- Carbon (C) - Chemical properties, Health and Environmental effects
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- Types of Organic Compounds
Carbohydrates are classified according to how many subunits they contain. Simple carbohydrates are called sugars. A sugar made of one unit is a monosaccharide. If two units are joined together, a disaccharide is formed. More complex structures form when these smaller units link to each other to form polymers.
Carbon (C) - Chemical properties, Health and Environmental effects
Examples of these larger carbohydrate compounds include starch and chitin. Lipids are made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Lipids have a higher hydrogen to oxygen ratio than is found in carbohydrates. The three major groups of lipids are triglycerides fats, oils, waxes , steroids, and phospholipids. Triglycerides consist of three fatty acids joined to a molecule of glycerol.
Steroids each have a backbone of four carbon rings joined to each other. Phospholipids resemble triglycerides except there is a phosphate group in place of one of the fatty acid chains. Lipids are used for energy storage, to build structures, and as signal molecules to help cells communicate with each other. Proteins consist of chains of amino acids called peptides. A protein may be made from a single polypeptide chain or may have a more complex structure where polypeptide subunits pack together to form a unit.
Proteins consist of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen atoms. Some proteins contain other atoms, such as sulfur, phosphorus, iron, copper, or magnesium.
Proteins serve many functions in cells. They are used to build structure, catalyze biochemical reactions, for immune response, to package and transport materials, and to help replicate genetic material.
A nucleic acid is a type of biological polymer made up of chains of nucleotide monomers. Nucleotides, in turn, are made up of a nitrogenous base, sugar molecule, and phosphate group. Cells use nucleic acids to code the genetic information of an organism.
In addition to the four main kinds of organic molecules found in organisms, there are many other organic compounds. These include solvents, drugs, vitamins, dyes, artificial flavors, toxins, and molecules used as precursors to biochemical compounds. Reprints and Permissions.
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Types of Organic Compounds
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