Course information  

Course type Optional module of the base curriculum: lectures, exercises, problem solving, case study as term paper
  ECTS-points 4.0 (120 hours)  
Enrolment via OLAT Bio-146 Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms  
Semester offered Every semester, either as as lecture course or/ and as distance learning course.  
Integration into curriculum Recommended as optional module in the 4th semester of the biology base studies and as prerequisite for a number of microbiological specialty courses of the advanced study section (5. and 6. semester) as well as for master studies in microbiology.  
The course is open to students who would like to learn microbiology for their studies (biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biomathematics, biophysics, systems biology, molecular biology, medicine, informatics, geology, engineering sciences, etc.)  
Course approach The course consists of 10 modules which cover the biochemistry, proteomics and metabolomics of selected processes in microbial physiology. The students acquire the facts from book chapters, lectures (some as webinars via OLAT), selected review papers and animations independently, and they test their newly gained knowledge by self-testing via OLAT and problem solving. A number of in person contact hours, internet tutored exercises and computer-supported applications from biochemistry, metabolomics and proteomics supplement the self-studies.
Course contents Module 20: Repetition of microbial physiology (links to module 03 of Bio-126) and chemistry  
Module 21: Photosynthesis: photon flux and pigment diversity
  Module 22: C-autotrophy: enzymes and metabolic pathways  
Module 23a: Chemolithotrophy
Module 23b: Bio-Thermodynamics
Module 24: Bio-Energetics and membrane topology
  Module 25: Electron transport and anaerobic respiration  
Module 26: Fermentations
Module 27: Methanogenesis and Acetogenesis
  Module 28: Networks and syntrophic interactions in degradation pathways  
Module 29: Regulation of metabolism (in perparation as a computational biology module employing Matlab)
  Study plan Here you may download the study plan for this course as a pdf file  
Prerequisite courses Recommended for biology students: CHE 150, CHE 151, BCH 201.1, BIO 126, BIO 132
  Preconditons Interest in questions relating to microbial metabolism and genomic approaches to biochemical pathway studies  
  Background and learning material Textbook: Madigan M.T. and J.M. Martinko, Brock - Biology of Microorganisms, 11th ed. 2006, Prentice Hall.  
Power point slides to the individual modules as recorded lectures, self-tests via OLAT and papers.
Learning hours 16 hrs. lectures (viewing and listening) and contact hours, 40 hrs. guided independent studies, incl. reading, self-testing, repetition and preparation for exams, 16 hrs. problem solutions, 48 hrs. searching, reading for and writing term paper.
Credit requirements 4 parts:
  • self-tests which must be fulfilled via the internet (weekly)
  • two written exams (dates see study plan)
  • 4 problem solutions (to be tested towards the end of the semester online)
  • writing a case study (deadline: end of semester)
  • the 2 exams count 15% each, the self-tests together 20%, the 4 problem solutions together 20% and the case study 30% towards the final grade.
      Distance education This course is also open to students who would like to take it as a partial distance education course via the internet. Lectures along with other course-related material can be viewed by students anywhere in the world. Registered students have the option of attending lectures when they are given on campus, or watching them online. Certain lectures are available online only.
    Students who take the distance education course complete the same coursework and receive the same credit as students who take the course locally.
    As is the case with face to face classes, students will need to buy required textbooks and complete a variety of assignments and exams. Instructors participate at discussion fora and are available via e-mail.
    Lectures become available online weekly during the semester.
    Exercises and the case studies have to be submitted via OLAT.
    Students living in the Zürich area will be required to come to the Irchel campus to take the exam in person. Distance students living outside the Zürich area have the option to take a proctored examination. For permission to take a proctored exam off-campus, qualified students must make arrangements, in advance, with the course coordinator.
    Online learning courses are academically demanding and require a strict time management in order to meet the various course requirements. The time spent each week varies according to the course syllabus, but a good approximation is to plan on spending 2 to 3 hours per week participating in live lectures and discussions, 1 to 2 hours viewing pre-recorded video or slide shows, and an additional 3 to 4 hours per week for individual study, textbook and paper reading, problem-solving and writing. Extra time may be necessary when studying for exams or writing term papers.
    University Library A number of library websites provide quick and easy access to online catalogs, electronic journals and databases, as well as a selection of useful web sites. Students need to be enroled at the University of Zürich to be able to access the online journals. Also available online are a number of videos illustrating microbiological topics. Students enrolled in online learning courses have full access to all these resources.
    Repetition The tests for the credit requirements may be repeated once
      Language German, unless required by students otherwise. The text book and the module slides are in english  
      Dates and times Pre-registration via the Bio-enrollment page (Modulbuchung) until the first session.
    Contact hours Monday 13-16 at Irchel campus, room 34.J-02
      Location for of on-campus exam Irchel room 01-F-50 (Computerraum)  
      Teacher Kurt Hanselmann
    Zollikerstrasse 107
    8008 Zürich

    Tel. 044 63 48284