Carbon and the Molecular Diversity of Life. The Importance of Carbon. Compounds containing carbon are said to be organic compounds Organic chemistry - specializes in study of carbon compounds. Major elements of life include CHNOPS .
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Carbon and theMolecular Diversity of Life
Stanley Miller’s 1953 experiment: the abiotic synthesis of organic compounds under “early Earth” conditions
Hydrogen and other elementscovalently bonded to carbon
Shape of carbon molecule can vary with number of bonds and number of carbon atoms
Valences for the major elements of organic molecules
Valence equals number of covalent bonds an atom will usually form as well as the number of electrons required to complete the atom’s valence shell
Variations in carbon skeletons
The role of hydrocarbons in fat
Three types of isomers
The pharmacological importance of enantiomers
A comparison of the functional groups of female (estradiol) and male (testosterone) sex hormones
Hydroxyl group –OH
Carbonyl group –CO, COH
The variation in locations of functional groups along carbon skeletons is a major source of molecular diversity.
Living matter consists mainly of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen, with smaller amounts of sulfur and phosphorus.
These elements share characteristics of forming strong covalent bonds, a quality that is essential in the structure of complex organic molecules.
The chemical behavior of carbon makes it very versatile as a building block in molecular structure:
Carbon provides for the great diversity of organic molecules, each with special properties that emerge from the arrangement of its carbon skeleton and the functional groups attached to that skeleton.