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Chemistry LibreTexts

1: Intro to Biochem

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    • 1.1: Basic Biology
      The most obvious thing about living organisms is their astounding diversity. Estimates put the number of eukaryotic species at about 8.7 million, while bacteria account for anywhere between 107 and 109 different species. The number of species of archaea is still uncertain, but is expected to be very large. These organisms, representing the three great domains of life, together occupy every environmental niche imaginable.
    • 1.2: Basic Chemistry
      To understand biochemistry, one must possess at least a basic understanding of organic and general chemistry. In this brief section, we will provide a rapid review of the simple concepts necessary to understand cellular chemistry. Chemistry is chemistry, whether in a cell or outside it, but biological chemistry is a particular subset of organic chemistry that often involves enormous macromolecules, and that happens in the aqueous environment of the cell.
    • 1.3: Water and Buffers
      When it comes to water, we’re literally drowning in it, as water is by far the most abundant component of every cell. To understand life, we begin the discussion with the basics of water, because everything that happens in cells, even reactions buried deep inside enzymes, away from water, is influenced by water’s chemistry.
    • 1.4: Prebiotic Earth and the origin of life
      A prerequisite to the prebiotic chemical experimentation is a source of organic molecules. Just as life requires energy (to do anything and everything!), converting inorganic molecules into organic molecules requires an input of free energy. As we have seen, most living things today get free energy by oxidizing nutrients or directly from the sun by photosynthesis. Recall that in fact all the chemical energy sustaining life today ultimately comes from the sun.

    1: Intro to Biochem is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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