09-10 - BIO 5099 Molecular Biology for Computer...

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BIO 5099: Molecular Biology for Computer Scientists (et al) Lecture 6: A little bit of chemistry http://compbio.uchsc.edu/hunter/bio5099 [email protected] A tiny bit more on Dinosaurs Go back to the Museum! The Mesozoic exhibit we didn't see is the strength of the DMNS. Ultimate Dinosaur Book First “Biology,” now “Molecular” Evolution is one key determinant of living characteristics. The other is chemistry . Life obeys the same physical rules as the rest of the universe. Two key questions: Transforming matter and energy into copies of self involves a particular set of chemical reactions What is the chemistry of life? What is (and isn't) special about that chemistry? What role do thermodynamic considerations play in life?
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Matter Substances have two kinds of properties: Physical properties: e.g. color, density, phase (gas, solid) Chemical properties: kind of matter, not state of matter. Most substances around us are mixtures . Mixtures are held together by physical forces, not chemical ones. Mixtures that are homogeneous (that is, uniformly distributed) are solutions . Solute is dissolved in a solvent to make a solution Aqueous solution is one where water is the solvent. Salt water is a solution; salt and pepper is just a mixture. Compounds Take any substance, and start grinding it up, breaking it into smaller pieces. It takes work (energy) to break it into pieces Substances in a mixture can be separated from each other by physical means (e.g. filter or centrifuge) A substance that cannot be physically separated into fractions with different chemical properties is called pure ; it is composed of a single compound . Compound examples: water, sugar, salt, vinegar
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09-10 - BIO 5099 Molecular Biology for Computer...

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