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Why is Carbon so Special?

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by

Angela De Jong

on 19 October 2015

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Transcript of Why is Carbon so Special?

So What?
Carbon can form a wide variety of large, complex molecules.
There are nearly 10 million carbon-based compounds in organisms.
Amino Acids
Proteins are composed of long chains of amino acids. All amino acids have the same general structure:
A tale of bonding
A carbon atom can make up to four covalent bonds with other atoms.
In particular, it easily bonds with oxygen, hydrogen, phosphorus, nitrogen, and especially, other carbon atoms.
Glucose
Alpha-D-glucose is the main source of energy in cells.
Fatty Acids
Saturated fatty acids contain no double C=C bonds. Unsaturated fatty acids contain one or more C=C bonds, and may be in
cis-
or
trans-
form.
Why is Carbon so Special?
That many?
Yes!
But...they can be grouped into four main categories.
Biological Molecules:
Organic Compounds
Compounds found mainly in living things are known as
organic compounds
.
Organic compounds make up cells and other structures found in organisms and carry out life processes.
Carbon is the main element in organic compounds, so carbon is essential to life.
Structure of Carbon

Beta-D-glucose is the main component of cell walls.
D-Ribose
D-ribose is a simple sugar found in ribonucleic acid (RNA).
Full transcript