Everything in science, and in turn, in nature, is connected. For everything in any field of study, whether it be psychology or medicine, is intertwined. It is no different between two of the most common fields of study, Biology and Chemistry. While they are often seen as differing entities, they are two sides of the same coin, and without the study of both of them, our understanding of life and nature are greatly diminished.
.There are a little over two dozen of the elements on the periodic table that are essential to all life as we know it. However, only six of those – being Oxygen, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, Carbon, Calcium, and Phosphorus – take up 99% of all living cells, oxygen alone taking up about 65% of the human body. 18 other elements make up humans in completely miniscule amounts. Including, perhaps most surprisingly, Arsenic, once thought to be the “King of Poisons”. Elements in their base form, however, obviously don’t make up the entire human body. They band together to form different molecules, which power every bodily function. The four main types of these biomolecules are Carbohydrates, Lipids, Proteins, and Nucleic Acids.
Carbohydrates power the body, acting as energy storage and the structure of the body. The most common Carbohydrates are sugars, but is important to remember that they are not the only ones. The simplest type of Carbohydrates are Monosaccharides. These contain Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen, usually in a pattern of CnH2nOn, where n is any number greater than 3. Some examples include sucrose (C3H6O3) and fructose (C6H12O6). A monosaccharide can switch between being either acyclic or cyclic. Acyclic means that the molecule is in a chain or line shape, while cyclic means it is in a circular or ring shape. These various shapes can be joined together, creating a disaccharide with two, an oligosaccharide with 3-6, and many joined together creates a polysaccharide.
Lipids comprise a diverse range of molecules, and basically are any hydrophobic compound of organic origin. These include fatty acids and waxes. Lipids are usually made of one molecule of glycerol (C3H8O3) combined with some other molecules. Triglycerides for example, are one glycerol and three fatty acids. The primary function of Lipids is both structure of the body and as an energy reserve. Fat also insulates the body from heat loss, and extreme temperature changes.
Proteins are large, complex molecules made from amino acids and peptide bonds. Proteins are essential to the structure and function of all living cells and viruses. Many proteins are enzymes or subunits of enzymes.