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Cell Molecular Biology Week 1: The Chemical Context of Life

by: Christian Johnson

Cell Molecular Biology Week 1: The Chemical Context of Life 1441-004

Marketplace > University of Texas at Arlington > Biology > 1441-004 > Cell Molecular Biology Week 1 The Chemical Context of Life
Christian Johnson
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About this Document

This belongs in part one of the five sections that will be covered on the exam coming up on September 27th. Remember that notes are basically summaries of different contexts that you see in the boo...
Cell Molecular Biology
Sophia I Passy
Class Notes
Biology, CellMolecularBiology, Science




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Christian Johnson on Monday August 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1441-004 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Sophia I Passy in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 59 views. For similar materials see Cell Molecular Biology in Biology at University of Texas at Arlington.


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Date Created: 08/29/16
Cell Molecular Biology Chapter 2: The Chemical Context of Life Concept 2.1 Elements and Compounds o Elements are substances that cannot be broken down into other substances for chemical  reactions.  Each element has a name which is mainly one or two letter of its original  name, such as sodium which is known as Na on the periodic table. o Compounds are substances that consists of two or more elements within in a fixed ratio.  Ex: Table salt (sodium chloride) is composed with the elements, sodium(Na)  and chlorine(Cl) in a 1:1 ratio.  Though sodium itself is a metal and chlorine is a poisonous gas when it’s  chemically combined it forms a compound that is edible.  o About 20­25% of natural elements are essential elements which, is what organisms need  in order to live a healthy life and later reproduce.  The difference that occurs with essential elements are the variations such as,  humans only needing 25 and animals 17. o Trace elements is required by an organism in only small quantities.  Ex: When it comes to vertebrates’ iodine is the essential hormone ingredient  (thyroid gland produced) we should have a daily intake of 0.15 milligrams for  normal activity of the human thyroid. Concept 2.2 Element’s Properties Depending on the Structure of Atoms   o Atoms are the smallest unit of matter that retains properties of an element.  Usually symbolized with the same abbreviation that is used for the element that is made up by those atoms.  Also composed of even smaller parts called, subatomic particles that are  neutrons (neutral charge), protons (positive charge), and electrons (negative  charge).   We measure atoms and subatomic particles with Dalton, the atomic mass unit. o All atoms of a particular element have the same number of protons in their nuclei, which  is known as the atomic number.  Always written as a subscript to the left of the symbol for the element  Ex: 2He o The sum of protons plus neutrons in the nucleus of the atom is known as the mass  number.  Always written as a superscript to the left of an element’s symbol.  Ex: 4/2 He o Certain atoms have more neutrons that other atoms of the same element, causing them to  have a greater mass also known as, isotopes.  Ex: The most common carbon isotope is 12/6C, this makes up about 99% of  carbon in nature  Stable isotopes such as 12C and 13C cannot lose subatomic particles, known as  decay.  Radioactive isotopes such as 14C are unstable so the nucleus decays give off  particles and energy. o Atom’s electrons vary in the amount of energy they possess.  Electrons of an atom mainly have potential energy from their distance from the  nucleus.  The electrons are found in multiple electron shells, which determines their  average distance and energy level. o Chemical behaviors of an atom depend on its number of electrons in the outermost shell,  known as valence electrons with the outermost electron shell being the valence shell. Concept 2.3 The Formation and Function of Molecules o The atoms with incomplete valence shells interact with certain atoms so that each partner  can complete its valence shell.  Those either share or transfer valence electrons causing the atoms to stay close  together also known as chemical bonds.  Each atom that share valence electrons has a bonding capacity that corresponds  to the number of covalent bonds that can be formed.  The bonding capacity is called valence.  Covalent bonds are the sharing of a pair of valence electrons by two atoms.  Single bonds are a pair of shared electrons. o Electronegativity is the attraction of a particular atom for electrons of a covalent bond.  Note: the more electronegative an atom is, the more it strongly pulls shared  electrons towards itself.  Nonpolar covalent bond is a covalent bond with two atoms of the same element,  which the electrons are shared equally since they have the same  electronegativity.  The polar covalent bond is when an atom is bonded to a more electronegative  atom so the electrons of the bond aren’t equally shared. o Sometimes certain atoms attraction is very unequal for the valence electrons causing the  more electronegative atom to strip an electron from its partner.  The two oppositely charged atoms are what we call ions.  Positively charged ions are a cation (attract with an anion).  Negatively charged ions are an anion (attract with a cation).  Any two ions that have an opposite charge usually form an ionic bond. o Those compounds that are formed by ionic bonds are called ionic compounds or salts.  Each salt crystal is an aggregate of vast numbers of cations and anions bonded  by electrical attraction with a three­dimensional lattice.  An ionic compound does not have molecules.  The formula is only the ratio of elements in a crystal of the salt (Ex: NaCl).  Remember not all salts have equal numbers of cations and anions. o Hydrogen bonds are within the weak chemical bond category.  This is when a hydrogen atom is covalently bonded to an electronegative atom.  The hydrogen atom has a partially positive charge so it can attract a different  electronegative atom nearby.  Ex: hydrogen bonding between H2O (water) and NH3 (ammonia). o Another weak bond is the Van der Waals interactions.  Only occur when atoms and molecules are too close together, yet some  interactions that happen simultaneously can be very powerful.  Ex: Van der Waals interactions allow a gecko lizard to walk straight up a wall. Concept 2.4 Chemical Reactions Make and Break Chemical Bonds o Chemical reactions are the making and breaking of chemical bonds, that ends up  changing the composition of matter.  Ex: reaction between hydrogen and oxygen molecules that forms water.  Example reasoning: reaction breaks the covalent bonds of H2 and O2 then forms  the new bonds of H2o. o Reactants indicate the conversion of starting materials that goes to the products.  Coefficients are the number of molecules that are involved.  Ex: 2 in front of H2 means, the reaction starts with two molecules of hydrogen. o Photosynthesis is also an important example for how chemical reactions rearrange matter.  Process of photosynthesis: 6 CO2 + 6 H2O              C6H12O6 + 6 O2  To sum it up, carbon dioxide (Co2) is taken from the air and water (H2O) that  goes into the soil. Then within the plant cells, sunlight powers the conversion  turning it into glucose (C6H12O6) and oxygen molecules.


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