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totality of an organism's chemical reaction, an emergent property of life that arises from interactions between molecules within the orderly environment of the cell
begins with a specific molecule, which is then altered in a series of defined steps, resulting in a certain product, each pathway is catalyzed by a specific enzyme
releases energy by breaking down complex molecules to simpler compounds, degradative processes, breakdown pathways, major pathway of catabolism is cellular respiration
consume energy to build complicated molecules from simpler ones, sometimes called biosynthetic pathways
the capacity to cause change, is important because some forms of energy can be used to do work, to move matter against opposing forces, another way is the ability to rearrange a collection of matter
energy that can be associated with the relative motion of objects, moving objects can perform work by imparting motion to other matter
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