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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

metabolic pathway

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

catabolic pathway

releases energy by breaking down complex molecules to simpler compounds, degradative processes, breakdown pathways, major pathway of catabolism is cellular respiration

anabolic pathway

consume energy to build complicated molecules from simpler ones, sometimes called biosynthetic pathways


the study of how energy flows through living organisms


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

kinetic energy

energy that can be associated with the relative motion of objects, moving objects can perform work by imparting motion to other matter

thermal energy

kinetic energy associated with the random movement of atoms or molecules

potential energy

energy that matter possesses because of its location or structure

chemical energy

a term used by biologists to refer to potential energy available for release in a chemical reaction

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