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CHEM 461: Metabolic Biochemistry

Biochemistry Research

As you get started investigating your topic, you may find it helpful to begin with 'big picture' sources to help you investigate foundational information and necessary context that will allow you to identify and understand the specific nuances of your topic. Secondary and tertiary sources like books, handbooks, encyclopedias, etc., are very useful for this!

Below are some electronically accessible sources available to you through Collins that might help you get started. These are just a very few of the many many books available to you! You can search for more books on your topic in Primo, the library catalog. 

Not seeing what you need? Feel free to get in touch with Eli, your science librarian, who can help you identify relevant sources for your particular topic --->

Concept Mapping

For your term paper, you need to investigate a biochemical topic and begin by searching for relevant literature on that topic, after which you'll formulate a thesis statement based on experimental evidence that you've discovered in the literature. Since you'll need to do quite a bit of exploratory research to find the literature that will allow you to formulate your thesis statement, it may be helpful to start your inquiry with a concept mapping exercise to explore your topic and generate search terms. 

To create a concept map, you brainstorm aspects of your topic that interest, confuse, or intrigue you. Ask yourself: How does this work? Who does it affect? How can it be measured? What are the methods for studying it? What are possible outcomes? What is already known? What is unknown?   

Creating a map of these subtopics will help you flesh out your topic, and help you identify search terms that you can use to narrow down your search results. Keep in mind that this map may include as many questions as it does ideas...after all, you haven't researched your topic yet! 

Jamboard is a Google product that you can log into with a personal or Puget Sound account at It works sort of like a virtual whiteboard. You can upload photos, or use the 'post it note' feature to make notes. 

Here's a link to an example Jamboard: CHEM 461 Concept Map Spring 2021

Let's use one of the example topics from your assignment to make a concept map together. 

"The environmental protection agency and department of health have said that exposure to lead (Pb) is the single biggest environmental risk to children in the United States of America, from deteriorating lead paint, which is in nearly all homes built (in this country) before 1978 (it was banned decades earlier in other countries…). Lead is known to inhibit brain development and influence behavior of children exposed to it. What are some of the mechanisms behind these effects?"

Get help now!

Ask a Librarian 24/7 service: Anytime, anywhere! This instant messaging reference service lets you chat with a librarian no matter what time it is. Puget Sound librarians can follow up if you leave your email address.

Best for: Questions that can't wait but come up when the library is closed; citation questions; tracking down specific books and articles.