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STPM BIOLOGY Basic Chemistry of A Cell

STPM BIOLOGY Basic Chemistry of A Cell



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Published by: wkwhui on Jun 04, 2010
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Basic chemistry of a cellProperties of water  –Life on Earth began in water and evolved there for 3 billion years beforespreading onto land. –Modern life, even terrestrial life, remains tied to water. –All living organisms require water more than any other substance. Human beingsfor example, can survive for quite for a few weeks without food, but only a week or so without water. –Water is deceptively simple. It is shaped something like a wide V, with its twohydrogen atoms joined to the oxygen atom by single covalent bond. –Because oxygen is more electronegative than hydrogen, the electrons of thecovalent bonds spend more time closer to oxygen than to hydrogen; in other words, they are polar covalent bonds.
The uneven distribution of electrons of water molecules makes it an universalsolvent.In overall, water has four emergent properties:Cohesion1.Water molecules stay close each other as a result of hydrogen bonding.2.Although the arrangement of molecules in a sample of liquid water is constantlychanging, at any given moment many of the molecules are linked by multiplehydrogen bonds.3.These linkages make water more structured than most other liquid.4.Collectively, the hydrogen bonds hold the substance together, a phenomenoncalled cohesion.5.Cohesion means the hydrogen bonding between the water molecules that canform a continuous water column against the gravity without breaking.6.Besides cohesion, water molecules can also perform adhesion between water molecules and cell walls by hydrogen bonds.7.Both cohesion and adhesion are important in the transport of water in plants.
8.Related to cohesion is surface tension, a measure of how difficult it is to stretch or  break the surface of a liquid.9.At interface of water and air is an ordered arrangement of water molecules,hydrogen-bonded to one another and to the water below.10.This makes the water behave as though coated with an invisible film.11.You can observe the surface tension of water by slightly overfilling a drinkingglass; the water will stand above the rim.12.In a more biological example, some animals can stand, walk or run on water without breaking the surface. Moderation of temperature1.The ability of water to stabilize temperature stems from its relatively high specificheat capacity.
The specific heat capacity of water is 4200 J
which means 4200 J of heatenergy is required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1
C .3.Therefore, water acts as a thermal buffer.4.The heat of vaporization of water is also high. The high amount of energyrequired to vaporize water has a wide range of effects.5.On a global scale, for example, it helps moderate Earth’s climate.
On organismal level, water plays an important role in homeostasis.7.Water acts like a cooling agent. When body temperature deviates from normalrange, sweat is produced to cool the body down. The heat energy produced by body can be eliminated by the evaporation of water (sweat) from the surface of skin.Insulation of bodies of water by floating ice1.Water is one of the few substances that are less dense as a solid than as a liquid.In other word, ice floats in liquid water.
At 4
C, the density of water is the greatest. Below this point, water begins toexpand and cause the density of water to become lower.3.A layer of ice on the surface of seas, lakes and ponds during winter prevents thewhole volume of water to freeze. Thus, the aquatic organisms can still survivefrom the insulation of the floating ice.
The solvent of life1.Water is a versatile solvent which can dissolve many solutes.2.Therefore, water is a good medium for most of the biochemical reactions.3.Water can act as a lubricant. Mucus, synovial fluid, pericardial fluid are theexamples of lubricants composed mainly of water.4.Water is a good medium for transport and removal of substances and wastes.5.Some animals also depend on water to support their body and for locomotion bythe hydrostatic skeleton.
Water is a dispersal agents for seeds of land plants such as coconut trees and alsoaid the fertilization of some plants such as
Marchantia sp.
Carbohydrate composes of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in the ratio of 1:2:1.
The basic formula for carbohydrate is C
where x and y are constantvariables. –In cell, carbohydrate is the main source of energy, food storage compounds andstructural components.
Carbohydrates can be divided into three main clasees:1.Monosaccharide2.Disaccharide3.PolysaccharideMonosaccharidesTriosesPentoseHexoseAldosesGlyceraldehyderibose Glucose GalactoseKetosesDihydroxyacetoneribuloseFructose

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