Biology Notes

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Sept 27, 2010
Chapter 4 * With four valence electrons, carbon can form four covalent bonds with a variety of atoms * This tetra valence makes large, complex molecules possible * Fundamental groups: Alkanes and Alkenes * The electron configuration of carbon gives it covalent compatibility with many different elements * The valences of carbon and its most frequent partners (hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen) are the “building code” that governs the architecture of living molecules * Carbon atoms can partner with atoms other than hydrogen * Isomers: Same chemical formula, different structural formula * Hydrocarbons are organic molecules consisting only carbon and hydrogen * May organic molecules, such as fats, have hydrocarbon components * Hydrocarbons can undergo reactions that release a large amount of energy * Structural isomers have different covalent arrangements of their atoms * Geometric isomers have the same covalent arrangements but different in spatial arrangement (Cis: same side; Trans: opposite side) * Enantiomers are isomers that are mirror images of each other * Distinctive properties of organic molecules depend not only on the carbon skeleton but also on the molecular components attached to it * A number of characteristics groups are often attached skeletons of organic molecules * Functional groups are the components of organic molecules that are most commonly involved I chemical reactions * The seven functional groups that are most important in the chemistry life are: * Carboxyl (Carboxylic acids or organic acids): Has acidic properties because the covalent bond between oxygen and hydrogen is so polar * Amino (Amines): Acts as a base; can pick up an H- from the surrounding solutions (water, in living organisms) * Sulfhydryl (Thiois): Two sulfhydryl groups can react, forming a covalent bond. This “cross-linking” helps stabilize protein structure *

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