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Biochemistry

Vocabulary Terms

TermDefinition
Biochemistry Biochemistry is the branch of science that explores the chemical processes within and related to living organisms.
Element An element is a substance whose atoms all have the same number of protons.
Compound A compound is a substance formed when two or more chemical elements are chemically bonded together. In mixtures, the substances present are not chemically bonded together.
Organic Compounds Organic compound, any of a large class of chemical compounds in which one or more atoms of carbon are covalently linked to atoms of other elements, most commonly hydrogen, oxygen, or nitrogen.
Inorganic Compounds Inorganic compounds can be defined as any compound that is not organic compound; a compound that does not contain hydrocarbon groups.
Carbohydrates Any of a group of organic compounds, including sugars, starches, cellulose, and gums, that contain only carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen and that originate chiefly as products of photosynthesis.
Lipids Any of a large group of organic compounds that are oily to the touch and insoluble in water. Lipids include fatty acids, oils, waxes, holsters, and triglycerides. They are a source of stored energy and are a component of cell membranes.
Proteins Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order determined by the base sequence of nucleotides in the DNA coding for the protein.
Enzymes A protein molecule that helps other organic molecules enter into chemical reactions with one another but is itself unaffected by these reactions. In other words, enzymes act as catalysts for organic biochemical reactions.
Nucleic Acids Any of a group of complex compounds found in all living cells and viruses, composed of purines, pyrimidines, carbohydrates, and phosphoric acid. Nucleic acids in the form of DNA and RNA control cellular function and heredity.
Hydrolysis Is a reaction involving the breaking of a bond in a molecule using water. The reaction mainly occurs between an ion and water molecules and often changes the pH of a solution.
Synthesis The production of a substance by the union of chemical elements, groups, or simpler compounds or by the degradation of a complex compound.
pH is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration, a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The pH scale usually ranges from 0 to 14.