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Biological Chemistry

Please use the following texts as well as the notes that you have gathered to prepare a summary of the
four main biomolecules found in living things.
1. Living Systems
2. Nelson Biology
3. The Study of Life

The molecules that you are trying to find out about are: 1. Proteins
2. Carbohydrates
3. Lipids
4. Nucleic Acids
These four molecules are all ( more or less) built on the same foundation of elements ( remember
sponch?) These 6 elements make up most of the atoms that comprise living things- we are, for
example, 65% oxygen by weight. There are many other trace elements that are essential for our
existence but it is these six that are the most significant to living things. NASA samples rocks from
other planets looking for these very elements as some indication that life may at least be possible.

So, for each of the four macromolecules above find out:

1. What functions they have in living things (4)
2. What elements they are specifically made from (carbohydrates don’t have sulphur for
example). (4)
3. What the monomer (or subunit) of each is ( draw a picture) (4)
4. What dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis are for the first three biomolecules and draw the
reaction to illustrate. (3)
5. What shapes they have: spiral, globular, rings, chains … (4)

Prepare this work in an easy to read format, charts or tables work well to display information.
Please use multiple resources to assure that you are getting a range of information. (1)

BioCoach is a neat little web site with some simulations to help you review:

A few additional questions …..

1. The formula for sucrose is C12H22O11. Account for the difference between the
number of each kind of atom in two molecules of glucose compared to one
molecule of glucose. (1)
2. Why do you think the variety of proteins is so much greater than that of
carbohydrates or lipids? (2)
3. What is glycogen and where is it stored? (2)
4. Many athletes us glycogen overloading to enhance their performance in long
duration events. Explain briefly what this is. (2)
5. Research water. Why is water a “polar” molecule? What makes water so special
chemically and so necessary to life? (3)

Add these terms to your vocabulary:

Mono-, di-, polysaccharide lipids
Isomer triglyceride
Dehydration synthesis
Amino acid
Peptide bond