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Chemistry of. Living Systems. Chemistry of Atoms. Atom : smallest unit of matter Three components of an atom are… Electrons -1 Protons +1 Neutrons 0. Found outside the nucleus. Found in the nucleus. Found in the nucleus. Count the electrons!.

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chemistry of
Chemistry of

Living Systems

chemistry of atoms
Chemistry of Atoms

Atom: smallest unit of matter

Three components of an atom are…

  • Electrons -1
  • Protons +1
  • Neutrons 0

Found outside the nucleus

Found in the nucleus

Found in the nucleus

count the electrons
Count the electrons!
  • # of electrons in the outer shell are clues!
  • Greater than 4 in the outer shell will take from other atoms
  • Less than 4 in the outer shell will give to other atoms
  • Provides hints on how and what types of bonds form
  • Versions of the same element – but have different numbers of neutrons (N)

Z= number of protons (P)


elements essential to life
Elements Essential to Life
  • About 25 elements are essential to living organisms
  • CHNOPS: Make up 97% of living matter
chemical bonds
Chemical Bonds

Chemical Bonds are the attractive force that hold atoms together in a molecule

Bonds form when electrons are shared OR transferred between atoms

  • Covalent bonds– sharing electrons (“co-” means to share as in cooperate)
  • Ionic Bonds– give and take electrons
  • Hydrogen Bonds– weak attractions between molecules

Stronger atoms try to “steal” the H’s electron, but it keeps a tiny hold on it.

nonpolar covalent bonds
Nonpolar Covalent Bonds
  • Electrons are shared equally
polar covalent bonds
Polar Covalent Bonds
  • Share electrons as in other covalent bonds, but the nucleus of one atom attracts the electrons more strongly so it is not equal.
ionic bonding
Ionic Bonding
  • One atom gets extra electron(s) (becomes a negative ion) and one gives extra electron(s) (becomes a positive ion) the two ions attract each other.
hydrogen bond
Hydrogen Bond
  • When water molecules are close together, their positive and negative regions are attracted to the oppositely-charged regions of nearby molecules.
  • The force of attraction, shown here as a dotted line, is called a hydrogen bond.
  • The hydrogen bond has only 5% or so of the strength of a covalent bond.

Why is carbon so important in biological molecules?

Carbon forms 4 covalent bonds giving it the ability to create massive molecular chains.

Molecules with carbon are called ORGANIC

Molecules without carbon are called INORGANIC

the structure of water
The Structure of Water
  • “V” shaped molecule
  • Unequal sharing of electrons causes oxygen to have a slightly negative charge
  • called a polar molecule
properties of water1
Properties of Water
  • Cohesion is the tendency of molecules of the same kind to stick to one another.
  • Water has stronger cohesion than most liquids

Water molecules are also attracted to certain other molecules

  • Attraction between unlike molecules is called adhesion

Cohesion pulls molecules at the surface tightly together, forming a film-like boundary

  • This is surface tension
carbohydrates c h and o molecules in a ratio of 1 2 1
Carbohydrates(C,H, and O molecules in a ratio of 1:2:1)

Carbohydrates are an important energy source for cells.

types of carbohydrates

Monosaccharide – simple sugars made of one sugar molecule. (ex. Glucose)

types of carbohydrates1
  • Disaccharides – (ex. Sucrose)

2 monosaccharides linked together



  • Polysaccharides – ex. Starch, Cellulose)

More than two sugars linked together.

did you notice how the sugars all sound the same
Did you notice how the sugars all sound the same?
  • They all end in “-ose” (-ose = sugar)
    • Ex. Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Lactose
types of carbohydrates2
  • Simple Carbs ~ mono and disaccahrides
  • Complex carbs ~ starches, polysaccharides

Made up of two parts:

  • A head (it is hydrophillic)
  • A tail made of a hydrocarbon chain (it is hydrophobic).

This lets the lipids form bilayers creating waterproof barriers like in a cell’s membrane.

  • Fatty acids, waxes, fats, steroids and oils are formed by lipids (all are insoluble in water)
steroids and cholesterol
Steroids and Cholesterol
  • Steroids include such well known compounds as cholesterol, sex hormones, birth control pills, cortisone, and anabolic steroids.
  • The best known and most abundant steroid in the body is cholesterol.
  • It is the major compound found in gallstones and bile salts. Cholesterol also contributes to the formation of deposits on the inner walls of blood vessels.
  • Molecules made up of one or more chains of amino acids. They are used for many functions…
proteins are used for
Proteins are used for…
  • Structure – they make collagen in skin and keratin in hair/nails/horn
proteins are used for1
Proteins are used for…
  • Movement ~ actin and myosin in muscle stimulate the muscle to move
proteins are used for2
Proteins are used for…
  • Defense ~ antibodies in bloodstream
proteins are used for3
Proteins are used for…
  • Storage ~ corn seeds are predominately made of protein
proteins are used for4
Proteins are used for…
  • Signals ~ growth hormones in your blood stream
nucleic acids
Nucleic Acids
  • Nucleic Acids (used in DNA or RNA) – long chains of pieces called nucleotides. A nucleotide has 3 parts…

1. five carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose)

2. phosphate group

3. Nitrogen base (A,T,C or G)

  • Catalyst ~ enzymes which speed up processes in the body
chemical reactions
Chemical Reactions

Reactants and Products

  • A chemical reaction is the process by which atoms or groups of atoms in substances are reorganized into different substances.

Chemical reaction

  • Clues that a chemical reaction has taken place include the production of heat or light, and formation of a gas, liquid, or solid.

Physical reaction

chemical reactions1
Chemical Reactions

Chemical Equations

  • Chemical formulas describe the substances in the reaction and arrows indicate the process of change.
  • Reactants are the starting substances, on the left side of the arrow.
  • Products are the substances formed during the reaction, on the right side of the arrow.
chemical reactions2
Chemical Reactions
  • Glucose and oxygen react to form carbon dioxide and water.
chemical reactions3
Chemical Reactions

Energy of Reactions

  • Theactivation energy is the minimum amount of energy needed for reactants to form products in a chemical reaction.
chemical reactions4
Chemical Reactions
  • This reaction is exothermic and released heat energy.
  • The energy of the product is lower than the energy of the reactants.
chemical reactions5
Chemical Reactions
  • This reaction is endothermic and absorbed heat energy.
  • The energy of the products is higher than the energy of the reactants.
chemical reactions6

It does not increase how

much product is made and it does not get used

up in the reaction.

Chemical Reactions


  • A catalyst is a substance that lowers the activation energy needed to start a chemical reaction.
  • Enzymes are biological catalysts.
so what is an enzyme
So what is an Enzyme?

An enzyme is used to speed things up or help break things down in your body.

words you should know
Words You Should Know
  • Enzyme (E): protein catalyst
  • Catalysts: speed up reactions without being changed by the reaction
  • Substrate (S): reactant(s) in the enzyme-catalyzed reaction
  • Active site: area of enzyme where substrate(s) bind(s)
  • Enzymes are proteins with a SPECIFIC SHAPE
  • The active site is a part of the protein which recognizes and binds to the substrate
  • Cofactors (e.g. Zn 2+, Cu 2+, B vitamins) some enzymes won’t hook-up to a substrates without these
  • ‘Lock and Key Model’ – says there is a perfect fit between active site and substrate
  • Modified to ‘Induced Fit Model’ - active site can expand or contract to “fit” the substrate shape
  • The induced fit model allows for small differences (possibility of letting several different kinds of substrates hook up)
how do enzymes speed up reactions
How do enzymes speed up reactions?

Enzymes lower the activation energy(EA=amount of energy that reactant molecules require to start a reaction)

  • Are involved in every biochemical reaction and thereby control metabolism
  • Are named according to the reaction that they facilitateExamples: Sucrase breaks down sucrose into glucose and fructose
    • DNA Polymerase helps build DNA polymers
did you notice that enzyme all sound the same
Did you notice that enzyme all sound the same?
  • All enzymes end in “-ase”
    • DNA Polymerase
    • Sucrase
factors affecting enzyme activity
Factors affecting enzyme activity


2. Concentration of Enzyme

3. Concentration of Substrate

4. pH

5. Inhibitors

  • pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution
  • Specifically it is a measurement of the concentration of H+ ions in a solution
  • The concentration of hydrogen ions is commonly expressed in terms of the pH scale

Types of Inhibition

  • Competitive inhibition- molecules bind to the active site and prevent the substrate from binding
  • Non-competitive inhibition- molecules that bind to a site other than the active site but change the shape of the active site so that it cannot bind the substrate
enzymes in biotechnology
Enzymes in Biotechnology

How does pectinase work?


Pectin is the cement that holds plant cells together. Pectinase helps farmers break down the plant cells faster. For example it might help a farmer release the juice from apples faster to make lots of Apple Juice.

other enzymes in biotechnology
Other enzymes in biotechnology…
  • Biological washing powder
  • Meat tenderizer
  • Production of glucose syrup
pyramid game
Pyramid Game









pyramid game1
Pyramid Game







Covalent Bond

Ionic Bond

pyramid game2
Pyramid Game



Active Site

Chemical Reaction

Activation Energy