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New PDF release: Applied Cell and Molecular Biology for Engineers

By G. Waite, L. Waite

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The main biologically significant heterocyclic organic compounds are known in biology as nucleic acid bases and are derived from the parent compounds purine and pyrimidine whose structures are shown in Fig. 12. Substitutions on the purine heterocyclic result in formation of the purine bases adenine and guanine, while substitutions on pyrimidine lead to the common pyrimidine bases uracil, cytosine, and thymine. In cells, the purines and pyrimidines mainly exist covalently bound to either ribose or 2-deoxyribose and phosphate to produce the biologically active form of the bases.

The extent of this dissociation is small but significant, resulting in equal Hϩ and OHϪ concentrations of 10Ϫ7. The special importance of hydrogen ions in biology and chemistry has led to the development of the pH scale of Hϩ measurement to facilitate the discussion and description of Hϩ concentrations. The pH of a hydrogen ion containing solution is simply the negative log of the hydrogen ion concentration as shown in Eq. 13). 0. 5, and hydrogen ion concentrations outside this range are unfavorable for the vast majority of life forms.

Hexanoate, octanoate, and decanoate (6, 8, and 10 carbon atoms, respectively) are all saturated fatty acids (no intrachain double bonds) and the resultant triglyceride is known as a saturated triglyceride. 16 illustrates the structure of a triglyceride constructed from unsaturated forms of hexanoate, octanoate, and decanoate, each containing one double bond. Fats found in animals often contain such unsaturated carbon-carbon bonds, and in these cases the hydrocarbon chains on either side of the double bond are in the cis arrangement as shown in Fig.

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