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Carbon and the Molecular Diversity of Life

organic chemistry

The study of all chemicals containing carbon


an organic compound containing only carbon and hydrogen


compounds with the same formula but different structure

structural isomers

compounds that have the same molecular formula but differ in the covalent arrangements of their atoms.

cis-trans isomers

carbons have covalent bonds to the same atoms, but these atoms differ in their spatial arrangements due to the inflexibility of double bonds

cis isomer

has the similiar group connected to the same side of a double bond

trans isomer

Has the simiar grops connected to the oppsite of a double bond


compounds and their superimposable mirror images

functional groups

A specific configuration of atoms commonly attached to the carbon skeletons of organic molecules and usually involved in chemical reactions.

seven most important chemical groups

hydroxyl, carbonyl, carboxyl, amino, sulfhydryl, phosphate, methyl


hydrogen bonded to oxygen bonded to an organic molecule's carbon skeleton; alcohol; polar (-OH)


consists of a carbon atom joined to an oxygen atom by a double bond. Name: Ketones (w/in a carbon skeleton) or Aldehydes (at the end of carbon skeleton). Example: Acetone (ketone) or Propanal (aldehyde) -C=O


A functional group present in organic acids and consisting of a single carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom and also bonded to a hydroxyl group.


A functional group that consists of a nitrogen atom bonded to two hydrogen atoms; can act as a base in solution, accepting a hydrogen ion and acquiring a charge of +1 (-NH2)


function group- a sulfur atom bonded to an atom of hydrogen; resembles hydroxyl group in shape


a phospsorus atom is bonded to four oxygen atoms. one oxygen is bonded to the carbon skeleton, two oxygen carry negative charges (-OPO3)


-CH3, consists of a carbon bounded to three hydrogen atoms, methylated compounds, affects expression of genes if bounded to DNA, hydrophobic

Adenosine triphosohate

Compound used by cells to store and release energy - ATP

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