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5: Structure and Function- Carbohydrates and Lipids

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    • 5.1: Structure and Function- Carbohydrates
      Carbohydrates are a third major group of biomolecules. This diverse group is commonly described as sugars, or saccharides, from the Greek word for sugar. The simplest carbohydrates are called monosaccharides, or simple sugars. An example is glucose. Monosaccharides can be joined to make larger molecules. Disaccharides contain two monosaccharides.
    • 5.2: Structure and Function - Lipids and Their Transport
      Lipids are a diverse group of molecules that all share the characteristic that at least a portion of them is hydrophobic. Lipids play many roles in cells, including serving as energy storage (fats/oils), constituents of membranes (glycerophospholipids, sphingolipids, cholesterol), hormones (steroids), vitamins (fat soluble), oxygen/ electron carriers (heme), among others.
    • 5.3: Basic Concepts in Membranes
      The orderly movement of compounds through cell membranes is critical for the cell to be able to 1) get food for energy; 2) export materials; 3) maintain osmotic balance; 4) create gradients for secondary transport; 5) provide electromotive force for nerve signaling; and 6) store energy in electrochemical gradients for ATP production (oxidative phosphorylation or photosynthesis). In some cases, energy is required to move the substances (active transport).
    • 5.4: Transport Across Membranes
      It is essential for cells to be able to uptake nutrients. This function along with movement of ions and other substances is provided by proteins/protein complexes that are highly specific for the compounds they move. Selective movement of ions by membrane proteins and the ions’ extremely low permeability across the lipid bilayer are important for helping to maintain the osmotic balance of the cell and also for providing for the most important mechanism for it to make ATP - the process of oxidat
    • 5.5: Other Considerations in Membranes
      There are many functions and factors relating to cell membranes that don’t fit into broad categories. Those items will be the focus of this section.

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