Chapter 4 Carbon and the Molecular Diversity of Life
The Importance of Carbon
how carbon’s electron configuration accounts for its ability to form large, complex, and diverse organic
2. Make an electron distribution diagram of carbon. It is essential that you know the answers to these questions:
a. How many valence electrons does carbon have? b. How many bonds can carbon form? b. What type of bonds does it form with other elements?
3. Carbon chains form skeletons. List
here the types of skeletons that can be formed and describe
how the variation in carbon skeletons contributes to the diversity and complexity of organic molecules.
the basic structure of a hydrocarbon and explain
why these molecules are hydrophobic.
6. In Chapter 2 you learned what an isotope
is. Since students often confuse this word with isomer,
each term here and give an example.
among the three types of isomers: structural, geometric, and enantiomer.
8. Here is an idea that will recur throughout your study of the function of molecules: Change the structure, change the
function. You see this in enantiomers, you will see it in proteins and enzymes, and now we are going to look at
testosterone and estradiol. Notice how similar these two molecules are, and yet you know what a vastly different
effect each has. Describe
the major chemical difference between the two.
9. Describe how glucose and fructose differ.
10. Set up the following chart on your own paper (you’ll need more room) and complete it (you’ll need to know this).
11. You will need to master the chart and the information in it. Using the functional groups above, see if you can answer
the following prompts: a. –NH2 b. Can form cross-links that stabilize protein structure c. Key component of ATP d. Can affect gene expression e. CH3 f. Is always polar g. Determines the two groups of sugars h. Has acidic properties i. –COOH j. Acts as a base h. Circle and identify three functional groups in this molecule.
12. DEFINE these Key Terms:
adenosine triphosphate (ATP), functional group, hydroxyl group, isomer, organic
coal (carboxyl group:
a functional group present in organic acids, consisting of a carbon atom double-bonded to an oxygen atom and a hydroxyl
molecules that are mirror images of each other)
an organic molecule consisting only of carbon and hydrogen)
one of several organic compounds with the same molecular formula but different structures and, therefore, different properties)
sulfur (sulfhydryl group:
a functional group that consists of a sulfur atom bonded to an atom of hydrogen) thio-
organic compounds containing sulfhydryl groups)
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