Problem Set One- Chemicals and Life (2,3,4)

Problem Set One- Chemicals and Life (2,3,4)
Note: The prompts are designed to demonstrate the intimate relationship between
chemistry and biology. Keep that in mind as you compose your answers.
Due Date: Monday, August 20
1. How can an ant colony function when nobody’s in charge and each ant can
only perceive what’s right around it? Read about the scientific process and
Deborah M. Gordon to answer this question.
2. Read Inquiry 2.2- then summarize the experimental design, the results, and
the conclusion that answered the question about “devils gardens.”
3. Sodium and Chloride both have unique chemical properties. When combined
into table salt, a new property emerges. Provide an example of emergent
properties and chemicals.
4. Radioactive tracers are important in studying biological systems.
(Radioactive barium is used to follow the digestive tract. Patients swallow,
and it is traced to look for blockage, leakage, etc. Use the internet to provide
an example of an interesting use of radioactive isotopes as tracers.
5. Physics and chemistry courses spend quite a bit of curriculum time with
atomic structure. In biology, we are most interested in electrons, particularly
the valence electrons of atoms. Why is this so?
6. Which bonds are more polar, those of water or methane? Explain.
7. The percentage of elements that make up the human body, (CHONPS), are
similar to the percentages of these elements found in other organisms. How
do you account for this?
8. How do female silkworm moths (Bombyx mori) attract males? (A question
from page 45)
9. What emergent property of water is demonstrated in figure 3.4?
10. How are the hydrogen bonds of ice different than those of water? How does
this affect marine life in the winter?
11. Summarize the experiment, results and conclusion that answered the
question regarding carbonate ion concentration and coral reef calcification.
12. Make sure you have seen the Mars rover video, and then answer #10 on page
13. Answer #12 on page 57.
14. Read figure 4.2. Summarize Stanley Millers purpose, results and conclusion
in his experiment to mimic Earth’s early atmosphere and the origin of life.
15. Form and Function is an important theme in biology. Examine figure 4.8 and
explain the similarities and differences in the two molecules and how they
have different effects on different organs.
16. There are only a few chemical groups (functional groups) that you need to be
aware of, but it is these active groups off the carbon skeleton that give the
function to biological molecules. Look at figure 4.9, describe the change in
the group and explain the change in function of the molecule.