Chapter 2
The Chemistry of Life

Chapter Resources

The Chemistry of Water
A Tutorial from the University of Arizona.

The Periodic Table

Chemistry for Life
An Educational Resource about the Chemistry of Living Things.

The American Chemical Society
Featuring Educational Resources

Gecko-Inspired Adhesives?

Protein Structure
A brief YouTube video describing the levels of protein structure.



Matter and Energy
Q: What are the basic chemical principles that affect living things?

Think about it - What are you made of? Just as buildings are made from bricks, steel, glass, and wood, living things are made from chemical compounds.

Key Questions Include:

What three subatomic particles make up atoms?
How are all of the isotopes of an element similar?
In what ways do compounds differ from their component elements?
What are the main types of chemical bonds?
How does the structure of water contribute to its unique properties?
Why is it important for cells to buffer solutions against rapid changes in pH?
What elements does carbon bond with to make up life's molecules?
What are the functions of each of the four groups of macromolecules?
How do energy changes affect whether a chemical reaction will occur?
What role do enzymes play in living things and what affects their function?

The Ghost Fish

Several species of Antarctic fish have clear, almost transparent blood, giving them a ghostly appearance. Why? Because they lack hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein that gives blood its red color. How do they manage to survive without this essential protein?

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