Why are organic molecules important to living things?
May 14, 2015
Organic molecules are important to living things because life is based on the properties of carbon.
Properties of Carbon
- Carbon is an important element because it can form four covalent bonds.
- Carbon skeletons can vary in length, branching, and ring structure.
- The carbon skeletons contain the functional groups that are involved in biochemical reactions.
Four types of organic molecules are important for life.
- Are made of sugar molecules.
- Provide energy and structure.
Lipids are a large class of hydrophobic organic molecules.
- Fats are made of glycerol plus fatty acids; they serve as a backup source of energy.
- Phospholipids contain polar and nonpolar groups; they form cellular membranes.
- Steroids have a characteristic ring structure; they include cholesterol and various hormones.
- Consist of long chains of nucleotides.
- Are the molecules of the genetic code.
- Are also important as energy carriers.
- Consist of long chains of amino acids.
- Are necessary for growth and repair of tissues.
- Are crucial to life and perform a wide range of functions.