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Chapter 3 Blog:  The Chemical Basis of Life II  (Julia)

Page history last edited by Julia Burton 13 years, 5 months ago

In the first section of this page, you will write a daily summary of that day's class.  For example in  your chapter 2 blog, your first entry should be titled 9/3/10.  You should then write a one or two paragraph summary of that day's lecture, outlining the major points.  In the second section, you are required to add two items (link to a website, video, animation, student-created slide show, student-created PowerPoint presentation) and one journal article pertaining to a topic in this chapter.  A one-paragraph summary must accompany each item describing the main idea and how it applies to the lecture topic.  Please see the PBWorks help guide for assistance embedding video and other items directly in the page.  I will also produce a how-to video on using tables to wrap text around items and other useful tips.  Please see the syllabus for organization and grading details.


A.  Daily Blog


Blog for 9/10/10

Submitted 9/12/10


All I was thinking on Friday was " Wow, reading the chapter over and over and taking noted beforehand really does help." Who would have guessed! In chapter three there were a lot of vocab words (some familiar, some new) examples of these:

1. macromolecules: large organic compounds. formed by linking together small molecules called monomers, and are thus called polymers

2. condensation reaction: process by which two or more molecules combine to make a larger one (loss of the small molecules result)

3. dehydration reaction: when an organic macromolecule  is formed, two smaller molecules combine by condensation, producing a larger molecule along with the loss of a water molecule (I was sort of confused with the difference between condensation and dehydration reactions)

4.  hydrolysis reaction: chemical reaction that uses water to break a bond

5. isomers: two structures with identical molecular formula but different structures

a) structural isomers: contain same atoms but different bonding relationships

b) stereoisomers: have identical bonding relationships but the spacial positioning of the atoms differs in the two isomers 

I) cis/trans: organic molecules with the same chemical composition but existing in two different configurations

II) enantiomer: one pair or steroisomers that exist as mirror images

Some other facts that i have written down were:

1. carbohydrates have a 1:2:1 ratio (ex) C6H12O6

2. OH groups are targeted in chemical reactions

3. We learned a bunch about functional groups as well. Functional groups are a group of atoms with chemical features that are functionally important. Each functional group exhibits the same properties in all molecules in which it occurs.

a) Amino- only one with nitrogen, theyre bases, can be ionized, can have electrostatic interaction  

b) Carbonyl- steroids, waxes proteins, either keytone or aldehyde 

c) Carboxyl- can be ionized so they can participate in electrostatic interactions

d) Hydroxyl- not an acid, polar covalent bond, partially positive, participate in hydrogen bonds, target of dehydration reactions

e) Methyl- nonpolar

f) Sulfate

g) Sulfhydrly- if there are two of these close to each other, they form a very strong covalent bond called disulfide linkages 



Blog for 9/14/10 

Submitted 9/16/10


Good evening! Wednesday was all about proteins. Proteins are composed of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements in smaller amounts such as sulfur. Amino acids are the monomers of proteins. All amino acids have a common structure but with a variable R group. The side chain determines the structure/ function of the amino acid. There are twenty of them. Below is a picture that I took of my notes. It's a picture of the structure of an amino acid.

Some quick facts that i wrote down about amino acids are:

1. the alpha carbon is asymmetrical which means it can form a mirror image

2. all amino acids have an amino acid group, R group, alpha carbon, and terminal hydrogen

3. polar amino acids form hydrogen bonds

4. nonpolar amino acids form hydrophobic interactions

So! More about proteins...

a) they have four different structures ( is that true? i'm not sure if structures is the right word)

1. primary structure: linear chain of amino acids (peptide bonds)

- peptide bonds are used to form proteins from amino acids using dehydration synthesis  (the picture below is of a peptide bond; sorry its not too clear)

2. secondary: makes folds from hydrogen bonds. I thought it was awesome how all of the hydrophobic molecules curl together to shield from the water

3. Tertiary: folding gives 3-d structure; final level for single chain peptide bonds; functional unit for single peptide bonds

4. quaternary: the last structure! ready to use 



** FACT: Disulfide linkages are the strongest bond because they're covalent. They're formed when sulfhydrol molecules are close to each other. 



Blog for 9/17/10

(Submitted 9/19/10)


Hey Dr. Weber. On Friday we talked more about proteins and such because you decided not to go over parts of the cell. We learned all about that Freshman year anyway. Friday we learned that DNA and RNA are examples of nucleic acids. Also, we learned that a gene is a discrete unit of DNA that encodes for a functional product ( RNA, proteins). All DNA in an organism is the same but the gene expression determines structure and function of the cells.

Useful Facts:

To denature means to break bonds due to heat and chemicals. 

Hydrogen bonds and elecrtostatic interactions are both charged



For most of the class we talked about this worksheet that you handed out about an experiment. The experiment was done to test whether or not proteins requite a cellular environment in order to fold. The protein that they used was ribonucleas and it did NOT need a cellular environment to fold. It was stated though that others do need one. 


Sorry this one was kind of short! 



B.  Useful Materials



This is an informational video about carbon. It relates to the lecture because the general idea of section 3.1 was organic chemistry, and that revolves around carbon. The video talks about how important carbon is to life, and how it makes up everything we encounter everyday and how it's the basis of all life. The video is kind of boring (no funny raps or anything), but you learn some facts. Honestly though, the main reason why i posted it was because of the guy that talks. I would really like to know whether that's his real style or trying to copy Einstein!

YouTube plugin error


This is an article showing how isomers are utilized in daily life! As we know, isomers are two molecules with the same chemical makeup but different structures. This article talks about an anti-ageing product using isomers to achieve the " right balance of chemicals". This is a bit from the article explaining the product: This has peptides from the isomers, which are natural anti-wrinkle formulas. This is then combined with a snake venom peptide which has a combination of chemicals known to fight wrinkles. This particular substance is known to combine newer science and one of the oldest substances for fighting age.



This journal article from pubmed explains a test that was done to see the effects of Thalidomide and Morphine on rats. The rodents had neuropathic pain and the results of the experiment are that morphine and thalidomide may be alternative therapeutic approaches to neuropathic pain. This is relevant in our lecture because we were talking about Thalidomide Babies. These were babies born in 1962 and their mothers were given Thalidomide for morning sickness. Turns out, this certain form (isotope) of Thalidomide was harmful and caused severe birth defects. 



Comments (4)

Julia Burton said

at 9:19 am on Sep 13, 2010

I'm sorry, i cant seem to figure out what you were talking about with the links from last time... ill try to figure it out

Derek Weber said

at 3:59 am on Sep 16, 2010

First, this is outstanding. Your daily blog is detailed and your materials are relevant. Let's talk about how we can remove those URL and just hyperlink text. Great job.

Derek Weber said

at 4:08 am on Sep 23, 2010

We lost the images. I don't know what went down but this is unfortunate.

Julia Burton said

at 7:38 am on Sep 23, 2010

aww! i can see them! i dont know why you cant.... let me try something out

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