Carbon chains form skeletons of most organic molecules. Atoms of other elements can be ... link together into complex intricate molecular skeletons; and ...
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Carbon and theMolecular Diversity of Life
Stanley Millers 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 atoms 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.