Hi! I haven't studied this since high school but I've been thinking about it for some reason and I have some questions that I can't seem to figure out the answer to.1)
I know in cellular respiration glucose is eventually converted to ATP which is used by other cellular processes as a source of energy. My first question is why can't glucose be used directly to 'fuel' these other processes. My guess would be that ATP is easier to break down into ADP to release its energy versus the breakdown of glucose.2)
In the absence of oxygen, fermentation takes place in the cells to produce ATP but in a much smaller amount. My second question is that, even though it is much less efficient, why can't humans (for example) survive indefinitely without oxygen by using fermentation to produce the necessary ATP?3)
Regarding the electron transport chain, I understand what's going on but I would kind of like some info on how it's going on. I think these questions have some chemistry involved that's going to fly right over my head but I'll try and understand anything you say.3a)
What causes NADH to be oxidized into NAD+, H+ and 2e-? Is it as simple as the products being at a lower entropy state than the reactant
How is the energy from the oxidation of NADH to water used in creating the concentration gradient of protons across the mitochondrial membrane? I understand that it is used by proteins to actively transport H+ ions but how are they doing this?3c)
How does ATP synthase actually create ATP from ADP as H+ moves into the mitochondrial matrix?
I was watching a bio video as I was typing this so the initial questions might be stupidly simple while the latter ones might be stupidly complex haha. I'm in second year of a bio major in uni but, due to poor scheduling on my part, I haven't actually studied very much bio yet. This is all just because I'm curious and love biology! Thanks to anyone who even reads my questions and especially thanks to anyone who answers them!