BIC-10807 Molecular Life Sciences


Credits 7.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work30
Excursion (one day)16
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. CPM van Mierlo
Lecturer(s)dr. LH Beun
dr. ing. JW Borst
JJ Buijs
J Firet
drs. AMEJ Franssen-Hagebols
dr. MCR Franssen
MJ van Harmelen
dr. CAGM Weijers
WAM van den Berg
dr. ir. HM Willemen
dr. CW Hoogendam
R Spruijt
dr. TJ Sminia
MF Schrage
dr. ir. CPM van Mierlo
MSK Reijers
Examiner(s)dr. ir. CPM van Mierlo
dr. ir. HM Willemen
dr. CW Hoogendam

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

BIC-10306 Practical Biological Chemistry; PCC-12303 General Chemistry 1; PCC-12403 General Chemistry 2; ORC-12803 Organic Chemistry 1; ORC-12903 Organic Chemistry 2.

Continuation courses:

ORC-11806 Analytical Methods in Organic Chemistry; BIC-20806 Enzymology; PCC-20806 Soft Matter.


During this course you study organo-, physico- and bio-chemical properties of ‘Metals in bio-systems’ and of ‘Medicines and drugs’, as well as social aspects directly related to both themes. In a group of two students, with changing composition during the practical period, you obtain hands-on experience with various scientific experiments that inform you about fundamental features of both themes. You follow an integrated scientific approach, because both themes are investigated from three angles (i.e., organo-, physico- and bio-chemical). You interpret the scientific results obtained and also generate reports in which the experiments, the resulting data, and your conclusions are presented. In addition, within one of the themes, you focus on a particular subject and study the societal implications of scientific research, for which you apply information skills. You present the outcome of this latter study in an essay, as well as during a lecture. You visit a research institute that is active in one of the themes mentioned. In addition, you make a ‘Life Cycle Analysis’ of a phenomenon within one of these themes and write a corresponding reflection report that will be included in your ethics portfolio.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- execute various organo-, physico- and bio-chemical experiments related to ‘Metals in biosystems’ and ‘Medicines and drugs’;
- analyse and interpret the corresponding experimental data and report the outcome of this exercise in reports;
- identify a particular social phenomenon and understand its links with scientific research, report on this orally (lecture) and in writing (essay), discuss the implications with fellow students, and judge essays of fellow students;
- identify connections between different scientific disciplines;
- become aware of social implications of chemistry;
- apply the concept of ‘Life Cycle analysis’ in a qualitative manner and reflect on it via an essay.


- various aspects of working in a group, like: meetings, planning, coordinating tasks, etcetera’s;
- writing an essay;
- performing experiments, analysing and interpreting their results;
- presentation of results in reports

- presentation of essay during a lecture during a lecture;

- excursions, lectures, and discussions.


The practicals Biochemistry (examiner: Dr. van Mierlo), Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter (examiner: Dr. Hoogendam) and Organic Chemistry (examiner: Dr. Willemen) each contribute for 24 % to the final mark. The essay counts for 25 % and the oral presentation for 3 % (judged by all examiners). The reflection report for the student’s ethics portfolio has Dr. J Wellink and Dr. C Hoogendam as examiners. The essay, which is made during a 5-day period before the experimental section of the course starts, needs to be handed in on the second day of the first week of the practicals and will be assessed on its scientific and societal merits within two weeks. The report of a practical has to be handed in on the first day of the subsequent practical. This report will be corrected and discussed shortly after handing in. The marks for each individual practical, as well as for your contribution to the essay, should be at least 5.5. In case one of these marks is below 5.5, the corresponding practical or essay needs to be redone. Participation in an excursion to a research institute, which is active either within the theme 'Metals in biosystems' or 'Medicines and drugs', is obligatory. The marks for the individual parts of this course will remain valid for 6 academic years.


A manual that guides you through the experiments of this course is available at WUR-shop.

Compulsory for: BMLMolecular Life SciencesBSc6WD