Glossary of Basic Chemistry for Biology
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- What is electronegativity?
- a measure of the affinity ("stickiness") of an element for electrons
- What is an ion?
- a charged particle
- What is ionization energy?
- the amount of energy required to extract ("pull") an electron away from a given atom
- What does polarity mean?
- it describes the property of an object having two opposite sides
- What is a polar molecule?
- a molecule, which, due to an uneven distribution of electrons, has a partial positive pole and partial negative pole
a group of these molecules CAN be dissolved by water
- Is water a polar or non-polar molecule?
- What property of water makes it so important to biology?
- What is a mixture?
- a substance made up of two or more elements or compounds that are mixed together, but not chemically combined
- What are the two components of any solution?
- a solute and a solvent
- What substance is considered the universal solvent? What property gives it that role?
- What type of bonds keep water molecules tightly bound to one another?
- hydrogen bonds
- What is a solution?
- a homogeneous mixture that contains two or more substances
- How do you tell the difference between a solute and a solvent in a given solution?
- solute is the minor component of a solution; solvent is the major component
(eg. water is the solvent in a solution of Kool-Aid powder and water)
- What 2 properties define an acid?
- a compound that releases hydrogen ions (H+ or protons) into solution; also absorbs electrons and OH- (hydroxide) ions
- What 2 properties define a base?
- a compound that releases OH- ions (hydroxide) or electrons; also absorbs hydrogen ions (H+ or protons)
- What is a suspension?
- a mixture of water and non-dissolved material; the motion of water molecules keep the particles from settling at the bottom of the container
- What is compound?
- a substance containing two or more elements
- What is the smallest unit of a compound that still retains the property of that compound?
- a molecule
- What is an atom?
- the smallest unit of an element that still retains the properties of that element
- How do you define an element?
- a substance that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by chemical means
- What is an organic compound?
- a compound that contains carbon-carbon bonds and is mainly of biological origin
- What is polymerization?
- process by which large compounds are built by linking smaller compounds together
- What are the 4 groups of organic molecules found in living things?
- 1. carbohydrates
4. nucleic acids
- What is dehydration synthesis?
- the joining of two molecules while losing a water molecule in the process
- What are the building blocks of polysaccharides?
- What are the building blocks of DNA and RNA?
- What are the building blocks of proteins?
- amino acids
- What is hydrolysis?
- the splitting of a covalent bond between 2 molecules by inserting a water molecule
(hydro = water; lysis = splitting)
- What are the building blocks of lipids?
- glycerol and fatty acids
- What is a peptide bond?
- the covalent bond between 2 amino acids
- How are covalent bonds and ionic bonds different?
- electrons are SHARED in covalent bonds, while electrons are SWAPPED to form ionic bonds
- What is an enzyme?
- a protein molecule that speeds up biochemical reactions by lower the activation energy
- What is the activation energy of a reaction?
- the energy that must be invested in order to trigger the reaction
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