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Essential Biology

Organic Compounds

compounds that contain carbon

Organic Chemistry

the study of organic compounds


organic molecules containing only carbon and hydrogen atoms

Functional Groups

in an organic molecule, the groups of atoms that usually participate in chemical reactions


on a molecular scale, many of life's molecules are gigantic


large molecules made by stringing together many smaller molecules called monomers


small molecules

Dehydration Reaction

the process of cells linking monomers together


the process of digesting giant molecules to make their monomers available to your cells, which can then rebuild the monomers into your own brand of macromolecules.


in animals they serve as a primary source of dietary energy; in plants, they are used as a building material to for much or the plant body


simple sugar


molecules that have the same molecular formula but different structures


double sugar, is constructed from two monosaccharides through a dehydration reaction


long chains of sugar units--polymers or monosaccharides


animals store excess sugar in the for of a polysaccharide


the most abundant organic compound on Earth, forms cable-like fibrils in the tough walls that enclose plant cells and is a major component of wood


which literally means "water loving"; hydrophilic molecules adhere to water to their surface


in contrast to carbohydrates and most other biological molecules, lipids are hydrophobic


means that they do not mix with water


consists largely of molecules of trglyceride


made of a glycerol molecule joined with three fatty acid molecules via dehydration reactions


the fewer than the maximum number of hydrogens at the location of the double bond


meaning that they contain the maximum number of hydrogen atoms


diets high in saturated fats may contribute to cardiovascular disease by promoting atherosclerosis


the process that the manufacturer can convert unsaturated fats to saturated fats by hydrogen

Trans Fat

a type of unsaturated fat that is even more unhealthy than saturated fat


very different from fats in structure and function; the carbon skeleton of a steroid is bent to form four fused rings

Anabolic Steroids

are synthetic variants of testosterone, the male sex hormone


a polymer constructed from amino acid monomers

Amino Acid

consists of a central carbon atom bonded to four covalent partners (carbon always forms 4 covalent bonds)

Peptide Bond

the bond between adjacent amino acids


proteins usually consist of 100 or more amino acids, forming a chain

Primary Structure

the specific amino acid sequence


the process of an unfavorable change in temperature, pH, or some other quality of the environment can cause a protein to unravel and lose its natural shape

Nucleic Acids

are information storage molecules that provide the directions for building proteins


Deoxyribonucleic Acid; double stranded


Ribonucleic Acid; single stranded


nucleic acids are polymers made from monomers

Nitrogenous Base

made of one or two rings

Sugar-Phosphate Backbone

a repeating pattern of sugar-phosphate-sugar-phosphate, with the bases hanging off the backbone like appendages

Double Helix

A molecule of DNA in double-stranded sequence, with two polynucleotides wrapped around each other to from _______

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