Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and Metabolism

In discussing the chemistry of the human body, the media features many important substances. Take water. We are told how important it is to drink lots of water. Our body cells do consist, after all, of about 60% water. And we repeatedly hear of DNA, cholesterol, free radicals, omega fatty-acids, trans fat and sodium. Yet, there is one essential compound that is seldom mentioned... adenosine triphosphate, acronym ATP. Have you heard-tell of ATP? No? Yet it is remarkably important – you could not exist without it. Besides, even if you could, the energy you'd need to function would be totally unavailable. ATP - What Is It? ATP, on examination (see image) is one molecule consisting of three portions. There is an adenine portion attached to a ribose (sugar) portion, attached…
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DNA: The Modular Staircase of Life

Biology, Chemistry
[caption id="attachment_24326" align="alignright" width="480"] Molecular model of a Portion of a DNA molecule. – Image by Skeeze[/caption] The most common inorganic (non-carbon) compounds have molecular weights no more than about 200 or 300. Organic compounds can run easily into the many hundreds and thousands. DNA by comparison possesses a molecular weight, depending on the variety, of billions, even trillions. Examining a typical model of the DNA molecule, it appears extremely complex. However, this is from a ‘trees versus the forest’ viewpoint. When viewed as a united structure, DNA assumes a basic form – that of a twisting staircase. DNA is the staircase of life. Molecular Weight and Molecules The atomic weight of an element is defined as the ratio of the mass of an atom of that element to 1/12…
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