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Biology Nitrogen/Phosphorus Cycles

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What percentage of the atmosphere is Nitrogen?
79%
What type of bond is in Nitrogen gas?
Triple, pure covalent
Describe the stability of nitrogen gas
Very stable, like a noble gas
What are proteins made of?
Amino Acids
How many amino acids are there?
20
What are the 4 parts to an amino acid?
Alpha Carbon
Carboxyl Group
Amino Group
Side Chain (Rest of molecule)
What is the first step in building proteins?
The hydrogen atom moves from the carboxyl group to the amino group, making the molecule polar. The molecules then line up in a long chain
What is a ligand?
Something coming off the main chain or alpha carbon; dangly bits
In nucleotides, where are all the nitrogen atoms located?
In the base
To what is the nitrogen-containing base attached in a nucleotide?
The #1 carbon of the sugar
How many rings are in the nitrogen-containing bases of nucleotides?
1 or 2
Name some things that contain nucleotides
DNA, RNA, ATP
What is thyroxine?
A hormone that uses nitrogen and sets your basal metabolic rate
What is your basal metabolic rate?
How many calories you burn just being; how much cellular respiration you do
Where is the thyroid gland located?
In the throat around the larynx and the trachea
Which gender tends to have a higher metabolism?
Males
What is hyperthyroidism?
A disease where the thyroid produces too much thyroxine
What is hypothyroidism?
A disease where the thyroid does not produce enough thyroxine
What is the larynx?
The voicebox
Where does the trachea lead?
To the lungs
What are some symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
High appetite, weight loss, hot all of the time, crabby
What are some symptoms of hypothyroidism?
Weight gain, tend to be cold, fatigue easily, sleepy
What drug is used to control hypothyroidism?
synthroid; artificial thyroxine
Which vitamins tend to have nitrogen?
The B vitamins
How many iodine atoms are in a thyroxine molecule?
4
What does every bodily reaction need?
enzymes
What do vitamins do for the body?
They make reactions run more efficiently
What is the common name for Vitamin B3?
Niacin
What is tyrosine?
An amino acid used to make pigments
What are black melanins?
Pigments produced from tyrosine
What was the leading cause of hypothyroidism in previous decades?
Lack of iodine in the body
What is goiter?
Hypothyroidism caused by lack of iodine
What happens because of goiter?
The thyroid gland swells to try to produce more thyroxine
Why did people used to lack iodine?
There was little iodine in the soil in the middle of the country, where most of the nation's food was produced
Why do people no longer have iodine deficiencies?
Iodine is now in most salt
Besides the thyroid, where else is iodine used in the body?
Nowhere
What causes thyroid cancer?
Radioactive iodine is produced from nuclear detonations, and then absorbed by the thyroid
How do critical personnel avoid the dangers of radioactive iodine?
They have iodine shots that are used to fill all the receptors in the thyroid so that the radioactive iodine is not absorbed
What isotope of iodine is radioactive?
Iodine-131
What is used to treat hyperthyroidism?
Iodine-131
How is hyperthyroidism treated?
Iodine-131 is used to kill enough cells to bring thyroxine production back to normal
How successful is the I-131 treatment of hyperthyroidism?
Not very
What is plan B for treating hyperthyroidism?
Remove the thyroid and give the patient synthroid injections
What is caused by excess thyroxine in the body?
Fat is put on behind the eyes and the eyes begin to pop out and it's disgusting
Name some nitrogen-using molecule groups in the body
Nucleotides
Hormones
Vitamins/coenzymes
Amino Acids/Proteins
Urea
Pigments
Neurotransmitters
Enzymes
What is the common name for Vitamin B2?
Riboflavin
What is acetylcholine?
The most ubiquitous neurotransmitter in the body
What does acetylcholine tell the heart to do?
Slow down
What do neurons communicate with?
Other neurons
Muscles
Glands
Where is the largest reservoir of nitrogen?
In the atmosphere as N2 gas
What is the percentage of nitrogen in the air we inhale and exhale?
79% in, 79% out
Why is there no change in the nitrogen content of air while it's in our body?
We cannot break apart the two nitrogen atoms
What is fixation?
Taking a molecule out of the gas state and shoving it into something else
What do nitrogen-fixing bacteria do?
Break apart the N2 and convert it to ammonia (NH3)
What happens to the ammonia after it is created by the nitrogen-fixing bacteria?
It dissolves in water as ammonium (NH4+)
How much energy is required to break the triple bond in N2?
940 kJ/mol
What is the Latin name for nitrogen-fixing bacteria?
Genus Rhizobium
What do the genus Rhizobium use to break apart the N2?
Nitrogenase
99.9% of the time, if a molecule ends in -ase, it is a(n)...
enzyme
What are enzymes?
Biological catalysts that lower the activation energy
What happens to catalysts/enzymes as a result of a reaction?
Nothing
Why isn't nitrogen fixation performed without the enzyme?
It is VERY energy expensive
What do catalysts do for a reaction?
They speed it up
What is the activation energy of a reaction?
The energy needed to start the reaction
Where do genus Rhizobiums fall on the list of the most important organisms?
#3
Where are genus Rhizobiums found?
On the nodules of legumes
What are nodules?
Bumps on the roots
Name some legumes
Peas, clover, alfalfa, soybeans, beans
What is the effect of crop rotation?
The genus Rhizobiums produce more ammonium than the plants need to function, so the soil becomes saturated with the ammonium. The next year, a non-legume is planted there, which uses the excess ammonium from the soil
What is it called when both parties benefit from a symbiotic relationship?
Mutualism
What is it called when one party benefits and the other is harmed from a symbiotic relationship?
Parasitism
What is it called when one party benefits and the other is unaffected in a symbiotic relationship?
Commensalism
What is obligate mutualism?
One organism cannot survive without the other
What is symbiosis?
A relationship where two or more organisms live in direct and intimate contact
What is facultative mutualism?
Both organisms can survive on their own
What is an endoparasite?
A parasite that is inside an organism's body
What is an ectoparasite?
A parasite that is outside an organism's body
Which symbiotic relationship is the least common and why?
Commensalism, because any action by one organism will usually have some sort of effect on the other
What are proteins located in?
Everything in your body except bones and fat
What is the formula for ribose?
C5H10O5
What types of organisms don't use oxygen?
Anaerobes
What is the general formula for carbohydrates?
CH2O
List some examples of nucleotides
ATP ADP AMP DNA RNA
How do animals get nitrogen in their bodies?
By eating plants or other animals that already made proteins
How do plants get nitrogen in their cells?
By taking in ammonium or nitrates from the soil
What is assimilation biosynthesis?
A living organism taking in nitrogen compounds to make proteins
What is the name of the nitrogen cycle squirrel?
Skippy
What organisms use ammonium to gain the nitrogen to create proteins?
Plants and bacteria
What three things from organisms are decomposed back into ammonium?
Pee, poo, and you
What are the two types of fertilizers?
Ammonium and nitrate
Which type of fertilizer is more expensive?
Nitrate
What do animals do with the proteins they consume?
Break them down into amino acids and build their own proteins
What is ammonification?
The process of nitrogenous residues being converted back into ammonium
What organisms do ammonification?
Ammonifying bacteria
What is nitrification?
The conversion of ammonium to nitrites, and nitrites to nitrates
What does nitrification?
Nitrifying bacteria
Is nitrification good or bad?
E. None of the Above. It's awesome
What is denitrification?
The conversion of nitrate to nitrous oxide (N2O) and then to nitrogen gas
What does denitrification?
Denitrifying bacteria
Are denitrifying bacteria good or bad?
Evil
What would happen if there were no denitrifying bacteria?
Nitrogen would remain in the soil and the composition of the atmosphere would be thrown out of balance - bad
Besides denitrification, what else happens to nitrates in the soil?
They are lost due to leaching
What is leaching?
Nitrates being washed out of the soil by water
Where do leached nitrates go?
To a body of water
What is defecation?
The technical term for pooping
What percentage of the mass of poo is bacteria?
50%
What causes poo to smell bad?
Chemicals excreted by the gallbladder
What does the prefix eu- mean?
Good or true
What does the prefix oligo- mean?
Few
What does the prefix meso- mean?
Middle or moderate
What is an oligotrophic environment?
An aquatic environment with few nutrients to support life
What is a eutrophic environment?
A body of water with many nutrients that support a dense plant population
What happens when plants decompose in a eutrophic environment?
Animals die from the lack of oxygen
What is a mesotrophic environment?
An aquatic environment with a moderate amount of nutrients
Describe an oligotrophic environment (What would it look like?)
Crystal-clear water, no plants on top, big fish
Describe a eutrophic environment (What would it look like?)
Dense algae on top of the water, very murky if you can see the water at all
Describe a mesotrophic environment (What would it look like?)
Clear water with submerged bodies of aquatic plants
What is a necessary part of Dylan's diet?
Caffeine
How does Dylan get this caffeine?
He gets pop from the vending machines
How does Dylan afford this pop?
Donations :)
What is a redox reaction?
A chemical reaction in which all atoms have their oxidation state changed. There is an electron transfer between atoms
What does Leo do?
LEO goes GER
What is step one in describing a redox reaction?
Assign oxidation numbers to each atom
What is rule 1 for assigning oxidation numbers?
Atoms in their elemental forms always have oxidation numbers of 0
What is rule 2 for assigning oxidation numbers?
H is always +1 unless in elemental form
What is rule 3 for assigning oxidation numbers?
O is always -2 unless in elemental form
What is rule 4 for assigning oxidation numbers?
The other atoms are assigned so that the sum of all oxidation numbers is equal to the charge of the molecule or ion
What is the elemental state for oxygen?
O2
What is the elemental state for hydrogen?
H2
What is the elemental state for sulfur?
S
What is the elemental state for diatoms in general?
X2, for diatomic element X
In any reaction, if something is oxidized, what else must happen?
Something else must be reduced
What is oxidation in a redox reaction?
The atom loses electrons
What is reduction in a redox reaction?
The atom gains electrons
When writing a positive oxidation number, what is required?
The + sign
What is step 2 in describing a redox reaction?
Decide what happened. Which atom was oxidized and which was reduced?
What type of process is nitrogen fixation with respect to nitrogen?
Reductive
What type of process is nitrification with respect to nitrogen?
Reductive
What type of process is denitrification with respect to nitrogen?
Oxidative
What is N2O?
Nitrous Oxide
What is the charge on nitrate?
-1
What is the charge on N2?
0
What is the charge on ammonia?
0
What is the charge on ammonium?
+1
What is the charge on phosphate?
-3
What is the charge on sulfate?
-2
What is the formula for triose?
C3H6O3
What are the 3 numbers on a bag of fertilizer?
Available Nitrogen, Available phosphates, available potash
What is melatonin?
A neurotransmitter produced by the brain when you go in the dark
What does melatonin do?
Makes you sleepy
Which ligand accepts the H+ when an amino acid ionizes?
Amino group
What is vitamin B1?
Thiamine
What prevented the conversion of nitrogen gas to simpler compounds?
The strong bond
Where was one of the best and largest sources of fixed nitrogen?
Chile
What does the fox say?
No really. What does it say?
Why did Chile have so much fixed nitrogen?
Lots of birds lived and pooed along the coast
What were these natural deposits of bird poo called?
Guano
How thick did the Guano become?
Several feet
What chemical was in the bird poo?
Saltpeter (KNO3)
What was the world dependent on Chile for?
Fertilizers and high explosives
Who was denied access to the Chilean supply of bird feces?
Germany
In short, what did the fate of the world depend on?
Who could get their hands on the most bird sh**
Where did the first major naval battle of WWI occur?
Off the Chilean coast
What is the Haber-Bosch Process?
A method for synthesizing ammonia
When was the Haber-Bosch Process developed?
Shortly before the outbreak of WWI
By whom was the Haber-Bosch Process developed?
2 patriotic Germans, most likely named Haber and Bosch
How did the Haber-Bosch process work?
Nitrogen and hydrogen gases were pressurized in a chamber. A catalyst and heat were added to produce vast amounts of ammonia
What would have happened without the Haber-Bosch Process?
Germany would have run out of ammo and the war would have ended in 1916
After the war, what happened to ammonia production?
It continued because of its use as a fertilizer
In 1913, how much of the world's fixed nitrogen was supplied by Chile?
56%
In 1934, how much of the world's fixed nitrogen was supplied by Chile?
7%
Who played a large role in the design and building of ammonia plants?
Chemical engineers
Formula for Nitrous Oxide
N2O
Formula for Nitrogen Oxide
NO
Formula for Nitrogen Dioxide
NO2
Formula for Potassium Nitrate
KNO3
CH3C6H2(NO)3
Trinitrotoluene
C3H5(ONO2)3
Nitroglycerin
What is the common name for Nitrous Oxide?
Laughing Gas
What is the common name for Nitrogen Dioxide?
Smog
What is the common name for Potassium Nitrate?
Saltpeter
What is the common name for Trinitrotoluene?
TNT
What color is Nitrous Oxide at room temperature?
colorless
What color is Nitrogen Oxide at room temperature?
Colorless
What color is Nitrogen Dioxide at room temperature?
Brown
How is nitrogen oxide formed?
As a bi-product of internal combustion engines - High temperatures and pressures combine the nitrogen and oxygen from the air
How is nitrogen dioxide formed?
As nitrogen oxide that spontaneously oxidized in the atmosphere
What is potassium nitrate used for?
Fertilizer and a key ingredient in gunpowder
What is potassium nitrate combined with to form gunpowder?
Sulfur and Coal
What is Trinitrotoluene used for?
The explosive charge in shells and bombs
What is Nitroglycerin used for?
The main ingredient in dynamite
How much smoke is produced by nitroglycerin?
None
How much more powerful than gunpowder is nitroglycerin?
3 times
Who was an early producer of gunpowder?
Alfred Nobel
Which is more powerful, Trinitrotoluene or nitroglycerin?
Nitroglycerin
How does phosphate enter the soil?
Weathering of old rocks and deposits
From what do phosphorus deposits form?
From bone fossils and bird droppings
What important molecules contain phosphate?
ATP, DNA, RNA
What is the limiting reagent in the growth of aquatic plants and algae?
Phosphate
What happens to a large percentage of the phosphate in water?
It forms a precipitate as iron phosphate
After phosphorus becomes part of the seafloor, how does it re-enter the phosphorus cycle?
Geologic upheaval
What do carnivores eat?
Plants

jk. They eat animals
What is apatite?
Calcium phosphate Ca3(PO4)2
How do humans obtain phosphorus?
Mining apatite
What do we do with the phosphorus we mine?
Create fertilizer
What is used to convert apatite to fertilizer product?
Huge quantities of sulfuric acid
What makes up 80% of the phosphorus that is in humans?
Teeth and Bones
What is unique about the phosphorus cycle?
There is no significant gas stage
Where is the largest reservoir of phosphorus?
Sedimentary rock
How does phosphorus enter the water?
Fertilizer runoff, sewage seepage, natural mineral deposits, industrial wastes
What is eutrophication?
Excess phosphate concentrations in water stimulate the growth of plants and algae, which use up the oxygen and block out the sun, killing fish and bottom-dwellers
In what form is phosphorus stored in the soil and rocks of earth?
Phosphate
How do plants absorb phosphate?
Directly through their roots
What causes excessive buildups of vital nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in aquatic environments?
Intense fertilization
In what major body of water did eutrophication occur?
The Baltic Sea
What is the scarcest element in the biosphere?
Phosphorus
What do the small quantities of phosphoric acid in the atmosphere do?
Create acid rain