Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ok...Why Not?

First off, an apology: I've been devoting quite a bit of time to trying to decide which artifact to embed in this post, and none actually doing it, so I decided to just go ahead and type this up.

We've been discussing biochemistry in far more depth than I had ever been exposed to, and I'll be honest: I'm not quite keeping up. More accurately, I haven't quite understood the intricacies of the molecular structures.

However, today especially, I started to figure out what's going on. Let's start by going all the way back to the pH scale.

Let's start by examining a simple, well known chemical formula: H20.  Everyone I've ever met knows that formula's water. You could find someone wandering around Siberia and they would know about H20.

Some more thoughts on water:

On the pH scale, it's neutral (7).  Why would this be?

To answer this question, we have to look in more depth at the pH scale. As a number gets farther and farther away from 7 (all the way to 0 and 14), it gets either more acidic (smaller numbers) or more basic (larger numbers). Acidic substances have more H+, while the more basic, the OH- increases. When these two quantities are equal, the substance is H20--or water.

Then, today, I watched as a carbohydrate's bonds broke and separated water and carbon within the carbohydrate. These bonds breaking created quite a bit of heat.

Finally, I'm currently in the process of wrangling with polymers and monosaccharides and monomers and glucose, and fructose, and...well, I hope you get the idea.

The idea that a simple swap of a pair of atoms within a molecule is particularly striking to me. Mr. Ludwig explained that the only difference between glucose and galactose is one side group that is in a different location. As I understand it, this is simply because different reactions can occur with different parts of the molecule (but correct me if I'm wrong!).

Anyway, I'll keep working on the more advanced regions of biochemistry, and once again, sorry that this took so long!

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