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41 terms

Introduction to Biochemistry

Basic vocabulary for beginning Biology Students
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atom
The basic unit of matter.
protons
subatomic particle with positive charge found in the nucleus of an atom
neutrons
subatomic particle with no charge (neutral) found in the nucleus of an atom
electrons
subatomic particle with negative charge found in energy levels outside the nucleus
valence electrons
electrons found in the outermost energy level that are involved with bonding
element
pure substance, consisting of only 1 type of atom (like sodium)
compound
substance formed from the chemical combination of two or more elements in definite proportions
isotope
atoms of the same element with different numbers of neutrons
ion
charged atom formed when atom either loses electron(s) (and becomes + charged) or gains electron(s) becoming negatively charged
ionic bonds
involve a transfer of electrons and produces ions. Happens only between metals and nonmetals
covalent bonds
electrons are shared between atoms. Occurs between two nonmetals or in diatomic molecules.
chemical reaction
process by which atoms or groups of atoms in substances are reorganized into different substances
chemical equation
chemical formulas and symbols describe the substances in the reaction and arrows indicate the process of change
reactants
starting substances in a chemical reaction found on the left side of the (arrow) equation
products
substances formed during the reaction and found on the right side of the (arrow) chemical equation
activation energy
the minimum amount of energy needed for reactants to form products in a chemical reaction
enzyme
a special type of protein called a catalyst because it speeds up a chemical reactions in cells by lowering the activation energy
substrate
the item that the enzyme catalyzes
active site
the spot on the substrate where the enzyme "fits" or bonds; enzymes are specific and act like a lock in a key fitting into the active site on the substrate
polarity
the uneven distribution of electrons between atoms in a covalent bond; water is polar- the hydrogen end is slightly positive and the oxygen end is slightly negative
cohesion
molecules of water are attracted to each other due to the polarity of the water molecule/example: surface tension of water
adhesion
when water molecules are attracted to molecules of other substances/example: water on the sides of a graduated cylinder or capillary action
mixtures
two or more elements or compounds that are physically mixed together, but not chmically combined and they can be separated physically
solution
homogeneous mixture/ the same throughout examples koolaid, saltwater
solute
substance being dissolved like salt in salt water usually the smaller amount
solvent
substance that dissolves usually the larger amount like water in saltwater in fact water is called the universal solvent because it can dissolve so many things
acid
substance that releases hydrogen ions in solution/they measure below 7 on pH scale/ the lower the pH, the stronger the acid
base
substance that releases hydroxide ions in solution/ pH above 7 higher the number the stronger the base
pH scale
indicates the concentration of H+ ions in a solution 7 is neutral, above 7 is basic, below is acidic
carbohydrates
composition: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
function:main source of (immediate) energy and used for structural purposes
carbohydrates
sugars (saccharides) and starches also known as monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides
lipids
examples: steroids, fats, oils, and waxes
composition mostly carbon and hydrogen
function: to store energy and waterproof coverings
nucleic acids
examples: DNA & RNA
function: to store and transmit genetic information
proteins
examples: enzymes
function: somes control the rate of reactions and regulate cell processes; some used to form bones and muscles; others transport substances into or out of cells or help fight disease
building blocks (monomers) of proteins
amino acids
building blocks of nucleic acids
nucleotides
building blocks of carbohydrates
monosaccharides (simple sugars) glucose
Substance with pH of 6 would be a
acid
substance with a pH of 7.5 would be
slightly basic
the atomic number tells you....
the number of protons an atom has and if the atom isn't charged (not an ion) also the number of electrons
How do you find the number of neutrons in an atom?
mass number - atomic number