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chemical basis of life Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by


This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Fundam­entals of chemistry

Matter refers to anything that has mass and occupies space. It can exist in various states, including solid, liquid, and gas.
Elements are the simplest form of matter that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by chemical means.
Atoms are incredibly small and are the building blocks of all matter.They consist of a nucleus containing protons and neutrons, with electrons orbiting around the nucleus.

Bonding of atoms

atom or molecule that has gained or lost one or more electrons, resulting in a net electric charge.
When an atom loses electrons, it becomes positively charged
gains electrons, it becomes negatively charged
ionic bond
electr­ostatic attraction between oppositely charged ions
covalent bond
chemical bond formed by the sharing of electron pairs between atoms.
polar covalent bond
electrons are unequally shared between the two atoms creating a dipole moment
non-polar covalent bond
electrons are equally shared between the two atoms, leading to no signif­icant difference in electr­one­gat­ivity.

Atomic Structure

Electrons are negatively charged subatomic particles that orbit the nucleus of an atom. They determine the chemical behavior of an element and are involved in the formation of chemical bonds.
Neutrons are electr­ically neutral subatomic particles located in the nucleus of an atom.
Protons are positively charged subatomic particles found in the nucleus of an atom.
Protons are positively charged subatomic particles found in the nucleus of an atom.
isotope refers to variants of an element that contain the same number of protons but differ in the number of neutrons.
atomic number
number of protons in the nucleus of an atom.
atomic mass
determined by the sum of its protons and neutrons.

Organic Substances

provide energy that cells require and also contribute to cell structure. basic building blocks are simple sugar molecules
trigly­cer­ides, phosph­oli­pids, steriods, supply energy and build cell parts.
serve as structural materials, energy sources, hormones, cell surface receptors, and enzymes.

Inorganic Substances

solvent in which chemical reactions occur. water transport chemicals and heat.
releases energy from glucose and drives metabolism
Carbon Dioxide
produced when metabolism releases energy
Inorganic elements such as iron, magnesium, phosph­orus, and sulfur are essential for various cellular functions, including enzyme cofactors, structural compon­ents, and energy transfer.

Chemical Reactions

A + B → AB
AB → A + B
exchange reactions
involves the exchange of atoms or groups of atoms between two compounds.

Cellular Transport

Facili­tated Diffusion
Facili­tated diffusion uses membrane proteins that function as carriers to move molecules (such as glucose) across the cell membrane.
Active Transport
Moves substances from an area of lower concen­tration to an area of higher concen­tra­tion. Requires transport protein pumps and ATP
Hypertonic solution
higher osmotic pressure than body fluids
A solution with the same osmotic pressure as body fluids
Hypotonic solution
lower osmotic pressure
movement of water olecules from an area of higher cont. to an area lower cont. across a select­ivley permeable membrane.
Pushing of molecules through a memebrane containing openings of a certain size

Acids and Bases

An acid is a substance that can donate a proton or accept an electron pair in reacti­ons.Acids have a pH value less than 7.
substance that can accept a proton or donate an electron pair in reactions.
pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
Electr­olytes are substances that dissociate into ions in solution, enabling them to conduct electr­icity. Both acids and bases can be electr­olytes as they produce ions in solution.
A buffer is a solution that resists changes in pH when an acid or base is added to it. Buffers are typically composed of a weak acid and its conjugate base, or a weak base and its conjugate acid, and help maintain the pH of a solution within a specific range.

Endocy­tosis & Exocytosis

process by which a cell takes in substances from the external enviro­nment. It involves the formation of a small pocket or indent­ation in the cell membrane, which then engulfs the substance and forms a vesicle around it. This vesicle is then transp­orted into the cell, where the substance can be processed or utilized.
process by which a cell releases substances to the external enviro­nment. It involves the fusion of a vesicle containing the substance with the cell membrane, resulting in the release of the substance outside the cell. This process is often used to secrete molecules such as hormones, enzymes, or waste products.