Chapter 2 - the chemical context of life. The macromolecules that are responsible for most of the form and order of living systems are generated by the polymerization of small organic molecules. Macromolecules - polysaccharides, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Biological macromolecules may function on their own or assemble into a variety of supramolecular structures . The supramolecular structures are components of organelles and other subcellular structures that make up the cell . Matter is made of molecules (solid, liquid, gas); it is anything that has mass and takes up space whether living or nonliving. It consists of chemical elements in pure form and in combinations (molecules and compounds). Mass is constant, whereas weight is a function of gravity. Elements - pure substance made up of one kind of atom. When atoms are combined in fixed numbers, they are called molecules and compounds . Hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen make up 96% of all matter found in living organisms.