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The Chemistry of Life

Scientific Method

series of steps that helps us answer questions

Hypothesis

a tentative explanation a scientist proposes for a specific phenomenon that has been observed.

Experiment

test or trial that helps gain knowledge about something unknown

Variable

capable of being changed

Independent Variable

what is being changed

Dependent Variable

responds to IV

Control

trial that is kept the same

Data

gathered info.

Inferring

guessing based on previously gathered knowledge

Theory

a prediction to what happened

Fact

a true statement

Opinion

an outlook from someone else

Fat

a large lipid molecule made from glycerol and 3 fatty acids; a triglyceride. Most fats function as energy-storage molecules

Lipid

a biological molecule that does not mix with water

Oil

similar to a fat, but saturated

Saturated lipid

fat that consists of triglycerides containing only saturated fatty acid radicals.

Nucleic acid

a polymer consisting of many nucleotide monomers; serves as a blueprint for proteins and, through the actions of proteins, for all cellular structures and activities. The 2 types of nucleic acids are DNA and RNA

Nucleotide

an organic monomer consisting of a five-carbon sugar covalently bonded to a nitrogenous base and phosphate group. Nucleotides are the building blocks of nucleic acids

RNA

ribonucleic acid, a type of acid consisting of nucleotide monomers with a ribose sugar and the nitrogenous bases

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic acid, the genetic material that organisms inherit from their parents

Metabolism

the many chemical reactions that occur in organisms

Atom

the smallest unit of matter that retains the properties of an element

Nucleus

an atom's central core containing protons and neutrons

Element

a substance that can't be broken down by chemical means

Molecule

group of 2+ atoms held together by covalent bonds

Covalent bond

the bond formed by the sharing of a pair of electrons by two atoms

Non-polar bond

two of the same atoms comes together

Polar bond

shares electrons unequally

Polar molecule

a molecule that has opposite charges on opposite ends

Hydrogen bond

type of weak chemical bond formed when the partially positive H atom in one molecule is attracted to the partially negative atom of a neighboring molecule

pH

measure of the acidity

Acid

increases H conc.

Base

increases OH conc.

Solution

a fluid mixture of 2+ substances

Carbon

most important element in the world

Monomer

building block of polymer

Polymer

large molecule with smaller, identical units

Carbohydrate

class of biological molecule

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