Putting It Together: Chemistry of Life

Summary

In this competency you learned about these topics:

  • The basics of atomic structure
  • The way atomic structure directly relates to chemical bond formation
  • The way functional groups directly impact a molecule’s characteristics
  • The way the pH scale works and why it matters
  • Chemical reactions and the formation of macromolecules from simple building blocks
  • The way physics ties in (the laws of thermodynamics)

The video below summarizes and expands on the ideas we learned in this module:

Synthesis

Let’s look back to our earlier occupation spotlight on the nutritionist. You should now be able see how an understanding of chemistry is essential to this job: a nutritionist needs to understand how the body builds complex molecules from the food a person ingests. A nutritionist also should understand how energy is used and moved about in the body. All this requires a basic understanding of elements, their structures, and how they interact.