Why It Matters: The Chemistry of Life

Why identify the principles of chemistry that are integral to biology?

While chemistry is a separate field, it provides the basis for studying biology. For this reason, you must be familiar with it. As you’ve learned, all living things demonstrate hierarchical organization. You cannot truly understand the higher levels of organization (such as organisms or ecosystems) without understanding their component parts (like cells, molecules, and atoms). Professionals who use this information include nutritionists, healthcare workers (especially when prescribing and administering medications), geneticists, and pharmacologists.

Occupation Spotlight: Nutritionists

Nutritionists are often responsible for planning healthy menus and meal plans, for example in schools or daycares. They may advise individuals on changes in diet in order to achieve a particular health goal. Why do you think they might need to know about chemistry?

Let’s see what you’re really made of!

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the building blocks of matter.
  • Classify different types of atomic bonds.
  • Categorize molecules according to their functional group.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the pH scale.
  • Understand basic chemical reactions.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the first and second laws of thermodynamics.