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What are the molecules of life?

Organic Inorganic
–   living-   Compounds have any combination of Carbon and Hydrogen –   nonliving-   compounds do NOT have carbon and hydrogen together
Ex:   CH4, CH3OH Ex:   H2O, NH3, CO2


-main source of energy for living things (First source)

-Your body gets energy from carbohydrates by the process called cellular respiration, which occurs in the mitochondria.

Key identification of Carbohydrates:

  • H O ratio of 2:1

C2H4O                                    C16H32O16




  • End in “ose”
    • Ex:  glucose, sucrose, maltose
Examples of simple sugars Examples of carbohydrates
monosaccharide polysaccharide
Glucose, maltose Starch, cellulose, glycogen

Click here for video on sugars



Lipid– a macromolecule made mainly from carbon and hydrogen atoms; includes fats, oils, and waxes

Basic lipid information:

  1. Lipids are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen BUT are NOT found in 1:2:1 ratio.
  2. Usually a lot less oxygen atoms


  1. Basic lipids (simple liquids) are made from
  2. 3 fatty acids


  1. 1 gylcerol


  1. Lipids found in cell membranes are called phospholipids


Main functions of lipids:

  1. Energy storage
  2. structure of cell membranes
  3. chemical messengers are made from lipids (hormones)




Proteins:   A macromolecule that contains Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen.    It is needed by the body for growth and repair and to make up enzymes.


Basic Protein Information:
1. Another name for proteins is polypeptides.
2. Proteins are broken down into amino acids.
3.The name of a bond between or within proteins is called a peptide bond.
4.When 2 amino acids combined they will connect and form a dipeptide.



Amino Acids:

  1. Amino acids are made up of:

Amino group: (NH2)


Carboxyl group: (COOH)


R-groups show difference between each amino acid.  There are 20 different R-groups, meaning there are 20 different amino acids.

General structure of every amino acid;

Main Functions of Proteins:

Enzymes are made from proteins.

–> Enzymes control all chemical reactions.

  1. Role of Enzymes:
    1. Chemical reactions require a specific enzyme
    2. Enzymes determine the rate of reaction.
    3. Structure of enzymes:  large complex proteins and ends      in –ase.  (Example: maltose is hydrolyzed to maltase).

“Lock and Key” Model:




Factors Influencing Actions of Enzymes:

  1. Temperature
  2. Relative Amounts of Enzyme and Substrates
  3. pH


Dehydration Synthesis

–     Bigger molecule is made

–     Water is a byproduct



– Bigger molecule is broken into smaller ones

– water is used for the breakdown


For both Hydrolysis and Dehydration Synthesis, enzymes are used to help the reaction occur.