Discussion of all aspects of biological molecules, biochemical processes and laboratory procedures in the field.
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Carbohydrates are Hydrophilic. They have large amounts of oxygen and therefore, polar molecules, according to “Carbohydrates (1)”. Polar means that the molecules have "dipoles". This is due to the unbalanced charge of electrons in either part of the molecule. Remembering the principle that opposite charges are attracted, polar molecules have a weak attraction to other polar molecules. Water is a polar molecule, so a molecule of the same kind can be soluble in water, because both elements dissolve each other. For instance, a union of two elements in which one needs more electrons than the other, the one that has more electrons has the negative charge while the other the positive charge; this is a polar molecule.
Carbohydrates are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (CH2O), these elements, always along with the oxygen, tend to be polar in their bonds:
"You should remember that oxygen and nitrogen have relatively high affinities for electrons, and therefore oxygen-carbon and oxygen- hydrogen bonds as well as nitrogen-hydrogen bonds are all polar bonds (with the oxygen or nitrogen partially negative and the hydrogen or carbon partially positive). Carbon and hydrogen have similar electron affinities thus carbon-hydrogen bonds are nonpolar (as are carbon-carbon bonds)."
(“Ionic, Polar and Non-polar Molecules”)
A curious thing about carbohydrates is that starches, polymers of glucose, are not soluble in water and serve as energy-storing molecules. (“Carbohydrates” (2)). The polarity of water makes it a “universal solvent”. Its components have a slight electrical charge that makes possible the dissolution of ions. Many authors state that if water didn’t have its properties, many of the artificial and natural reactions wouldn’t be possible.
• “Carbohydrates”.(1) August 27th 2013. http://www.austincc.edu/emeyerth/carbohyd.htm
• “Carbohydrates”.(2). March 21st 2013. August 27th 2013. <http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/Carbohydrates.html>
• “Ionic, Polar and Non-polar Molecules”. August 27th 2013. <http://www.austincc.edu/emeyerth/polarity.html>
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