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Organic molecules - Organic molecules Organic molecules are...

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Organic molecules Organic molecules are those that: 1) formed by the actions of living things; and/or 2) have a carbon backbone. Methane (CH 4 ) is an example of this. If we remove the H from one of the methane units below, and begin linking them up, while removing other H units, we begin to form an organic molecule. (NOTE: Not all methane is organically derived, methane is a major component of the atmosphere of Jupiter, which we think is devoid of life). When two methanes are combined, the resultant molecule is Ethane, which has a chemical formula C 2 H 6 . Molecules made up of H and C are known as hydrocarbons. The formulas and structural representations of several simple organic molecules are shown in Figure 6. Figure 6. Types of hydrocarbon compounds and their structure. Images from Purves et al., Life: The Science of Biology , 4th Edition, by Sinauer Associates and WH Freeman, used with permission.
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Scientists eventually realized that specific chemical properties were a result of the presence of particular functional groups. Functional groups are clusters of atoms with
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