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Answer to Question #63298 in Biochemistry for hairy pitts

Question #63298

1. What are the major elements of life?
2. What properties of carbon explain carbon’s ability to form different complex structures?
3. Name the four groups of organic compounds in living things.
4. Describe ONE FUNCTION for each of the four groups of compounds.
5. Define polymer.
6. Explain why proteins are considered polymers and lipids are not considered polymers.
Expert's answer
1. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur, nitrogen.
2. Carbon has the ability to bond to itself, and it has 4 valence electrons, causing strong covalent bonds to occur between carbon and another element.
3. Carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids.
4. Carbohydrates: plants and animals use carbohydrates for structural purposes; proteins: proteins are used to form bones and muscles; lipids: lipids can be used to store energy; nucleic acids: nucleic acids transmit genetic and hereditary information.
5. Polymer is a compound of high molecular weight derived either by the addition of many smaller molecules, as polyethylene, or by the condensation of many smaller molecules with the elimination of water, alcohol, or the like, as nylon.
6. Lipids do not align with the definition of a polymer. Proteins are made of long chains of monomers that result in a product with new properties, but lipids are macromolecules that are in fact not made up of tiny components that make up a chain.

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