The Course


Syllabus for The Chemistry of Daily Life: Malnutrition & Diabetes (Acrobat (PDF) 173kB Jun25 08)

Course Organization

This course uses as a unifying theme the two related topics of malnutrition and diabetes. Malnutrion, which literally means "badly nourished", encompasses more than undernutrition. An inadequate intake of protein, energy, and micronutrients can lead to a significant increase in diet-related medical problems such as obesity. And we now knowthat there is a very clear link between obesity and significantly increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Undernutrion and obesity are challenges that face many countries, including the United States.

Chemistry of Daily Life can be viewed as being organized in two halves. The first half introduces basic chemical concepts that will be important when we take a closer look at the chemistry of food and nutrition. The second half (starting around Spring Break) will use these chemical concepts to help you develop a better understanding of:

- how carbohydrates, fats, and proteins can serve as nutrients for the body
- what micronutrients are and why they are important
- food additives - their chemistry and regulation
- poisons, toxins, and risk assessment
- how new drugs are developed and approved

Structure of the Course

This course consists of 11 laboratory experiments. The first step in conducting an experiment is to read the instructions in the laboratory handout. During the laboratory period, you will conduct the experiment-working individually or in pairs depending on the particular topic-and then discuss the results with your neighbors and with me. You will then write a short laboratory report that presents and analyzes the results of the experiment. The structure of each report will be described during the laboratory period. Each report is due at the next laboratory period. For some experiments, you may be asked to complete a worksheet in place of the lab report. Late reports will receive a five-point penalty for each week they are late. Lab reports that are turned in less than one week late will have the late penalty scaled accordingly. It is your responsibility to ensure that all lab reports are legible. While I don't require that lab reports be typed, I strongly encourage you to do this. Illegible lab reports may result in your receiving a lower grade because I could not read what was written. If a student fails to turn in three lab reports, the Associate Academic Dean will be informed.