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The Chemistry of Life

by: Meagan Samele

The Chemistry of Life BIOL 1105

Meagan Samele
Virginia Tech
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About this Document

These notes cover the second lecture given in class.
Principles of Biology
Dr. Glen Stevens
Class Notes
Biology, Chemistry, Chemistryoflife




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Meagan Samele on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BIOL 1105 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Dr. Glen Stevens in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.


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Date Created: 09/05/16
● Isotopes  ○ Atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons   ● Stable Isotopes in Biology and Ecology  ○ Small difference in mass can cause preferential reactions (fractionation)  ○ Marine systems (and thus salmon) tend to be enriched and heavier in isotopes of  N, C relative to terrestrial systems  ○ Researchers used these differences to track the impact of salmon on white  spruce   ○ Marine­derived N was important   ○ Up to 17% of N in forests within 500 m of the stream was from salmon  ○ Each bear moves about 80 lbs of Nitrogen (N)  ● Electrons Determine an Atom’s chemical Behavior  ● Atoms Form Molecules via Chemical Bonds  ● Covalent bond is the strongest  ● Hydrogen is weak  ● Nitrogen can form 3 bonds  ● Covalent bonding within water molecule   ● Ability of water to form H Bonds is critical  ○ Cohesion   ○ Adhesion  ○ High specific heat  ● Water is essential for life: Cohesion  ○ Polarity  ● Water in life: Adhesion  ○ Attraction of water and other polar molecules  ● Heat of Vaporization  ○ Amount of energy required  ● Water essential for life  ○ Solid water is less dense than liquid water  ○ Lake water  ○ 4 degrees celsius is when density of water is maximum  ● Polar is hydrophilic   ● Water rarely and spontaneously forms ions  ● OH(­)= hydroxide ion  ● H(+)= hydrogen ion (proton)  ● pH­partial hydrogen  ○ Factor of 10 between each number  ● Most of a cell is composed of water  ● RNA is most common between that and DNA  ○ Because DNA is used to create RNA  ● Carbon atoms may bind to other carbon atoms, or to atoms of hydrogen, oxygen,  nitrogen, phosphorus  ● Four main macromolecules:  ○ Carbohydrates  ○ Nucleic Acid  ○ Protein   ○ Lipid  ● Structure determines shape  ● Some amino acids are essential and some are not   ● Direction of synthesis  ● Patterns are seen in secondary structure for physical structure and functions  ● Functional regions within the tertiary structures are called “domains”  ● A single peptide chain has a tertiary structure as the final structure   ● Denatured­inactive primary structure  


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