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Biological Molecules

Biological • 4 most common elements in living


Molecules organisms:
– Hydrogen
– Carbon
– Oxygen
– Nitrogen
• Molecules vary in size

Topic 1.1: Water

Biological Molecules Water


• Smaller molecules: • Most abundant of the smaller
– Soluble, easily transported molecules
– Metabolic reactions • 60-95% fresh mass of an organism
• Larger molecules:
– Storage 1. Chemical constituent of living cells
– Structural (protoplasm)
– Information 2. Environment for organisms living in
water

Characteristics Significance
• Polar (uneven charge distribution) • Solvent for polar substances
• Hydrogen bonding • Chemical reactions in cells
mainly in aqueous solutions

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Significance Significance
• Transport medium in: • Non-polar substances are usually
– Blood repelled by water and group together
– Excretory system • Hydrophobic
– Alimentary canal
– Xylem
– Phloem
• Reactant in chemical reactions
of metabolism

Significance Significance
• Component of:
• High heat capacity
– Lubricants
– Digestive juices • High heat of
– Blood vaporization
• Other uses: • High heat of fusion
– Photosynthesis
– Regulation of
body temp
– Hydrolysis

Significance
• High surface tension and cohesion
• Cohesive and adhesive forces