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The Macromolecule Song Fun Much of a cell's activities involve the arranging and rearranging and bonding of macromolecules. By encoding and directing the production of proteins, DNA both directly and indirectly coordinates and directs these activities.
The living cell is a symphony of thousands of chemical reactions all miraculously timed and coordinated to perform all the functions necessary for life.
Amazingly, this symphony has only a few major players. Much of a cell's activities involve the arranging and rearranging and bonding of macromolecules.
Carbon is a unique element with the remarkable ability to form strong, stable chemical bonds with other atoms. Each carbon atom can form four bonds with other atoms.
Sometimes, two atoms will form more than one bond between themselves making a double bond or even a triple bond. This bonding ability allows carbon atoms to form chains of almost unlimited length. These chains can be closed on themselves to form rings or may branch wildly.
This gives virtually infinite variety to the kinds of molecules that carbon can form. Carbon containing compounds are called organic compounds. Figure 1 shows just a few examples of the many ways carbon chains can be arranged to form the skeleton for different molecules.
Figure 1 Atoms of hydrogen and oxygen and less frequently nitrogen, sulfur, or phosphorous bond to the carbon skeleton in a variety of ways to form small but complex molecules. The four major types of macromolecules found in living cells—carbohydrates, lipids, proteinsand nucleic acids --are made of these smaller, repeating subunits called monomers.
The monomers within one molecule are not always identical but they always have similar chemical structures. Monomers are joined together by a series of chemical reactions in a process called polymerization to form large, complex molecules called polymers.
Another prefix you will run into later in your study of DNA testing is oligo. An oligomer is also a molecular made of repeating subunits but fewer in number than a polymer.
For example, an oligonucleotide is a short chain of nucleotides whereas a polynucleotide may have many, many nucleotide subunits. You may also run across the terms dimer, trimer, and tetramer—oligomers composed of two, three, and four monomers respectively.
The chemical diversity that polymerization provides to living things is similar to the diversity that our alphabet allows our language. Similarly, the monomer units of macromolecules can be arranged with an almost endless potential for variety.
The functions of macromolecules are directly related to their shapes and to the chemical properties of their monomers. The way the monomers are arranged in the macromolecule determines its shape and its function in the same way that the arrangement of the letters in a word determine its sound and meaning.
Ricochet Science Macromolecules Series This series of videos covers carbohydrates and lipids in somewhat more depth than proteins and nucleic acids. Proteins and especially nucleic acids will be featured in more detail in speparate DNA Basics pages. All of the RicochetScience material is presented very clearly.
This series will be invaluable for students studying for exams. As a bonus, the series provides a good framework for understanding the terminology of dietary guidelines and recommendations. Together they total about 20 minutes.
Crash Course Biology [Video file] retrieved from https: The Macromolecules Song This is a very creative and fun video that is very well performed.
It is heavily focused on carbohydrates. I'd love to see some follow ups for proteins, lipids and nucleic acids.Familial adenomatous polyposis a hereditary syndrome characterized by the formation of many polyps in the colon and rectum, some of which may develop into colorectal cancer.
Fatty acid an organic acid molecule consisting of a chain of carbon molecules and a carboxylic acid (-COOH) group.
Most macromolecules are made from single subunits, or building blocks, called monomers. The monomers combine with each other via covalent bonds to form larger molecules known as polymers.
In doing so, monomers release water molecules as byproducts. A macromolecule is a molecule with a large number of atoms. The word is usually used only when describing polymers, molecules which are made up of smaller molecules called monomers. All organic monomers are based on carbon, usually with hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.
Unformatted text preview: Macromolec ules 1 Macromolecules • large organic molecules. molecules – “Macro” = large – Built the same way a railroad train is built: by linking lots of smaller units into long chains • Biomolecules = Biological Macromolecules.
2 Biomolecules • Small “building blocks” are called kaja-net.comRS • Monomers bind to from complex molecules called. Most large biological molecules are polymers, long chains made up of repeating molecular subunits, or building blocks, called monomers.
If you think of a monomer as being like a bead, then you can think of a polymer as being like a necklace, a series of beads strung together. Proteins • Biological molecules are polymers, constructed from the covalent binding of smaller molecules called monomers • Proteins polymers are linear combination.