Unformatted text preview: AP Biology
Pattern Matching: Organic Molecules
What are living things made of? Sugar and spice and everything nice? (Or snips and snails and puppy dog tails . . .)
Common sense tells us that living things are somehow different from non-living things, but how deep does that difference
.un? Are living things made from different kinds of atoms than those in non-living things? Different kinds of molecules?
There may be as many as 10,000 different kinds of molecules in a living thing. But are there a few common patterns? A
few common functions?
exooid gniblind -ation or? A ! quota
Once you have completed these exercises you should be able to:
Know what an organic molecule is and how it differs from an inorganic molecule.
Identify the major classes of organic molecules.
Identify the distinguishing features of each class of molecules.
Given a typical example of an organic molecule, identify the class to which it belongs.
Table 1 reviews the most common atoms found in living organisms and some of their properties. As you work, notice if the
atoms in your molecules follow the indicated bonding patterns
Table 1. CHNOPS: Common Elements in Living Things
Usual # of Bonds
2, [4, 6]
Identifying Categories of Biological Molecules
The objects you will be sorting are basic building blocks (subunits) of common macromolecules in living things. Do NOT
refer to your books during this exercise. Use your own judgment in doing the sorting
Cut out the set of unlabeled molecules below. Organize the 42 cards into groups based upon structural similarities. Pay
special attention to:
the elements (CHNOPS) in the molecule,
patterns within the molecule, and
the shape of the molecule,
the ends of the molecule.
How many groups of molecules do you have?
Explain your reasoning for creating these particular groups. (Quick-and-dirty sketches of general molecule shapes can be
part of your explanations. ) The Ist group was sorted by their long shape , the and group was
and the 4 th
Sorted because they all had pentagons inthem. The Bird group had only hexagons
group all hadvad
group hadlong strands c backbon with His attached, Thesthe On
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