Lecture 2 - Why is life based on carbon? What distinguishes...

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Characteristic Features of Life on Earth Chem 431A S. Grover Why is life based on carbon? What distinguishes living systems from non-living systems? How is information stored in living systems? Do living systems violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics? How might life be different elsewhere in the universe? What characterizes life? Complexity . Even “simple” organisms have an impressive variety of complex structures and molecules. Yeast 20S proteasome
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What characterizes life? Organization . Multiple layers: organs > cells > organelles > supramolecular complexes (e.g. ribosomes) > macromolecules (proteins, DNA, RNA, carbohydrates). Order is created and renewed from non-ordered surroundings . What characterizes life? (cont.) All components have a function . As with man-made objects, all components of living systems are designed to serve a function. • Example – horse heart cyt c – Function of the whole molecule – Function of individual residues – Function of Fe (!!)
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Cyt c Pg.180 What characterizes life? (cont.)
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2009 for the course CHEM 431 taught by Professor Gr during the Spring '09 term at California State University Los Angeles .

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Lecture 2 - Why is life based on carbon? What distinguishes...

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