District 11 - Biochemistry
Welcome to your training for how to take down District 11 when you are in the arena. This is the other District that has never won a Games and they are one of the favorites to win this year because of the extremely strong tribute that was picked during the reaping. District 11 posses a power far superior to the other Districts: The power to make life. While they are astonishingly great at making life, you can bet that they will be equally as well at taking away life.
Past District 11 Champions
- One of the most brilliant scientists of all time - Pauling knows exactly what you're made of and exactly how to take you apart!
Carbon: The Promiscuous Element
Recall, carbon likes to bond with a lot of atoms. This is due to the 4 valence electrons that it has. These 4 valence electrons allows it to form the most possible covalent bonds with other elements (and with itself). Because of this ability to bond, carbon is essential in all living matter.
Because of carbon’s unique bonding characteristics, this allows it to form repeating structures. Large biological molecules are just repeating structures of smaller carbon units.
Carbon's 4 valence electrons are what allows for it to form so many bonds.
A polymer is a large molecules that is made up of small repeating subunits that are known as monomers. A polymer is formed by linking together these small monomers.
Central to many polymers is carbon. Because of carbons unique bonding structure, it is able to form the backbone for many of these polymers. It functions as the unit that gets linked together. Because of the wide diversity of bonds that carbon can form, it is able to link together many monomers in order to generate a very large polymer.
In this example, ethene is the monomer. Many ethene's become linked together in order to form the extended structure that is shown on the bottom of the picture. Notice the importance of carbon in the structure
Proteins, Starches, and Nucleic Acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are connected together to create proteins. In this biological molecule, the amino acid functions as a monomer unit and the protein (or polypeptide) function as the polymer. Proteins are simply repeating untis of amino acids.
DNA is made of repeating units of nucleotides. Because of carbon’s bonding structure, this allows for many nucleotides to be linked together. In this biological molecule, the nucleotides functions as a monomer unit and the DNA functions as the polymer.
Starch is a common carbohydrate that is made up of smaller repeating carbon rings. Starch is made of repeating glucose rings. Glucose is the monomer and they link together to form a starch polymer.
Try the following problems:
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