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Unformatted text preview: C HAPTER 17 A N I NTRODUCTION TO O RGANIC C HEMISTRY , B IOCHEMISTRY , AND S YNTHETIC P OLYMERS 657 ts Friday night, and you dont feel like cooking so you head for your favorite eatery, the local 1950s-style diner. There you spend an hour talking and laughing with friends while downing a double hamburger, two orders of fries, and the thickest milkshake in town. After the food has disappeared, youre ready to dance the night away at a nearby club. Whats in the food that gives you the energy to talk, laugh, and dance? How do these substances get from your mouth to the rest of your body, and what happens to them once they get there? The branch of chemistry that answers these questions and many more is called biochemistry , the chemistry of biological systems. Because the scope of biochemistry is huge, we will attempt no more than a glimpse of it here by tracing some of the chemical and physical changes that food undergoes in your body. You will be introduced to the kinds of questions that biochemists ask and will see some of the answers that they provide. Because chemicals that are important to biological systems are often organic, or carbon-based, compounds, we start this chapter with an introduction to organic chemistry. Its not always apparent to the naked eye, but the structures of many plastics and synthetic fabrics are similar to the structures of biological substances. In fact, nylon was purposely developed to mimic the structural characteristics of protein. The last section in this chapter shows you how these substances are similar, and how synthetic polymers are made and used. How does the body manage to beneft From the nutrients in the Food we eat? 17.1 Organic Compounds 17.2 Important Substances in Foods 17.3 Digestion 17.4 Synthetic Polymers Give a general description of the information provided in a Lewis structure. (Section 3.3.) Describe the information given by a space- filling model, a ball-and-stick model, and a geometric sketch. (Section 3.3) Given a Lewis structure or enough information to write one, draw a geometric sketch of the molecule, including bond angles (or approximate bond angles). (Section 12.4) Review Skills The presentation of information in this chapter assumes that you can already perform the tasks listed below. You can test your readiness to proceed by answering the Review Questions at the end of the chapter. This might also be a good time to read the Chapter Objectives, which precede the Review Questions. 17.1 Organic Compounds Two co-workers at a pharmaceutical company, John and Stuart, jump into Johns car at noon to drive four blocks to get some lunch. The gasoline that fuels the car is composed of many different organic compounds, including some belonging to the category of organic compounds called alkanes and a fuel additive called methyl t-butyl ether (MTBE). When they get to the restaurant, Stuart orders a spinach and fruit salad. The spinach contains a carboxylic acid called oxalic acid, and the odor from the orange and pineapple slices is due, in part, to the...
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