Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organic Molecules

Today we continued to expand our knowledge of organic molecules -- i.e. the substances that compose all of the parts of any living organism.

Below is a summary of each group of organic molecules.


Composed of: Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen

Subunits: monosaccharides

Purpose: energy -- mainly short-term

Examples: glucose, fructose, sucrose, glycogen, cellulose, starches, lactose

Other tidbits:
-- aka sugars
-- most have the suffix (ending) -ose
-- if they aren't used, then they combine to form more complex sugars and eventually lipids


Composed of: Carbon, Hydrogen, and a LITTLE bit of oxygen 

Subunits: fatty acids

Purpose: energy -- mainly long term, insulation, protection

Examples: fats, oils, waxes

Other tidbits:
-- hydrophobic - no they don't run in terror!!  It means they don't mix with water.
-- compose cell membranes as a phospholipid bilayer




Composed of: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and sometimes Sulfur 

Subunits: amino acids held together by peptide bonds

Purpose: structure and support, messengers and other mobile functions

Examples: muscle tissue, insulin, hemoglobin, enzymes

Other tidbits:

--Enzymes -- special group of proteins that help speed up chemical reactions.  They act like a key in that they are specific to the substrate that they work to break down or to combine.  Example: lactase is an enzyme that breaks down lactose.  It doesn't fit any other chemical structure except that of lactose.  Most enzymes end in -ase.

Composed of: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus

Subunits: nucleotides (phosphate group, 5-carbon sugar, nitrogenous base)


Purpose: store genetic information that dictates everything about each living organism

Examples: DNA (top) and RNA(bottom)


That's all for now!!   Tomorrow we test for these molecules in foods that we consume on a daily basis....look for my post tomorrow that will review the results of each particular test.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Amazing Growing Bears!!!!


Well, well, well!!!  What an amazing feat our Gummi Bears pulled over the weekend.  The picture above demonstrates how our bears looked after soaking in water for 72 hours.  All of our measurements increased therefore our densities also changed.

We then began some notes on organic molecules (aka. biomolecules, biological molecules, or life molecules).  So far here is what we know!

All living organisms (biotic factors) contain carbon atoms.  Atoms are the building blocks of molecules which in turn are the subunits of all parts of the cell.

There are 4 major groups of biomolecules: carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and proteins.

Tomorrow we will finish detailing each of these groups of molecules and begin preparing for a food lab on Wednesday!




Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gummi Bears....Oh my!

We started an experiment today to see how soaking gummi bears in water and alcohol will affect their density.  In order to know the density we had to measure the volume and mass.  On Monday we will see how each measurement has changed to affect the density of the gummi bears.


We also made some mini posters to ensure we knew the difference between biotic and abiotic factors.


This category includes all living organisms.....even if that organism is now dead.


It doesn't mean DEAD.  If something is dead, it was at one time alive and therefore biotic.  These are the factors that were never living.

Could you list examples of each????

Post some pictures in the comment section to let me know you are 100% sure of the difference.

See you Monday!