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Activation energy, delta G double dagger

The amount of energy (in joules) required to convert all the molecules in 1 mole of a reacting substance from the ground state to the transition state


The phase of intermediary metabolism concerned with the energy-requiring biosynthesis of cell components from smaller precursors


One of the five kingdoms of living organisms; includes many species that thrive in extreme environments of high ionic strength, high temperature, or low pH


One of the five kingdoms of living organisms. Eubacteria have a plasma membrane but no internal organelles or nucleus


The phase of intermediary metabolism concerned with the energy-yielding degradation of nutrient molecules

Chiral center

An atom with substituents arranged so that the molecule is not superimposable on its mirror image


The spatial arrangement of an organic molecule that is conferred by the presence of either (1) double bonds, about which there is no freedom of rotation, or (2) chiral centers, around which substituent groups are arranged in a specific sequence. Configurational isomers cannot be interconverted without breaking one or more covalent bonds


The spatial arrangement of substituent groups that are free to assume different positions in space, without breaking any bonds, because of the freedom of bond rotation


The filamentous network providing structure and organization to the cytoplasm; includes actin filaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments

Endergonic reaction

A chemical reaction that consumes energy (that is, for which delta G is positive)

Enthalpy, H

The heat content of a system

Entropy, S

The extent of randomness or disorder in a system


The state of a system in which no further net change is occurring; the free energy is at a minimum


A unicellular or multicellular organism with cells having a membrane-bounded nucleus, multiple chromosomes, and internal organelles

Exergonic reaction

A chemical reaction that proceeds with the release of free energy (that is, for which delta G is negative)

Free-energy change, delta G

The component of the total energy of a system that can do work at constant temperature and pressure


All the genetic information encoded in a cell or virus


The entire set of enzyme-catalyzed transformations of organic molecules in living cells; the sum of anabolism and catabolism


A chemical intermediate in the enzyme-catalyzed reactions of metabolism


An inheritable change in the nucleotide sequence of a chromosome


In eukaryotes, a membrane-bounded organelle that contains chromosomes


A bacterium; a unicellular organism with a single chromosome, no nuclear envelope, and no membrane-bounded organelles

Standard free-energy change, delta G degree

The free-energy change for a reaction occuring under a set of standard conditions: temperature, 298K, pressure 1 atm, and all solutes at 1M concentration


Compounds that have the same composition and the same order of atomic connections, but different molecular arrangements

Systems biology

Biology-based inter-disciplinary study field that focuses on the systematic study of complex interactionsin biological systems, thus using a new perspective (holism versus reductionism) to study them.


Containing both polar and nonpolar domains

bond energy

The energy required to break a bond


A system capable of resisting changes in pH, consisting of a conjugate acid-base pair in which the ratio of proton acceptor to proton donor is near unity


Formation of a bond accompanied by the release of the elements of water from the joining atoms

conjugate acid-base pair

A proton donor and its corresponding deprotonated species; for example, acetic acid (donor) and acetate (acceptor)

dissociation constant (K{a})

(1) An equilibrium constant (K{d}) for the dissociation of a complex of two or more biomolecules into its comjponents; for example, dissociation of a substrate from an enzyme. (2) The dissociation constant (K{a}) of an acid, describing its dissociation into its conjugate base and a proton

equilibrium constant (K{eq})

A constant, characteristic for each chemical reaction; relates the specific concentrations of all reactants and products at equilibrium at a given temperature and pressure

Henderson-Hasselbalch equation

An equation relating the pH, the pK(a), and the ratio of the concenrations of the proton-acceptor (A<->) and proton-donor (HA) species in a solution

hydrogen bond

A weak electrostatic attraction between one electronegative atom (such as oxygen or nitrogen) and a hydrogen atom covalently linked to a second electronegative atom


Cleavage of a bond, such as an anhydride or peptide bond, by the addition of the elements of water, yielding two or more products


Polar or charged; describing molecules or groups that associate with (dissolve easily in) water


Nonpolar; describing molecules or groups that are insoluble in water

hydrophobic interactions

The association of nonpolar groups, or compounds, with each other in aqueous systems, driven by the tendency of the surrounding water molecules to seek their most stable (disordered) state


Describes a solution of higher osmolarity than that from which it is separated by a semipermeable membrane


Describes a solution of lower osmolarity than that from which it is separated by a semipermeable membrane

ion product of water (K{W})

The product of the concentrations of H<+> and OH<-> in pure water: K{W} = [H<+>][OH<->] = 1 x 10<-14> at 25 degrees C


Describes a solution of the same osmolarity as that from which it is separated by a semipermeable membrane

London forces

London Dispersion Forces, named after the German-American physicist Fritz London, are weak intermolecular forces that arise from the interactive forces between temporary multipoles in molecules without permanent multipole moments. London dispersion forces are also known as dispersion forces, London forces, or induced dipole-dipole forces


An aggregate of amphipathic molecules in water, with the nonpolar portions in the interior and the polar portions at the exterior surface, exposed to water


Osmolarity is the measure of solute concentration, defined as the number of osmoles of solute per liter of solution (osmol/L). The osmolarity of a solution is usually expressed as Osm (pronounced osmolar), in the same way that the molarity of a solution is expressed as M (pronounced molar). Whereas molarity measures the number of moles of solute per unit volume of solution, osmolarity measures the number of moles of solute particles per unit volume of solution


Bulk flow of water through a semipermeable membrane into another aqueous compartment containing solute at a higher concentration


The negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration of an aqueous solution


The negative logarithm of an equilibrium constant

titration curve

A plot of the pH versus the equivalents of base added during titration of an acid

van der Waals interactions

The attractive or repulsive force between molecules (or between parts of the same molecule) other than those due to covalent bonds or to the electrostatic interaction of ions with one another or with neutral molecules

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