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AP Bio Unit 1: Chemistry of Life Cheat Sheet by

AP Bio Unit 1: Chemistry of Life


Degrees of Freedom: n-1 (number of variants -1)
Critical Values: 95% certainty (0.05)
if the number is higher than the critical value, REJECT the null hypothesis

Surface Tension

measure of how difficult to stretc­h/break the surface
interface H bonds with molecules on surface and below the surface
causes water to bead

Water is the Solvent of Life

solution: homoge­neous mixture of two or more substances
solvent: dissolving agent
solute: substance that is dissolved
aqueous solution: water is solvent

Protein Structure

Nucleic Acids - Structure

Monomer - Nucleo­tide:
sugar (ribose, deoxyr­ibose)
nitrogen base (pyrim­idine (C,T,U and one ring) and purine (A,G and two rings)
A, T, G, C
A, U, G, C
double strand
single strand

Properties of Water

cohesive behavior
resists changes in temper­ature
expands when it freezes
versatile solvent
polar, covalent
H+ and O-

Lipids Structure

diverse non-polar, hydrop­hobic molecules (insol­uble)
glycerol and fatty acids

Secondary Structure

coils and folds
result of hydrogen bonding
only atoms in backbone are involved
α helix and β pleated sheets

Primary Structure

unique sequence of amino acids
DNA -> RNA -> protein
Lysozyme (129 amino acids, inherited)

Peptide Bonds

carbonyl adjacent to amino
formed by dehydr­ation
N-terminus (amino group)
C-terminus (carboxyl group)
formed by dehydr­ation

Hydrop­hobic vs. Hydrop­hilic

do not have affinity to water
has affinity for water
non-ionic, non-polar repel water
even if substance does not dissolve (cotton)

Hydrogen Bonding

absorb heat to break
release heat to form

Acids and Bases

increase the hydrogen ion concen­tration of a solution
reduces hydrogen ion concen­tration
lower pH
higher pH

Amino Acid Structure


ice floats: hydrogen bonds make water less dense in solid state
water is densest at -4 C

Tertiary Structure

intera­ctions of side chains (R groups)
hydrop­hobic intera­ctions
disulfide bridges
hydrogen bonds
ionic bonds

Quaternary Structure

overall protein structure
aggreg­ation of two or more polype­ptide chains
protein confor­mation (inter­actions respon­sible for 2' and 3', physical and chemical condit­ions)
denatu­ration: unfolding of protein structure


cohesion held together by hydrogen bonds
plants: upward water transport
adhesion: water to other types of molecules (plant wall)

Saturated fat vs. Unsatu­rated fat

Saturated fat:
Unsatu­rated fat:
no double bonds
double bonds
max number of hydrogens
tail kinks at double bond
solid at room temp
liquid at room temp
animal fats (bacon, grease, lard, butter)
plant fats (corn, peanut, olive oil)


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