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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Carbon: the Three Main Forms of the Element


Carbon is important in biology because carbon forms the "back-bone" of just about all biologically important molecules. This is because carbon forms long and sometimes complex covalently bonded structures and also because carbon compounds vary greatly in the type of interactions they have with water. For example some carbon compounds, such as most lipids, have strictly hydrophobic interactions with water, others such as sugars are hydrophilic. Still others such as proteins and phospholipids are partly hydrophobic and partly hydrophilic.




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