics
Recombination & Mutation
Molecular Biology Lab
Human Genetics
DIVERSITY OF LIFE
MCAT course syllabus module 14
Viruses
Bacteria & Archaea
Protista  taxonomy optional
Fungi
Plants  optional
Animals  taxonomy optional
Embryology
MCAT course 
syllabus module 15
Tissues & Histology
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
Nervous System
Sensory Systems
Endocrine System
Musculoskeletal System
Cardiovascular System
Blood
Respiratory System
Lymphatic System & Immunity
Urinary System
Digestive System
Reproductive System
POPULATION BIOLOGY
MCAT course syllabus module 16
Evolution
Ecology
ELECTROMAGNETISM, LIGHT, & MODERN PHYSICS
MCAT course syllabus module 17
Electricity
DC Current
Magnetism
Electomagnetic Induction
AC Current
MCAT course syllabus module 18
Properties of Light
Geometric Optics
Wave Optics
MCAT course syllabus module 19
Modern Physics  relativity optional
Molecular Spectroscopy
Nuclear Physics
MCAT course 
syllabus module 20Overall Review
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