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Insane in the Membrane, a ?musical? (an over all mess), tells the tale of an AP
biology student tr ying to figure how two of the major chemical reactions work;
all the while explaining it to her class in an ar tsy, avant- garde way! Join Jhenica
on her jour ney as she tr ies to make sense of these concepts.


- Plants (possibly other or ganisms!)

- The Sun
- The Cell and all its Par ts
- Humans (not that impor tant? well in scene 1)


- Anabolic: A reaction that depends on the building of bonds for ener gy

- Ender gonic: A reaction where ener gy is absorbed, not released
- Pigment: Any molecule that inter acts with light ener gy to produce a color
- Photosynthesis: Process used by plants and other or ganisms to conver t
ener gy from the sun into glucose, so or ganisms like humans can help use
it to create ener gy. We need that ener gy to keep living on, you know? It?d
be hor r id if our entropy would increase, leading to total chaos in our
systems (but that?s for another time!)
- Light reaction: Process in Photosynthesis that conver ts sunlight into ATP
and NADPH, which are then to be used in the Calvin Cycle.
- Calvin Cycle (Dark Reaction): Process in Photosynthesis that breaks down
ATP and NADPH, high ener gy molecules, to create glucose!

Jhenica: Hey class! I?m here to teach you guys about? photosynthesis!

Begins to rap/ sing (not doing a very good job at it though)

Jhenica: There?s a reciprocal relationship between chemoheterotrophic and
photoautotrophic nutr ition

Each one of those metabolic reactions requires a ?simple? addition

Well that?s how it appear s to be, at fir st

But once you dive deeper in the logistics of it, you?ll totally be immer sed!


Jhenica: Let?s star t with photosynthesis, an anabolic ender gonic process
In which plants and other or ganisms use light ener gy to make the mess
That is conver ting CO2 and water into oxygen and glucose
Nonetheless, there?s more specifics to it
(Honestly it?s pretty legit!)
The gr imy details include the actual chemical equation
Where 6CO2 plus 6H2O yields to C6H12O6 and 6O2; it?s easy to think of
misinter pretations
As water is the reducing agent meaning it will oxidized and vice ver sa for carbon

Mr s. Nor ton: Hm? just think of OILRIG!

Oxidizing is losing electrons, reducing is gaining electrons.
Jhenica: As confusing and conflicting as it seems at fir st, at least it?s no tr ig?
Jhenica (continues to r ap): This process occur s in the chloroplast
It already sounds like such a blast!
Especially because these chloroplasts contain chlorophyll
That?s a pigment and comes into 2 main var ieties

The blast that is the chloroplast

Is ver y intacted
As it consists of a ser ies of membr anous discs called thylakoids
Ar r anged in stacks
Known as the gr ana
Which is inside of the inner membr ane of
The blast that is the chloroplast!
Mr s. Nor ton:Aren?t you for getting the stroma?!
Jhenica:Ah yes! My denotation of the stroma won?t put you in a coma
As it?s just the fluid/space sur rounding the gr ana?
Which is inside of the inner membr ane of
The blast that is the chloroplast!

The over all pur pose is to create glucose, now make some noise!
There are 2 steps to photosynthesis, the Light Reactions where the main pur pose is
to create
And the Calvin Cycle where there?s not much var iety?

I mean it just makes glucose, but not ?just makes? since it?s an impor tant process in
our lives. If we didn?t or well if there wasn?t photosynthesis in the fir st place, then
I?m 99.9% sure we would all die cause there?s no food nor oxygen to allow us to live,
ya know? So, I think-
Mr s. Nor ton: Andddd scene! Ever yone take a five minute break!
Jhenica: It?s such a sunny day! Oooo, look at those plants outside! What if?


Plant 1: Yo dude! Don?t you ever wonder ing what?s going on inside of us?!
Plant 2: Nah not really dude, I just hope I live to see another day. You know how
humans are.
Plant 1: I guess, but what if?
Plant 2: Man, be quiet! Just absorb this light. Be gr ateful for once.
Plant 1: So you?re telling me? the light we absorb gets absorbed by photosystem
II, a protein, in the membr ane to where the water we absorb is lysed meaning it
bur sts open by this light!
Plant 2: Never really said that, but if it makes me seem smar ter- sure! Honestly,
I could go for a light snack.
Drum roll plays.
Plant 1: What if?

?I n Da Club? by 50 Cent plays.

J ust kidding, it?s totally called ?I n Da Photosystem I I ? by 50 Cells.
can't copyright me now! bwahaha
Currently in a club called Photosystem I I .

Hydr ogen: Electrons, electrons! H and O are no more?

Electr on 1: Don?t tell us, another pair of H2O broke up?
Electr on 2: I mean, that?s what happens when you enter Photosystem II.
Electr on 1: And when you cheat in a relationship?
Hydr ogen: You guys told me to come here in the fir st place!
Electr ons: sips tea
Electr on 1: No idea what you?re talking about.
Electr on 2: Absolutely no clue! Don?t blame us for your failed relationship, geez.
Electrons begin to whisper to each other.
Electr on 1: Hey this club is such a bore! Let?s move somewhere else?
Electr on 2: Let me guess?
Electr ons: Photosystem I! Tur n up!
Electr on 2: Ah I see the light-
Electr on 1: We can use that as an excuse. I mean it?s technically for real.
Electr on 2: Good idea!
Hydrogen stands there, awkwardly.
Electr on 1: So we?re going to leave, gotta get that light at the end of tunnel!
You know what I?m saying?
Electr on 2: The light just excites us, you know? I mean I hope you under stand.
Hydr ogen: I don?t really-
Electr on 1: Great! Well we?ll see you later, stay positive!
Hydr ogen: Wait, I can?t really do that if you?re leaving me-
Electrons leave Photosystem II.

Electrons are outside of the new protein- I mean club called Photosystem I.
Electr on 1: What a r ager ! Man, I don?t think we can do this?
Electr on 2: I don?t think so either. Dar n, what do we do now?!

At last! A crowd (the protein) pushes well rather forces the electrons in, against its
Electr on 2: You know what?! Screw this, screw all these fear s, all these ner ves!
Electr on 1: You?re r ight! I?m so pumped up again!
Electr on 2: Sure some of our ener gy was lost due to that active tr anspor t, but
it?s time to get ready to PAR- TAY!
Electr on 1: The VIP section with the bar, NADP+ reductase (an enzyme), is
finally open! Thank goodness.

In this moment, I?m sure you can imagine what happens next.
By that, I mean NADP+ reducrase gets oxidized and NADP+ as well as H+ gets
reduced. Thus, it results in NADPH, a high energy molecule.

While the electrons do that, here?s the perspective of Hydrogen. Hydrogen goes to
this chill place called the Thylakoid Space.
Hydr ogen: Stupid electrons, with their stupid negativity. Go ahead, take that
somewhere else. I don?t need it in my life.
Hydr ogen 2: Honestly, I totally agree with you!
Hydr ogen: Oh, did I say that out loud? Whoops...
Hydr ogen 3: Don?t even get me star ted on those electrons- not to mention

A few minutes later and H+ builds up in the Thylakoid Space. It hates the high
Hydr ogen: You know what? Skrt.

More minutes later?

Hydr ogen: Just let me be free already!!! I?ve had enough! How dare my ?friends?
leave me. How dare the love of my life left me. They?re incredibly fake. They?re the
definition of fake. Drake even wrote a song about them all. I just want to be free!!

Hydr ogen sees the r est of the H+ going thr ough the ATP Synthase.
Hydr ogen: Huh? What?s going on? Honestly, I?m so listless; I can?t do this

Hydr ogen goes thr ough the ATP Synthase.

Hydr ogen: There?s a little kinetic energy in me? If I can just push through,
I WON?T GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT!!! Come on, it?s time to meet my own
concentration- it?s time to make things right, to finally make it my way!

Hydr ogen has made it thr ough; it?s on the other side now, huzzah!
Hydr ogen: Yes! Woohoo! Maybe this is what the electrons meant when they were
talking about a tunnel? (giggles)

At this moment, in this happy- ish moment, ADP+Pi is able to make ATP.

Mr s. Nor ton: Wake up, Jhenica!

Jhenica: Huh?! Oh shoot, did I fall asleep?
Mr s. Nor ton: Well yeah? time to present the rest of what you have for
Jhenica: I just had the cr aziest of dreams. So these electrons were at a club
called Photosystem II and-
Mr s. Nor ton: Are you okay?
Jhenica: Of cour se! Why wouldn?t I be after procr astinating and r ushing my
work to find out what to say dur ing this lesson? Hahaha? not even, I?m one
of the best students out there!

The class just stares at her. She stares back.

Jhenica: Okay guys, the second par t of photosynthesis is the Calvin Cycle! It
can also known as the? Dark Reaction!

Occur s in the stroma, the outside of the chloroplast

It makes sense as this is the last
Step of photosynthesis of cour se, not of them all
I mean let?s stop the r ambling before we get into this giant pitfall
Of endless r amblings, tangents- it?s your call?

But that?s besides the point as carbon fixation is the fir st step of the Calvin
Cycle where 3 CO2 molecules
Get absorbed then RuBisCo, an enzyme,?Mr. Steal Yo Molecules?
Takes that carbon dioxide, then fools and tools
Around with it, fixing it to be 3 CO2 into
3 RuBP, 1 CO2 to 1 RuBP molecule
The 3 RuBP and CO2 go to reduction

The second step of the Dark Reactions

Simply is named Reduction
For the function
That includes ATP, from the light reaction, getting oxidized
While that RuBP gets reduced
It uses its ener gy to rear r ange itself
From 1 6C to 2 3C molecules known as
G3P or a PGAL

Regener ation, the last step of them all

Where 1 G3P molecule is sent out while 5 remain
To stay in this so called ?game?
Of regener ation, of making the creation
That is glucose
Anyways, look like these molecules are left with no choice
But to be recycled
ATP reduces these 5 G3P
Back into the 5 RuBP
So that the Calvin Cycle can repeat
As you can see, it?s no easy feat?
Jhenica collapses on the floor due to a lack of sleep.
Mr s. Nor ton: The end! Well not really as the cycle continues-

The curtains come together. ?The end?. Stay turned for Scene 2, involving
Cellular Respiration!

A diagram for the Calvin Cycle? Aw you shouldn't have, Jhenica. But here ya go, just
in case!


Another one? To show the
6C 6C 6C mathematical side of it? Oh
stop it you!
3C 3C 3C 3C 3C 3C

Wow, what an overachiever!

Thus only 5 left!