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Ch 3: Introduction to Organic Chemistry

About This Chapter

Watch organic chemistry video lessons to learn about carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and more. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these chemistry topics.

What do high school chemistry teachers, dinosaurs and daffodils have in common? Well, they're all carbon-based! You could have included anything that lives or has lived in the above list, and you'd still be in the realm of organic chemistry, which covers carbon-based compounds, especially hydrocarbons. As we explore the field, we'll examine the remarkably diverse structures that form the backbone of life and many other applications.

You'll get a background in organic compounds and see how repeating patterns of monomers create polymers; we'll also trace the metabolic pathways of anabolism and catabolism that store and release energy. Our lesson on carbohydrates will be undoubtedly sweet as it covers glycose, glucogen, monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides, not to mention starch and cellulose. Are saturated fatty acids or unsaturated fatty acids better for your health? You'll discover the answer to this and more when we cover lipids.

Enzymes, composed of proteins, catalyze or speed up chemical reactions for the desired results. Our lessons on proteins parallel this process by providing quick, efficient guidance from amino acid building blocks to higher-order protein structures. Peptide bonds join amino acids together to form polypeptides, which combine in turn to form the strange but orderly shapes that allow proteins to function. You'll also see that proteins allow us to function, since their presence is required for many of the processes that take place within a cell.

Speaking of cells and the nucleus in particular, several lessons will be devoted to nucleic acids, the nucleotides and other chemical structures that make DNA and RNA possible. Nitrogen bases, adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine - we'll climb the double-helix ladder as we make sense of the Watson-Crick model of DNA. Like viruses packed with RNA, knowledge is infectious, so tell your friends about our awesome organic chemistry preparation.

8 Lessons in Chapter 3: Introduction to Organic Chemistry
Introduction to Organic Molecules I: Functional Groups

1. Introduction to Organic Molecules I: Functional Groups

If you've ever wondered what gives vinegar that sour flavor, you may not realize that you have contemplated functional groups. View this lesson for an introduction to organic chemistry, functional groups and how they are part of your daily life.

Introduction to Organic Molecules II: Monomers and Polymers

2. Introduction to Organic Molecules II: Monomers and Polymers

From everyday man-made items like milk jugs and styrofoam to natural proteins and plant materials, the world is full of polymers! Check out this lesson to learn how polymers are constructed on a molecular level.

Structure and Function of Carbohydrates

3. Structure and Function of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are found in many foods that we eat and may be found as sugars, starches, or fiber. Learn more about these three distinct types of carbohydrates, and how they are distinguished through their chemical structures in this lesson.

Structure and Function of Lipids

4. Structure and Function of Lipids

Molecules called lipids have long hydrocarbon chains that determine the way they act. They can be fats, oils, or hormones, and even exist in our cell membranes. Learn more about the chemical structure and biological function of various lipids in this lesson.

Proteins I: Structure and Function

5. Proteins I: Structure and Function

We need our proteins, not just as a major food group but for the many useful roles that they play in our bodies. In our introductory lesson to proteins, you'll learn about the many functions we rely on them to perform.

Proteins II: Amino Acids, Polymerization and Peptide Bonds

6. Proteins II: Amino Acids, Polymerization and Peptide Bonds

In this lesson, we'll take a deeper look at amino acids. You'll learn what makes a peptide, and what separates a protein from other kinds of amino acid bonds.

Proteins III: Structure and Characteristics of the 20 Amino Acids

7. Proteins III: Structure and Characteristics of the 20 Amino Acids

How do amino acids form the intricate polypeptide chains found in proteins? It's a matter of chemistry. Join glycine, a special amino acid, as she sizes up the other amino acids.

Proteins IV: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary Structure

8. Proteins IV: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary Structure

How is progressing through higher order protein structures like crafting an essay? In this lesson, you'll explore everything from quaternary structures to denaturation as we show how the different structures are intertwined.

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