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Why is carbon so important to life?

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Presentation on theme: "Why is carbon so important to life?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Why is carbon so important to life?
Carbon Compounds Why is carbon so important to life?

2 The Chemistry of Carbon
A whole branch of chemistry is set aside just to study carbon compounds ~Organic chemistry Organic chemistry is the study of all compounds that contain bonds between carbon atoms. Carbon has four electrons that form covalent bonds with other atoms. 6 P 6 N

3 The chemistry of carbon
Carbon atoms have the ability to form strong bonds. Not only can carbon atoms bond to H, N, O, P and S atoms, but a carbon atom can bond to other carbon atoms! ~gives carbon the ability to form long chains ~carbon-carbon bonds can be single, double, or triple covalent bonds ~chains of carbon atoms can close and form rings This makes carbon a versatile element-- No other element even comes close! C C C C C6H12O6


5 Why is carbon so important?
Life depends on carbon/organic compounds! When you eat food or inhale oxygen, your body uses these materials in chemical reactions that keep you alive. Just as buildings are made from bricks, steel, glass and wood, living things are made from carbon/organic compounds. Carbon or organic compounds are the building blocks for organisms and the major source of their chemical energy. All living organisms contain carbon.

6 macromolecules Many of the molecules in living cells are so large that they are known as macromolecules, which means “giant molecules.” Macromolecules are made from thousands or even hundreds of thousands of smaller molecules. Proteins Lipids Carbohydrates Nucleic Acids

7 Macromolecules-polymerization
Macromolecules are formed by a process known as polymerization in which large compounds are built by joining smaller ones together. The smaller units, or monomers, join together to form polymers. ~”Mono” = one ~”Poly” = many Monomers may be identical ~like the links on a metal watch band Monomers may be different ~like the beads in a multicolored necklace

8 Types of macromolecules
Four groups of organic compounds (macromolecules) found in living things are: ~carbohydrates ~lipids ~nucleic acids ~proteins Sometimes these organic compounds are referred to as biomolecules

9 carbohydrates Carbohydrates are compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms ~usually in a ratio of 1 : 2 : 1.   Living things use carbohydrates as their main source of energy. Plants and some animals also use carbohydrates for structural purposes Starches and sugars are examples of carbohydrates that are used by living things as a source of energy. C6H12O6

10 Carbohydrates-Structure
The monomers or “building blocks” of carbohydrates are monosaccharides -monosaccharide: one sugar molecule (Ex: glucose, galactose, fructose) -disaccharide: two sugar molecules (Ex: lactose, sucrose) -polysaccharide: many sugar molecules (Ex: glycogen (in animals), starch, cellulose (in plants))

11 Lipids A lipid is a macromolecule made up of mostly carbon and hydrogen atoms and they have oxygen atoms too. Lipids can be used to store energy. Some lipids are important parts of biological membranes and waterproof coverings.  Common categories of lipids are: Fats Oils Waxes Steroids

12 Lipids-structure Lipids are unique because they are nonpolar molecules, meaning they do NOT dissolve in water. The monomers of lipids or the “building blocks” are fatty acids and glycerol. Most lipids are formed when a glycerol molecule combines with 3 fatty acids.

13 Lipids-Structure If all of the carbons are singled bonded it is considered saturated. -If each carbon atom in a lipid's fatty acid chain is joined to another carbon atom by a single bond, the lipid is said to be saturated.  If there is at least one carbon-carbon double bond in a fatty acid, it is unsaturated.

14 Nucleic acids (genetics!!)
Nucleic acids are macromolecules/polymers containing carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Nucleic acids store and transmit hereditary, or genetic, information There are two kinds of nucleic acids:  -ribonucleic acid (RNA) -deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

15 Nucleic acids-structure
The monomers or “building blocks” of nucleic acids are called nucleotides Nucleotides consist of three parts: -5-carbon sugar -phosphate group -nitrogenous base

16 proteins Proteins are macromolecules/polymers that contain nitrogen as well as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Proteins can: -control the rate of reactions -regulate cell processes -form bones and muscles -transport substances into or out of cells -help to fight disease

17 Proteins-structure The monomers or “building blocks” of proteins are called amino acids Amino acids are compounds with an amino group (−NH2) on one end and a carboxyl group (−COOH) on the other end. There are 20 common amino acids used by all organisms in nature, in different combinations.

18 Protein-structure The instructions for arranging amino acids into many different proteins are stored in DNA. Each protein has a specific role All amino acids are identical in the regions where they may be joined together by covalent bonds. This uniformity allows any amino acid to be joined to any other amino acid—by bonding an amino group to a carboxyl group. The portion of each amino acid that is different is a side chain called an R-group.

19 Proteins-structure Proteins can have up to four levels of organization: Primary structure: the linear arrangement of amino acids in a protein and the location of covalent linkages such as peptide bonds between amino acids Secondary structure: areas of folding or coiling within a protein; examples include alpha helices and pleated sheets, which are stabilized by hydrogen bonding. Tertiary structure: the final three-dimensional structure of a protein, which results from a large number of non-covalent interactions between amino acids. Quaternary structure: non-covalent interactions that bind multiple polypeptides into a single, larger protein. Hemoglobin has quaternary structure due to association of two alpha globin and two beta globin polyproteins.

20 Summary Carbon compounds are necessary for all living things (organic compounds) Large carbon compounds are called macromolecules or biomolecules Four types of macromolecules 1. Carbohydrates a. Monomer is a monosaccharide b. “quick energy” 2. Lipids a. Monomer is a glycerol and 3 fatty acids b. Long-term energy c. Fats and fat storage 3. Nucleic Acids a. Monomer is the nucleotide b. DNA and RNA 4. Proteins a. Monomer is amino acids b. Have many different functions c. Enzymes-will learn about next class

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