The Chemistry of Living Things
What I would like you to do first in this lesson is to write down some of the things that you consider (or know) to be characteristic of living things. (There is a place for you to do that in Exercise 1 in your workbook.) Please take a moment to do that. Keep that list or description handy because we will be referring back to it soon.
This is, of course, a chemistry course and as such you will be paying attention to the chemicals and chemical reactions that are involved in biological processes. So we will, of course, be looking at the structure and bonding patterns in a variety of biologically important chemicals. You will find that many of the reactions are either new examples ofr variations of reactions with which you are already familiar. These will be reactions such as oxidation-reduction reactions, commonly referred to as electron transfer reactions. We will look at dehydration reactions and hydrolysis reactions, acid-base reactions, addition, polymerization, and quite a variety of different kinds of things.
Now get out your list of the characteristics of living things and see how it compares with mine. Keep in mind that this is one particular chemist's narrow view of chemically important biological things and should not be considered as the biological requisites of life.
So keep these things in mind as we go through these lessons on biochemistry. Try to relate what you learn to this overall concept of what's involved in living things.
Distance Learning questions
Clackamas Community College