Chemistry of Life

Study Guide- Ashley Blair

Water and It's Characteristics:

Adhesion - The molecular attraction that holds the surfaces of two unlike substances together.

Cohesion - The molecular attraction that holds together the surface of the same substances.

Heat Storage -absorbs and stores heat energy that is released in water to transfer when needed.

pH scale - a measure of how acidic or basic a substance is.

Polarity of Water - water is a polar molecule, meaning that there is an uneven distribution of electron density. Water has a partial negative charge near the oxygen atom due to the unshared pairs of electrons, and partial positive charges near the hydrogen atoms.

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  • Lipids - (Unsaturated fats, saturated fats) Stores energy; Found in the cell

  • Carbohydrates - (Monosaccharide, Disaccharide, Polysaccharide) Breaks down energy; Found in DNA

  • Proteins - (Globular, Fibrous, Membrane) Regulates the body; Found all over the body nd in foods.

  • Nucleic Acids - (DNA, RNA) Makes up genetic information; Found in DNA molecules.



  • Organic compounds mad of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen.

  • key source of energy found in most foods.

  • Regulates protein-cell interactions.

  • Defends against invading viruses and bacteria.


  • Monosaccharides (also a monomer) - basic source of energy for cells.

- Ex: Glucose, Fructose

  • Disaccharide - a chain of two monosaccharides linked together by a covalent bond.

- Needs to be digested by the human body to be used in cells

-Ex: Glucose + Fructose = Sucrose

  • Oligosaccharides - Carbohydrate structures that contain more than 2 but less than 20 monosaccharide units.

- Mannose - oligosaccharides cover the head of H.I.V. Mannose shields the virus from possible treatment by blocking entry.

  • Polysaccharide - a chain of 3 or more monosaccharides.

- Can be very large; is a macromolecule

- Stores plant energy; needs to be digested by the human body

- Ex: Starches, Cellulose, Chitin



  • Makes up cell membranes
  • Long term energy


  • Saturated Fats - long chains of carbons with oil bonds filled by hydrogens.

- Solid at room temperature.

  • Unsaturated Fats - have one double bond (mono) which causes a "kink" in the chain that does not allow the fat to solidify.

  • Polyunsaturated Fats - have more than one double bond in the chains

- Triglycerol is hydrolized in the small intestine by lipase into fatty acids, glycerol, and water.

Nucleic Acids


  • DNA
  • RNA
  • ATP


  • DNA/RNA - Carry our genetic information and care for amino acids.

  • ATP (Adenosine Phosphate) - molecular currency of energy in cells; Phosphate bonds contain a lot of potential energy that is released when they are broken.



  • Forms our hair and fingernails
  • Carries oxygen throughout the body
  • Enables muscular movement
  • Defends body against invaders
  • Helps us digest


  • Amino acids - building blocks of protein in the body for the cells.
  • Fibroin - (Found in spider silk)
  • Luciferase - (Found in fireflies)
  • Prialt - (found in cobras)
  • GFP - (Jellyfish)
  • Alpha-Keritan - (Found in horns, feathers, nails)