Structural Organization and the Chemical Basis of Life

Structural Organization and the Chemical Basis of Life -...

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Structural Organization and the Chemical Basis of Life (A) Introduction The universe and living bodies are composed of matter which occupies space and possesses mass. Matter can exist in four forms -solid, liquid, gaseous and plasma. Matter is made up of basic substances called elements . There are over a hundred elements recognized by scientists today. An element is made up of identicle atoms. Calcium, Carbon, hydrogen , iron, sodium, etc. are some elements. i) Atoms Each element is made up of one particular kind of atom. Atoms are the smallest part of an element which do not share the properties of the element. An atom consists of 3 basic particles: a) Protons, which are positively charged and are present in the nucleus. b) Electrons, which are negatively charged and which rotate around the nucleus. c) Neutrons, which are present in the nucleus and which don’t have any electricle charge. A neutron has approximately the same mass as a proton. In the nucleus of the atom the proton and neutron are firmly attached to each other. The chemistry of the atom is dependent upon the number of protons and electrons in the atom. Protons and electrons are present in the same number in the atom, which leads to a neutral electrical charge in the atom. The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by shells or orbits of
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Structural Organization and the Chemical Basis of Life -...

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