E-/Z-, But Not Easy
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
In this case study, two students meet a professor who surprises them by telling them that a biochemically important molecule’s structure has been incorrectly represented in the published literature - in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a major biochemistry textbook, and even The Merck Index. The students are challenged to find the nature of the structural errors and correct them. In addition to demonstrating that the technical literature is not without its flaws, the case reviews important concepts related to geometric isomerism and tautomerism.
- To get students to think critically about the literature sources they use in chemistry.
- To review concepts related to geometric isomerism and tautomerism.
KeywordsBilirubin; Z-isomer; E-isomer; geometric isomerism; Cahn-Ingold-Prelog; tautomerism; scientific literature
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division
Subject HeadingsOrganic Chemistry Biochemistry
Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.
Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.