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BIOCHEMISTRY

CHEMISTRY OF LIFE
Elements: simplest form of a
substance - cannot be broken down
any further without changing what it is
Atom: the actual basic unit composed of protons, neutrons, and
electrons

THE ATOM
Just like cells are the basic unit of life, the
ATOM is the basic unit of matter.
They are very small. If placed side by side
one million would stretch a distance of 1cm.
The atom is made up of 3 particles.
Particle

Charge

PROTON

NEUTRON

NEUTRAL

ELECTRON

Electrons are not present within the atom,


instead THEY REVOLVE AROUND THE
NUCELUS OF THE ATOM & FORM THE
ELECTRON CLOUD
Draw a helium atom. Indicate where the
protons, neutrons and electrons are.
NEUTRONS
-

ELECTRONS

PROTONS
+

ATOMIC # = 2 (PROTONS)

+
-

ATOMIC MASS = 4
(PROTONS &
NEUTRONS)

ISOTOPES

atoms of the same element that HAVE A


DIFFERENT NUMBER OF NEUTRONS
Some isotopes are radioactive. This means
that their nuclei is unstable and will break
down at a CONSTANT RATE over time.
There are several practical uses for
radioactive isotopes:
1. CARBON DATING
2. TRACERS
3. KILL BACTERIA / CANCER CELLS

COMPOUNDS
a substance formed by the chemical
combination of 2 or more elements in definite
proportions
Ex: water, salt, glucose, carbon dioxide

H20

CO2
NaCl

The cell is a COMPLEX CHEMICAL


FACTORY containing some of the same
elements found in the nonliving
environment.
carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O), and
nitrogen (N) are present in the greatest
percentages

TWO TYPES OF COMPOUNDS


Organic - Contain C, H, and O in some
ratio (usually referred to as chemicals of
life)
Carbohydrates, Proteins, Lipids, Nucleic Acids

Inorganic - usually "support" life - no


specific ratio of C, H, and O
Water (H2O), Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

CHEMICAL BONDS
Chemical bonds hold the atoms in a
molecule together.
There are 2 types of chemical bonds
IONIC and COVALENT

IONIC BONDS
Occur when 1 or more electrons are
TRANSFERRED from one atom to another.
When an atom loses an electron it is a
POSITIVE charge.
When an atom gains an electron it is a
NEGATIVE charge
These newly charged atoms are now called
IONS
Example: NaCl (SALT)

COVALENT BONDS
Occur when electrons are SHARED by atoms.
These new structures that result from covalent
bonds are called MOLECULES
** In general, the more chemical bonds a
molecule has the more energy it contains
SHARING IS CARING!

MIXTURES
Water is not always pure. It is often found as
part of a mixture.
A mixture is a material composed of TWO OR
MORE ELEMENTS OR COMPOUNDS THAT
ARE PHYSICALLY MIXED
Ex: salt & pepper mixed, sugar and sand can be
easily separated

SOLUTION
Two parts:
SOLUTE SUBSTANCE THAT IS BEING
DISSOLVED (SUGAR / SALT)
SOLVENT - the substance in which the solute
dissolves
Materials that do not dissolve are known as
SUSPENSIONS.
Blood is the most common example of a
suspension.
Cells & other particles remain in suspension.

FORMULA
The chemical symbols and numbers that
compose a compound ("recipe")
Structural Formula Line drawings of the
compound that shows the elements in
proportion and how they are bonded
Molecular Formula the ACTUAL
formula for a compound

C2H6O

ACIDS & BASES

Acids: always (almost) begin with "H" because


of the excess of H+ ions (hydrogen)
Ex: lemon juice (6), stomach acid (1.5), acid rain
(4.5), normal rain (6)

Facts about Acids


Acids turn litmus paper RED and usually taste
SOUR.
You eat acids daily (coffee, vinegar, soda,
spicy foods, etc)

ACIDS & BASES


Bases: always (almost) end with -OH because
of the excess of hydroxide ions (Oxygen &
Hydrogen)
EX: oven cleaner, bleach, ammonia, sea water,
blood, pure water

Facts about Bases


Bases turn litmus BLUE.
Bases usually feel SLIPPERY to touch and taste
BITTER.

Neutralization Reactions
When an acid reacts with a base to produce a
salt and water.

pH SCALE
measures degree of
substance alkalinity or
acidity
Ranges from 0 to 14
0 5 strong acid
6-7 neutral
8-14 strong base

The goal of the body is to maintain


HOMEOSTASIS (neutrality) to do this when
pH is concerned, we add weak acids & bases to
prevent sharp changes in pH.
These are called BUFFERS