BIOL1402 Chapter 3- The Molecules of Cells Notes Protein- three-dimensional structure of a large biological molecule Lactase- the enzyme that speeds the digestion of lactose (sugar in milk) into smaller sugars that can be absorbed by cells in the intestine In people who easily digest milk, lactose (a sugar) is broken down into lactase (a protein), which is coded for by a gene made of DNA (a nucleic acid). Sugars, proteins, fats and nucleic acids are the biological molecules that are essential to life. 3.1 Life’s molecular diversity is based on the properties of carbon Carbon based molecules are called organic compounds . A molecules shape often determines it’s function. Carbons composed of only carbon and hydrogen are called hydrocarbons i.e- methane and propane. The chain of carbon atoms in an organic molecule is a carbon skeleton . Compounds with the same formula but different structural arrangements are isomers . 3.2 A few chemical groups are key to the functioning of biological molecules
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