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Organic Molecules
Organic Molecules
• There are 4 organic molecules that make up all
of the life on Earth.
• These molecules are: nucleic acids, proteins,
carbohydrates and lipids
• Organic molecules contain carbon and
hydrogen chemically linked to one another in
long chains, with carbon as the backbone and
hydrogen atoms attached to the carbon
Nucleic Acid
• The nucleic acids are DNA (deoxyribonucleic
acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid).
• They make the proteins that are present in
almost every structure and perform almost
every function in your body.
• Shape of a twisted ladder.
• The backbones consists of
alternating molecules of
phosphate and sugar.
• More stable
• Usually stays in the nucleus
• Your genes are made up of
DNA, and each gene
provides the code for
making a specific protein
• Many different shapes,
depending on its function.
• The backbones consists of
alternating molecules of
phosphate and sugar
• Less stable
• Can travel throughout the
• RNA helps DNA to make
these proteins.
• Proteins make up many structures and
perform many functions in the human body:
– Build and repair tissue
– Form hormones and enzymes
– Energy
• Protein is made of C, H, O & N.
• In our cells, protein synthesis takes place in
the ribosomes.
Protein/Amino Acids
• The monomer or building block or base unit of
protein are amino acids.
• There are 20 amino acids that make up
• The position of the N is what differentiates
one amino acid from another.
• Carbohydrates comprise the largest number of
organic molecules in organisms.
• Carbohydrates are made of C, H & O.
• The monomer or building block or base unit of
carbohydrates are monosaccharides or sugars.
• The simplest sugar is glucose, a molecule used
to provide fuel for many types of organisms,
including humans.
Carbohydrates and Food
• The sugars found in foods include: fructose in
fruits, galactose in milk, maltose in vegetables
and sucrose in table sugar.
• Sugars can be identified by their common ending
• The starch found in whole grains and vegetables
is a complex carbohydrate made of chains of
simpler glucose molecules.
• Our body contains enzymes which breaks down
carbohydrates in the food you eat into glucose,
which your cells can use as energy.
• Lipids are more commonly known as fats.
• Lipids are made of C,H & O.
• Lipids contain the most energy of all the
organic compounds.
• When your body burns lipids for fuel, you get
more energy than if you burned the other
organic molecules.
• The monomer or building block or base unit of
lipids are fatty acids and glycerol.
Lipids in Our Body
• Lipids/fats perform many functions in our body:
– phospholipids and cholesterol, both important
components of cell membranes;
– waxes that provide plants and animals with a
protective layer;
– hormones that signal different functions in your body
– vitamins that aid in different cell functions
– steroids which are important in a number of
physiological processes. Fats from animals tend to be
more viscous than fats from plants.