Image showing the 3D structure of a protein. Image by Debstar, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...re_rainbow.png)
- Biochemistry is the science that studies how life works at a molecular level
- This chapter provides an overview of the biologically important group of compounds known as carbohydrates. Many of the compounds you will encounter while studying this chapter may appear to have very complex structures, but much of their chemistry can be readily understood in terms of the concepts and reactions discussed in earlier chapters of the course.
- The lipids are a large and diverse group of naturally occurring organic compounds that are related by their solubility in nonpolar organic solvents (e.g., ether, chloroform, acetone and benzene) and general insolubility in water. There is great structural variety among the lipids, as will be demonstrated in the following sections.
- The blueprint for the reproduction and the maintenance of each organism is found in the nuclei of its cells, concentrated in elongated, threadlike structures called chromosomes. These complex structures, consisting of DNA and proteins, contain the basic units of heredity, called genes. The number of chromosomes (and genes) varies with each species. Human body cells have 23 pairs of chromosomes having 20,000–40,000 different genes.