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Cell and Molecular Biology for Environmental Engineers by Ryan Rogers

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CHAPTER 1

CLASSIFICATION OF MACROMOLECULES

1.1 COMPOSITION OF BIOMOLECULES

Macromolecules are the basic building blocks of living organisms. At a biochemical level, they can be defined as large organic molecules, or polymers, comprised of smaller molecules, known as monomers. ­Biological monomers have a carbon (C) backbone with varying degrees of oxygen (O), nitrogen (N), and hydrogen (H). Other elements are also present in organic biomolecules; however, the abundance and diversity varies throughout the cell and throughout species. Macromolecular polymers are formed as a result of dehydration synthesis reactions (Figure 1.1a), which form covalent bonds between monomers. Polymers can be broken down into monomers in the presence of water during ...

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