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January 17, 2007

January 17, 2007 - Life and Chemistry Large Molecules The...

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January 17, 2007 Life and Chemistry: Large Molecules The Origin of Life o Did life come from extraterrestrial sources? o Did life originate on Earth? Chemical evolution Did Life originate on Earth? o Many molecules have a unique 3-D handedness o Scientist’s now have a different view of Earth’s original atmosphere o Polymers had to be formed o It is believed that life originated in hot pools at the edge of oceans Macromolecules o Giant polymers Poly –“many” Mer – “unit” o Formed by covalent bonding between monomers o Proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, and lipids o Have molecular weights over 1,000 o Have specific functions Proteins: Polymers of amino acids o Structural support o Catalysis o Protection o Transport o Defense o Regulation o Movement Amino Acids o A central alpha-carbon attached to 4 different groups o The R groups determine the 3-D structure and function of the protein o Amino acids are grouped by their side chains o 20 amino acids found in nature Amino acids are grouped according to their R-groups o Positive Arginine Histidine Lysine o Negative Aspartic acid
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