Energy Transfer in Living Systems

Topics: Adenosine triphosphate, Energy, Cellular respiration Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Extra Credit Assignment Energy Transfer in living systems
Energy is the capacity to do work. All living organisms require energy for carrying on their vital metabolic activities. The primary source of energy for living system is solar radiation. The radiant energy of sunlight cannot be utilized directly by all living organisms. This ability rests only with the green plants. All the other organisms have to meet their energy requirement only through the green plants. Energy that flows in the living system is called bio-energy and the study of changes in energy as it flows through a living system, is called bioenergetics. 2 examples of energy transfer are: Energy transformation and energy transfer. A couple of examples on energy transformation are: Muscular activity which chemical energy is transformed into mechanical energy, Photosynthesis which green plants transform radiant solar energy into chemical energy that gets stored as potential energy in carbohydrates, and conduction of nerve impulses which is when chemical energy is transformed into electrical energy. An example of energy transfer is; respiration when the chemical energy stored in respiratory substrates is transferred to ADP and is stored in ATP. The ATP molecules transfer energy to other biological molecules. ATP, which stands for adenosine tri-phosphate, is an energy rich compound having 3 phosphate group attached to adenine (nitrogen base), called adenosine. Of the 3 phosphate groups, the terminal one has a weak linkage. This phosphate group can break spontaneously whenever ATP forms a complex with an enzyme. The breaking up of this bond releases chemical energy causing an immediate shift in the bond energy giving rise to ADP which is adenosine di-phosphate. This eventually leads to entropy. Entropy is a measure of the degree of disorder or randomness of a system. It relates to the amount of energy that is not available for work in a system. Loss of energy in the form of heat results in an increase...
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