An immense variety of polymers can be built from a small set of monomers. Each cell has thousands of different kinds of macromolecules. These molecules vary among cells of the same individual. They vary more among unrelated individuals of a species, and even more between species. This diversity comes from various combinations of the 40–50 common monomers and some others that occur rarely. These monomers can be connected in a great many combinations, just as the 26 letters in the alphabet can be used to create a great diversity of words. Concept 5.2 Carbohydrates serve as fuel and building material Carbohydrates include sugars and their polymers. The simplest carbohydrates are monosaccharides, or simple sugars. Disaccharides, or double sugars, consist of two monosaccharides joined by a condensation reaction.
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