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2: The Chemical Foundation of Life

  • Page ID
    104293
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    Elements in various combinations comprise all matter, including living things. Some of the most abundant elements in living organisms include carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and phosphorus. These form the nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids that are the fundamental components of living matter. Biologists must understand these important building blocks and the unique structures of the atoms that make up molecules, allowing for the formation of cells, tissues, organ systems, and entire organisms.

    Thumbnail: Fatty acid molecules with cis and trans configurations. (CC BY 4.0 / modified from original; OpenStax).


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