Chapter_04_Carbon_and_the_Molecular_Diversity_of_Life -...

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Carbon and The Molecular Diversity of Life The Importance of Carbon While the cell is composed of 70% to 95% water, the rest consists of carbon-based compounds. The study of these carbon-based compounds, or organics , is called organic chemistry . Organic compounds can range from simple molecules such as methane (CH 4 ), to large, complex macromolecules such as proteins, lipids, or hydrocarbons, like the helicene molecule pictured at the right. Key Terms Organics- Carbon-based compounds Organic chemistry- The study of carbon-based compounds Valence- the number of covalent bonds an atom will usually form with another atom Hydrocarbons- organic molecules consisting only of carbon and hydrogen Isomers- Variations in the architecture of organic molecules Functional Groups- The components of organic molecules that are most commonly involved in chemical reactions Valences for the Major Elements of Organic Molecules Valence is the number of covalent bonds an atom will usually form. It is equal to the number of electrons required to complete the
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2012 for the course BIO 141 taught by Professor Dr.cafferty during the Spring '11 term at Emory.

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Chapter_04_Carbon_and_the_Molecular_Diversity_of_Life -...

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