AP Biology Chemistry of Life

Lipids or Fats

Made up of a glycerol molecule and three fatty acids molecules

Saturated fatty acids

Have no double bonds between carbonsTend to pack solidly at room temp.Are linked w/ cardiovascular diseaseAre commonly produced by animals

Unsaturated fatty acids

have some C=C (carbon double bonds) Tend to be liquid at room temp.Are commonly produced by plants


Energy storage and protection of vitals organs are a function of a


Make up cell membranesHave a polar head that includes a phosphate groupHave two fatty acid tails which are nonpolar


Make up 96 percent of living matter

Trace Elements

Required by an organism in only minute quantities


A substance consisting of two or more elements combined in a fixed ratio


A substance that cannot be broken down to another substance by a chemical reaction


Fancy word for stuff; makes up everything; has mass and made of atoms


Smallest unit of an element that still retains the property of an element


Positively charged particles found in the nucleus of the atom


Negatively charged particles that are found in electron shells around the nucleus


Particles with no charge


Forms of an element with differing numbers of neutrons

Atomic number

The number of protons an element possesses

Mass number

Sum of an elements protons and neutrons

Chemical bonds

Interactions between the valence(combining power of an element) electrons of different atoms

Covalent bond

When valence electrons are shared by two atoms

Nonpolar covalent bond

When electrons are being shared equally between the two atoms

Polar covalent bond

When one atom has a greater electronegativity than the other, resulting in an unequal sharing of electrons

Ionic bonds

Two atoms attract valence electrons so unequally that the more electronegative atom steals the electron away from the less electronegative atom


Resulting charged atom after an ionic bond

Hydrogen bonds

Relatively weak bonds that form between partial positively charged hydrogen atom of one molecule and the strongly electronegative oxygen or nitrogen of another

Chemical reaction

Shows the reactants and an arrow to indicate their conversion into the products

Water molecules

1 oxygen and and 2 Hydrogen atoms; hydrogen bonds form between these.


The linking of like molecules


The clinging of one substance to another different substance


The movement of water molecules up the very thin xylem tubes and their evaporation from the stomata in plants; simple the evaporation of water from plants

Specific heat

The amount of heat required to raise or lower the temperature of a substance by 1*C


Water-soluble, include ionic compounds, polar molecules, and some proteins; water loving


Oils, nonpolar, and do not dissolve in water; water fearing


Measures the relative acidity and alkalinity of aqeneous solutions


Have an excess of H+ ions and a pH below 7.0


Have an excess of OH- ions and a pH above 7.0


pH of 7; Pure water is


Substances that minimize changes in pH


reaction that breaks a compound down into smaller pieces

Characteristics of carbon

It has 4 valence electronsIt can form up to 4 covalent bonds(Single,Double,or Triple)It can form large moleculesThese molecules can be chains, ring shaped, or branched


Molecules that have the same molecular formula but differ in their arrangement of these atoms


Long chained molecules made of repeating subunits called monomers

Dehydration reactions

Create polymers from monomers. Two monomers are joined by removing one molecule of water


When water is added to split large molecules


Simple sugars and polymers1 carbon:2 hydrogen: 1 oxygen


The monomers of carbohydrates Ex. Glucose and Ribose


The polymers of monosaccharides Ex. Starch, cellulose, and glycogen


A storage polysaccharide found in plants


A storage polysaccharide found in animals, vertebrate muscle cells, and liver cells


polysaccharide; A major component of plant cell walls


Polysaccharide; Found in the exoskeleton of insects and Arthropods and the cell walls of fungi


reaction that builds smaller molecules into larger compounds.


Made up of four rings not that are fused together


A steroid, common component of cell membranes

Estrogen and testosterone

Steroid hormones


Polymers made up of amino acid monomers

Amino acids

Contain a central carbon bonded to a carboxyl group(COOH) at one end, an amino group(NH^2), a hydrogen atom, and an R group(variable)

Peptide bonds

Link amino acids, formed by dehydration synthesis between the amino and hydroxyl of adjacent monomers

The unique sequence of amino acids

Primary Structure (Part of Protein structure)

Coiling of the chain

Secondary Structure (Part of Protein Structure)

Coiling of the coil/ bending

Tertiary structure of proteins

Two or more chains together/ Layering

Quaternary structure of proteins

Alpha helix

A coiled shape/slinky

Beta pleated sheet

An accordion shape

Protein shape

Crucial to protein function


When a protein loses its shape and ability to function due to heat, change in pH, or some other disturbance

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

The molecule of heredity Double strandedNucleotides are adenine, thymine, guanine, and cystonineA-T and C-G

RNA (ribonucleic acid)

Single strandedNucleotides are adenine, uracil, cystonine, and guanine


Consist of nitrogenous base, pentose or 5-carbon sugar, Phosphate group

Nitrogenous base

Adenine, thymine, guanine, and cystonine in DNAAdenine, uracil, cystonine, and guanine in RNA


Deoxyribose in DNA/ Ribose in RNA


Positively charged atom


A negatively charged ion