Lecture 1 Text Notes introduction

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University of Toronto St. George
Stavroula Andreopoulos

Lecture 1 Text Notes – Introduction Properties of Living Systems 1. Complex and highly organised 2. Biological structures serve functional purposes 3. Living systems are actively engaged in energy transformations – the living state is characterized by the flow of energy through the organism 4. Living systems have a high capacity for self-replication Biomolecules - all biomolecules contain carbon - carbon is able to form stable covalent bonds through electron pair sharing - commonly in covalent linkage with carbon are carbon itself, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen - carbon can form covalent bonds with itself - four covalent bonds (forming single bonds) form a tetrahedral conformation, which holds potential for a variety of linear, branched, and cyclic carbon compounds - high diversity of compounds Formation of Biomolecules - major precursors are water, carbon dioxide, and three inorganic compounds – ammonium (NH 4, nitrate (NO ),3dinitrogen (N ) 2 - metabolic processes assimilate and transform precursors - precursors are converted to metabolites (simple organic compounds that are intermediates in energy transformation and in biosynthesis of amino acids, sugars, nucleotides, fatty acids, glycerol) - macromolecules are constructed through covalent linkages of the building blocks – proteins, polysaccharides, polynucleotides (DNA, RNA), lipids - interactions among macromolecules form supramolecular complexes – one or more classes of macromolecules form specific assemblies that have important cellular functions - supramolecular complexes – multifunctional enzyme complexes, ribosomes, chromosomes, cytoskeletal elements Organelles - found only in eukaryotic cells - mitochondria, chloroplasts – evolved from bacteria digested by early eukaryotic cells - are cellular inclusions, usually membrane bounded - function – important cellular tasks - nucleus – genetic information contained in nucleotides in the DNA of chromosomes - mitochondria – create energy through aerobic metabolism of carbohydrates and fatty acids – capture energy in metabolically useful forms (ATP) - chloroplasts – photosynthesis – harvest light energy and transform into metabolically useful chemical forms Membranes - boundaries of cells and organelles - complexes of proteins and lipids maintained by noncovalent forces - hydrophobic interactions are important for membrane structure Attributes of the Living State - growth - metabolism - stimulus response - replication Dire
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