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7.71/5.78 - Biophysical Chemistry Techniques





The materials and information for this class can be found on Stellar.


Course Description


For students who want to understand the benefits and caveats of biophysical techniques used to ascertain the structure of macromolecules, especially on the 3-D level.

The first half of the course focuses on X-ray crystallography, the single most important technique used in determining the 3-D structure of macromolecules. Discussion of crystallographic theory is complemented with exercises such as crystallization, data processing, and model building.

In the second half of the course, biophysical techniques are covered that supplement the 3-D characterization of biological macromolecules. Topics include CD spectroscopy, isothermal calorimetry, analytical ultracentrifugation, dynamic light and small-angle X-ray scattering. Theoretical principles behind the techniques are covered, and students are given practical exercise using instrumentation available at MIT.