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Ch 4: Introduction to Molecular Biology

About This Chapter

Find out more about carbohydrates, lipids and proteins by completing the lessons in this chapter on molecular biology. This material will serve you well as a way to improve your class grades, get ready for an exam, or satisfy your own curiosity.

Introduction to Molecular Biology - Chapter Summary

The lessons in this chapter walk you through the basics of molecular biology by introducing you to the composition and functions of carbohydrate, protein and lipid molecules. Find out how each is structured and what it does. You can also learn about amino acids, peptide bonds and more.

Brightly written, engagingly presented content makes working through these lessons a pleasure. The short duration ensures rapid progression through the chapter, so that you can gain the maximum benefit with a minimal investment of your time. Take the lesson quizzes and chapter test to check your mastery and retention, and use the Dashboard to stay on track. Use these lessons to learn about the following:

  • Carbohydrates: what they are and what they do
  • Functions and composition of lipids
  • Composition and functions of proteins
  • Overview of amino acids, peptide bonds and polymerization in proteins
  • Characteristics and composition of the 20 amino acids

14 Lessons in Chapter 4: Introduction to Molecular Biology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Nucleic Acids: Function & Structure

3. Nucleic Acids: Function & Structure

In this lesson, we will explore what nucleic acids are, including the oozing bodily fluid they were first found in, what makes them unique from other types of biological molecules, and why DNA is called the 'blueprint of life.'

Polynucleotide: Structure, Overview

4. Polynucleotide: Structure, Overview

Join a bunch of nucleotides together, and you get a polynucleotide. This could be a long strand of DNA in a cell or a short strand used by scientists in a lab. Learn about the structure and different types of polynucleotides in this lesson.

DNA: Chemical Structure of Nucleic Acids & Phosphodiester Bonds

5. DNA: Chemical Structure of Nucleic Acids & Phosphodiester Bonds

In this lesson, you'll discover what nucleotides look like and how they come together to form polynucleotides. We'll also explore nucleic acids and focus on DNA in particular.

DNA: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, Thymine & Complementary Base Pairing

6. DNA: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, Thymine & Complementary Base Pairing

Learn the language of nucleotides as we look at the nitrogenous bases adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine. Armed with this knowledge, you'll also see why DNA strands must run in opposite directions.

Differences Between RNA and DNA & Types of RNA (mRNA, tRNA & rRNA)

7. Differences Between RNA and DNA & Types of RNA (mRNA, tRNA & rRNA)

In this lesson, you'll explore RNA structure and learn the central dogma of molecular biology. Along the way, you'll meet the three types of RNA and see how the cell uses them most effectively.

Structure and Function of Carbohydrates

8. 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.

Chemical Properties of Carbohydrates

9. Chemical Properties of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy for cells to do work. This lesson will discuss what different carbohydrates are made of and what their purpose is. The chemical properties of these carbohydrates help them to be easily used by cells to perform work.

Structure and Function of Lipids

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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