Chemistry of Life

Alashanae Keyes and Toni Lee

Water Characteristics

Adhesion is the tendency of dissimilar particles or surfaces to cling to one another. Cohesion is when the molecular force between particles brings them together. Polarity is the property of having poles or being polar. pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, numerically equal to 7 for neutral solutions.


Macromolecules are generally built by combining many single units and a molecule containing a very large number of atoms. Proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids are the four types of macromoles and they each perform specific functions for cells.


Carbohydrates are energy-providing nutrients. There are two types of carbohydrates they are complex and simple. Carbohydrates contain carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Carbohydrates are in a large group of sugars, starches, cellulose and gums. Carbohydrates are separated into simple carbohydrates sugar, complex carbohydrates fiber and starch.


Proteins are large biological molecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more chains of amino acid residues. Proteins contain carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen and sometimes sculpture. Protein is the building block of all life and is essential for the growth of cells and tissue repair. There are 20 amino acids used to build proteins. Proteins have many different jobs within the body.


Lipids are made up of fatty acids and glycerol. Lipids are large, diverse molecules linked by the property of being insoluble in water. Lipids are involved in how the body stores energy. Lipids regulate biological processes, and maintain structural integrity at the cellular level. Lipids play important roles in the functioning of cells and the health of the body.

Nucleic acids

Nucleic acids allow organisms to transfer genetic information from one generation to the next. A nucleic acid is a polymer of nucleotides. Nucleic acids store and transmit genetic information that you inherited from your parents. Nucleic acids are composed of nucleotide monomers.


Enzymes are complex proteins that cause a specific chemical change in all parts of the body. Enzymes have a region called an active site. Enzyme activity is affected by substrate type, temperature, pH and substrate concentration. Enzyme activity can be inhibited or promoted by other substances. Enzymes speed up chemical reactions in the body, but do not get used up in the process.