Biologically Important Molecules

Topics: Protein, Amino acid, Carbohydrate, Glucose, Polysaccharide, Sucrose / Pages: 4 (924 words) / Published: Mar 19th, 2013

Compounds containing the element carbon, called organic compounds, are the most important substances that make up living organisms. There are thousands and thousands of different organic compounds. To identify the major types of organic compounds in living organisms , several biochemical test were used .

Introduction Organic molecules are those primarily made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The common organic compounds of living organisms are carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. Each of these macromolecules (polymers) are made of smaller subunits (monomers). The bonds between these subunits are formed by dehydration synthesis. This process requires energy; a molecule of water is removed (dehydration) and a covalent bond is formed between the subunits . Breaking this bond is called hydrolysis; it requires the addition of a water molecule and releases energy. Each class of these macromolecules has different structures and properties. For example, lipids (composed of fatty acids) have many C-H bonds and relatively little oxygen, while proteins (composed of amino acids) have amino groups (-NH3+) and carboxyl (-COOH) groups. These characteristic subunits and chemical groups impart different properties to the macromolecules. For example, monosaccharides such as glucose are polar and soluble in water, whereas lipids are non-polar and insoluble in water. There are several chemical tests available for the identification of the major types of organic compounds in living organisms. Typically these tests are used to determine the make up of an unknown material.During the experiment the detective compares the unknown's response to the experimental procedure with the control's response to that same procedure. Controls are important because they reveal the specificity of a particular test . A positive control contains the variable for which you are testing. It produces a positive reaction and demonstrates the

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