CHEM 120 Chemistry of Life's Beginnings

This brief study of the structure and function of molecules common to living organisms such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).  We spend time speculating on the formation of the solar system and the early chemical history of the earth with an examination of possible mechanisms by which smaller and then larger molecules could have formed from which the present diversity of life has evolved.  This is a non-majors course with the prerequisites of high school chemistry or biology.

The course uses the ChemConnections module, "How Could Life Have Arisen on Earth" as a guide to promote an active, interactive, student directed discussion style format in the classroom.

The course was first offered during interim 2004.


Related links

Origins of Life
The RNA World
Variable Concentration Polymerization
The Miller-Urey Experiment