1.5 Physics and Chemistry

Students will be able to integrate physics and chemistry concepts into relevant biological contexts.

It is incredibly interesting how physics and chemistry courses are such interdisciplinary subjects that they cover many biological topics as well. In Physics 121: General Physics II, I had a class where we discussed the electrical impulses of the heart. Neurons, action potentials, and the overall electrical system of the heart are topics I have learned about in anatomy & physiology as well so it was interesting to learn about them from a physics standpoint.

In Chem 212: Organic Chemistry II, our class investigated the antimicrobial activity of modified parabens to determine if they would be able to kill bacteria. After this project, I developed a deeper understanding of organic chemistry in a lab setting, which helped me to understand how parabens a part of our daily lives. They are present in many makeup products, moisturizers, and hair-care products that many of us use on a daily basis. For this reason, it is important to understand how they might be affecting us biologically.

In Biology 412: Biochemistry, we looked at 3 FDA-approved platinum-based chemotherapeutics. It is important to note that DNA is the key cellular target of Pt drugs, so through this lab analysis and gel electrophoresis we were able to learn more about Pt drugs on the molecular level. This is important research for learning about how the chemical structure of the drugs can affect the function of they in the human body.

Through these courses, I was able to integrate physics and chemistry into relevant biological contexts.