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Organic Compound

A covalently bonded compound that contains carbon, excluding carbonates and oxides.

Functional Group

The portion of a molecule that is active in a chemical reaction and that determines the properties of many organic compounds.


A simple molecule that can combine with other like or unlike molecules to make a polymer.


A large molecule that is formed by more than five monomers, or small units.


A very large organic molecule, usually a polymer, composed of hundreds or thousands of atoms.

Condensation Reaction

A chemical reaction in which two or more molecules combine to produce water or another simple molecule.


A chemical reaction between water and another substance to for two or more new substances; a reaction between water and a salt to create an acid or a base.

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

An organic molecule that acts as the main energy source for cell processes; composed of a nitrogenous base, a sugar, and three phosphate groups.


Any organic compound that is made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and that provides nutrients to the cells of living things.


A simple sugar that is the basic subunit, or monomer, of a carbohydrate.


A sugar formed from two monosaccharides.


One of the carbohydrates made up of long chains of simple sugars; polysaccharides include starch, cellulose, and glycogen.


An organic compound that is made of one or more chains of amino acids and that is a principle component of all cells.

Amino Acid

An organic molecule that contains a carboxyl and an amino group and that makes up proteins; a proteins; a protein monomer.

Peptide Bond

The chemical Bond that forms between the carboxyl groups of one amino acid and the amino group of another amino acid.


A long chain of several amino acids.


A type of protein or RNA molecule that speeds up metabolic reactions in plant and animals without being permanently changed or destroyed.


A part, substance, or element that lies beneath and supports another part, substance or element ; the reactant in reactions catalyzed by enzymes.

Active Site

The site on an enzyme that attaches to a substrate.


A large nonpolar organic molecule, including fats and steroids; lipids store energy and make up cell membranes.

Fatty Acid

An organic Acid that is contained in lipids, such as fats and oils.


A lipid made of three fatty acid molecules and one glycerol molecule.


A lipid that contains phosphorus and that is a structural component in cell membranes.


A type of structural lipid consisting of a long fatty-acid chain that is joined to a long alcohol chain


A type of lipid that consists of four carbon rings to which various functional groups are attached and that usually has a physiological action.

Nucleic Acid

An organic compound, either RNA or DNA, whose molecules are made of one or two chains of nucleotides and carry genetic information.

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)

The material that contains the information that determines inherited characteristics.

Ribonucleic Acid (RNA)

A natural polymer that is present in all living cells and that plays a role in protein synthesis


In a nucleic-acid chain, a subunit that consists of sugar, a phosphate, and nitrogenous base.

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