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Biomolecules and the Chemistry of Life

Biomolecules and the Chemistry of Life

Biomolecules and the Chemistry of Life Topics in Depth

Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons

Chemistry 101 – A Subatomic Soap OperaWhen it comes right down to it, the atomic world has enough drama to rival the most epic telenovela. There’s love. There’s hate. Bonds are formed and b...

Isotopes

We said that a regular atom needs to have the same number of protons as electrons, but we didn’t say anything about neutrons. Neutrons are special because the number of neutrons can vary in a reg...

Ions

We now know that the number of protons is what defines the kind of atom or element we are dealing with, and if you change the number of protons, you get a totally different element. We also know th...

Bonds

Kinds of Bonds and the Laws of AttractionYou may ask yourself, what are all these atoms and ions doing with themselves? As it turns out, a lot of them are bonding with other atoms and ions. Get a r...

Special Properties of Water

Water is SpecialWe’ll overlook the indiscretion of hydrogen bonds in light of the fact that they are partly responsible for water’s unique properties. Now, everyone is special, and we’re not...

Organic vs. Inorganic Molecules

Congratulations! You are officially a certified chemistry guru. Now we can move on to some more biologically oriented chemistry. Isn’t that what you were hoping for? Yes, yes it was.Molecules can...

Monomers, Polymers, and Dehydration Synthesis

Some biological molecules are relatively small and may contain a handful of atoms bound together. Others are large and unwieldy and can contain hundreds or thousands of atoms. If you were trying to...

Carbohydrates

Carbs are awesome, and not because they’re responsible for some of the tastiest comfort foods known to humankind. To quote Homer Simpson, "Mmmmmm. Donuts." Carbohydrates are an important source o...

Lipids

Lipids are an eclectic bunch of biomolecules, but all are hydrophobic and therefore do not dissolve in water. This is due to the fact that long stretches of lipid molecules have only carbons and hy...

Proteins

Now that we have left Lipid Town, we move on to the big city, Proteinopolis. Proteins do all sorts of nifty things. For instance, they may provide structure, increase the speed of chemical reaction...

Nucleic Acids

Nucleic acids—our buddies DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, and RNA, ribonucleic acid—consist of long chains of nucleotides, which are monomers. (Sensing a pattern yet? Good. Biology is all about...

Common Mistakes

Chemistry1. Don’t confuse ions and isotopes. Remember, ions are charged particles; they form when electrons are gained or lost, which creates an imbalance in the number of protons relative to ele...

Test Your Knowledge!

Chemistry QuestionsPotassium (K) has an atomic number of 19. How many protons does it have? How many electrons does it have? Magnesium (Mg) has 2 electrons in its outer shell, which can hold u...

Made From Trees

Offline ResourcesAudesirk, T. & Audesirk, G. (1999). Biology: Life on Earth (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Campbell, N.A., Reece, J.B., Urry, L.A., Cain, M.L., Wasserman, S.A....

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