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CHAPTER 3: BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES GREAT AND SMALL Prions – proteins that can destroy 3.1 HOW DO ORGANISMS BUILD BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES? Cell size: many small (molecular weight <300), many large (>10,000), but few medium-sized HOW BIG ARE BIOLOGICAL MOLECULES? Macromolecules – large molecules = small molecules linked together in long chains Organic molecules – carbon and hydrogen containing molecules Organic chemistry – study of organic molecules Biochemistry – study of chemistry of living organisms Sugars, amino acids, nucleotides, and lipids WHY ARE BIOLOGICAL STRUCTURES MADE FORM SO FEW BUILDING BLOCKS? We are all related WHAT KINDS OF STRUCTURES DO CARBON ATOMS FORM? Hydrocarbon chains – long chains of carbon and hydrogen FUNCTIONAL GROUPS: HOW DO SMALL MOLECULES DIFFER FROM 1 ANOTHER? Functional groups – standard small groupings of atoms that help predict properties of molecule Hydroxyl – a functional group (-OH) Carboxyl – a functional group (-COOH) Amino – a functional group (NH 2 ); tends to make molecules basic HOW DO CELLS BUILD COMPLEX MOLECULES? Lipids – fatty/oily non-polar compounds that dissolve in oil, but not water Do not form long chains Sugars – Link to form polysaccharides Amino acids – molecules that contain both amino and carboxyl groups Link to form polypeptides proteins Nucleotides – molecules that each consist of a nitrogen-containing ring, a sugar, and at least one molecule of phosphoric acid Link to form nucleic acids WHAT LINKS THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE? Macromolecules must be strong enough to stay together, but can be easily broken Dehydration condensation reaction – enzymes remove 2H, 1O to snap blocks together Hydrolysis – enzymes add a water molecule to snap macromolecules apart Building blocks – similar reactions, but different bonds
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