You are on page 1of 5

CHAPTER 1 : Biological molecules

: Living organism are made up of atoms which combine to form

biological molecules

Physical and Chemical Properties, and Psychological Roles

1.1 Water
In general

-water made up about 60%-95% of fresh mass of organism

-Properties of water molecules are mostly due to the molecules’ ability to
I. form hydrogen bond
II. polarity
III. small size
-Structure of water molecules:
1)composed of one oxygen
atom and two hydrogen atoms combined by
sharing electrons(covalent bond)
2)water is a dipolar molecules
->There is an even distribution of charge within
the molecule. The oxygen atom has slightly -ve
charge and hydrogen atom has slightly positive
charge.(但是 electrically neutral 这就是为什么叫 dipolar)
*dipolar molecules: an electrically neutral molecules carrying a positive and
negative charge in at least one caronical description.
3) Hydrogen bonds are formed between them in their liquid state. These
hydrogen bond form, break and reform with great frequency.
->The positive and negative region of water molecules can be attracted to the
oppositely charged regions of other molecules. A water molecules can form 4
hydrogen bonds with other water molecules.

-water are universal solvent. (这是因为 polarity) polarity makes it suitable

solvent for ions and polar molecules
->When ionic compound like Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is added to water, the
-ve end of oxygen atom in the water molecules are attracted to sodium ions and the +ve end
of hydrogen atoms are attracted to the cloride ions.
->The elctrostatic attractions are greater than those between cations(Na+) and anions(Cl-).
-> Water molecules gath-er around the sodium and chloride ions.
->it is said to be hydrated.

Liquid solid (freeze)(0 celcius and below)

Movement of water molecules The hydrogen bond are in constant The movement slow down
fluctuation, breaking and reforming

Arrangement of water molecules -more irregularly -regular,

-closer together. -hexagonal crstalline network
-futher apart

Number of four hydrogen bond form a minimum number of four form a maximum number of four
form hydrogen bonds with other water hydrogen bonds with other molecules

Space occupied lattice 格架 structure occupies more

->water expands as it freeze

Density more water molecules per volume less water molecules per volume

Conclusion: water more dense than Conclusion: ice less dense than water

Simple explanation why ice is less dense than liquid water?

When water cools down to 0 celcius, water molecules are futher apart and form
maximum number of four hydrogen bond swith other water molecules. The lattice
structure occupies more space ad fewer molecules compared to an equal volume of
liquid and floats in the liquid water.

-The density of water changes with temperature.

Water has maximum density at 4 celcius.

-Psychological uses:
1)Ice floats on surface act as insulating layer. This prevents water in lower
depth from freezing. Therefore, aquatic organism can survive in liquid water
during winter time.
2)As density changes with temperature, this causes water current to circulate
nutrients in the oceans.(夏天 冰块就会融化 and 沉下去 冬天时下面的水就


-water has relativey low viscosity

-This is because hydrogen bonds are being continually broken and reform
-water molecules can easily slide over each other and able to flow with less

Psychological uses:
1)water able to flow through the narrow blood vessels with less friction
2)act as lubricants such as saliva to allow food to move easily down the
alimentary canal

Cohesion and Surface Tension

What is cohesion?
The force of mutual attraction between like molecules. The hydrogen bonds between water
molecules results in strong cohesive force

What is surface tension?

A measure of how difficult it is to stretch or break the surface of a liquid. Water has a
greater surface tension than most other liquid.

-Water molecules, being polar, readily form hydrogen bond with other water
molecules. The molecules tend to stick together . This phenomenon known as

Psychological uses:
1)creates tension to pull water and dissolved salts from roots to the aerial parts
->as water evaporates form leaves, the unbroken column of water held by cohesive forces
within the narrow xylem vessels are drawn upwards to the top of the trees
->不会往下掉是因为 adhesion 粘附 of water to the xylem wall resist the pull of gravity.
2)allow small organism like pond skaters to move over the surface of water as
their weight is not enough to break the surface tension
->At air-water interface;
For example, at the surface of a pond, the water molecules are hydrogen bonded to one
another below the surface but not with air molecules above .The unequal distribution of
hydrogen bond results in inwardly cohesive forces which produces high surface tension at
the surface of water.
->water surface act as “elastic membrane”

Thermal Properties
-water has high specific heat capacity
-This is because of many extensive hydrogen bonds between water
molecules .
-A great deal of energy required to break the hydrogen bonds before
converting liquid water into gas.
-The energy required for water evaporation is latent heat of
-The heat energy has to be removed before melting known as latent
heat of fusion.

Psychological uses:
1)water act as thermal buffer and prevent large fluctation of body
temp of terrestrial organisms.
2)Large bodies of wate such as oceans, seas and lakes have a
thermally stable enviroment for aquatic organism

Biologically functions
Functions Examples

Cell structure important component of protoplasm (60-95%)

Solvents and hydrolysis -provides ann aqueous medium for biochemical


-hydrolyses polysaccharides into monosaccharides

metabolites water is required for photosynthesis

medium for diffusion enables diffusion of substance acreoss alveolus

transport medium -blood plasma transport
food,gases,hormones,salts,antibodies and wastes
-helps in osmoregulation of body fluids

support -hydroskeleton in earthworm

-amniotic fluid supports and protect foetus in the
amniotic sac

lubricants and secretions -mucus in alimentary canal

-synovial fluid in joints
-needed to form digestive juices, tears, sweat and

habitat provides an aquatic env and support to aquatic


medium for movement, dipersal and migration -medium for swimming gametes, larval stages,
dispersal of fruits and seeds

temperature control evaporation of sweat cools the body

transpiration creates tension to pull water and disslved salts from

the roots to the aerial part.