Chemical Composition of the Human Body
Here's a look at the chemical composition of the human body. Find out the elements present in the body, their abundance, and how each element is used.
Biochemistry is the science in which chemistry is applied to the study of living organisms and the atoms and molecules which comprise living organisms. Take a closer look at what biochemistry is and why the science is important.
Elements in the Human Body
Find out what elements are in the human body and what these elements do.
Carbohydrates or saccharides are the most abundant class of biomolecules. Carbohydrates are used to store energy, though they serve other important functions as well. This is an overview of carbohydrate chemistry, including a look at the types of carbohydrates, their functions, and carbohydrate classification.
Lipids are class of naturally-occurring organic compounds that you may know by their common names: fats and oils. Here's a look at the function, structure, and physical properties of lipids.
Protein and Polypeptide Structure
Learn about the conformation levels of protein and polypeptide structure.
Monomers and Polymers
Monomers are the building blocks of more complex molecules, called polymers. Polymers consist of repeating molecular units which usually are joined by covalent bonds. Here is a closer look at the chemistry of monomers and polymers.
Transcription of DNA to RNA
Transcription is the name given to the chemical synthesis of RNA from a DNA template. In other words, DNA is transcribed in order to make RNA, which is then decoded to produce proteins.
Water is the most abundant molecule on the Earth's surface and one of the most important molecules to study in chemistry. Here's a look at water chemistry.
Amino Acid Chirality
This is an introduction to stereoisomerism of amino acids, with Fisher projections and stereorepre0entations of serine used as an example. There are links to learn more about amino acids and about chirality of other molecules.
Amino Acid Structures
These are the structures for the twenty natural amino acids, plus the general structure for an amino acid.
Learn what anabolic steroids are, how they can enhance athletic performance, and what risks are associated with using performance enhancing drugs.
BHA and BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are added to many foods to prevent fat spoilage. This article describes what BHA and BHT are, what they do, and how they do it. There is a fairly lengthy list of references because there is controversy over the health effects of BHA, BHT, and other additives.
Biochemistry of Lycopene
Lycopene is the red pigment in tomatoes and several fruits. Find out more about how this antioxidant protects against cancer and heart disease.
Biodiesel from Vegetable Oil Tutorial
As the price of diesel continues to climb, you may wish to consider making your own diesel from cooking oil, called biodiesel. It's easy and could save you money.
Does Eating Turkey Make You Sleepy?
Find out why everyone wants to take a nap after Thanksgiving Day turkey dinner. Let's talk turkey and learn about L-tryptophan and carbohydrate metabolism.
Learn about the chemical and biological properties of caffeine, the methylxanthine stimulant found in coffee and other foods.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
It's important to drink plenty of fluids, but can you overdo it? Learn the truth about water intoxication and hyponatremia.
Can Your Hair Turn White from Fright or Turn Gray Overnight?
Is it true your hair can turn white from a bad scare or that your hair can turn gray overnight? Learn about your haircolor and get the answer to the question.
Carbon is an element that is essential for life. The carbon cycle describes the storage and exchange of carbon between the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
Cellular Respiration Quiz
If you are learning about chemistry or biology, chances are you'll need to understand cellular respiration. Try this multiple choice quiz to test yourself and see how much you know about cellular respiration.
Citric Acid Cycle
The citric acid cycle, also known as the Krebs cycle or tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, is a series of chemical reactions in the cell that breaks down food molecules into carbon dioxide, water, and energy.
Crystal Meth Facts
Learn what crystal meth is, why people take crystal meth, how it's made, and what risks are associated with using methamphetamine.
Do You Burn More Calories when you Think Hard?
Find out how many calories you burn when thinking and how it compares with the energy expended by physical exercise.
Drug Photo Gallery
See the molecular structures of common drugs, including drugs of abuse. Photos of the drugs themselves are also included.
10 Carbon Facts
Learn some interesting facts about carbon, the element that is the basis for organic chemistry.
Drugs from Plants
This is a table listing many of the pharmaceuticals that are derived from plants, including the names of the drugs, their actions, plant sources, and the common names of the plants.
This is a list of common food additives and a description of their uses.
Food Chemistry Quiz
Do you know about the chemistry of food? Test your knowledge with this fun and quick ten-question multiple choice quiz.
Glycolysis is the name given to the series of biochemical reactions in which glucose is converted into pyruvate. This important part of carbohydrate catabolism takes place in the cytoplasm of cells. Several reactions take place, with products that are vital to the functioning of the cell.
Hair Color Chemistry
Over 75% of women and a growing percentage of men color their hair. Learn about natural haircolor and find out what happens when you bleach hair or use temporary or permanent haircolor.
How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?
Learn how blood tests and home pregnancy urine tests work, how early they can be used, and some reasons for false positive and negative test results.
Is Deoxygenated Human Blood Blue?
Some animals have blue blood. People only have red blood, no matter what! It's a surprisingly common misconception that deoxygenated human blood is blue.
If I Leave My Goldfish in the Dark, Will it Turn White?
Learn about pigment biochemistry and find out whether your goldfish will turn white if you leave it in the dark long enough.
Is There Really a Chemistry of Love?
Sweaty palms and a pounding heart don't just happen! It takes complex biochemistry to give you the symptoms of being in love. And lust. And security. Chemistry may even play a role in falling out-of-love. Get some of the details here, with links for further study.
Most Abundant Protein
Have you ever wondered what the most abundant protein is? The answer depends on whether you want to know the most common protein in the world, in your body or in a cell.
Learn about the processes involved in the nitrogen cycle, the biochemical cycle that describes the transformations of nitrogen as it goes through nature.
Nucleic Acid Facts
If you're taking general chemistry, organic, or biochemistry, you'll need to understand some basic concepts about nucleic acids, the polymers used to code the genetic information of organisms. Here are some quick nucleic acid facts to get you started.
Osmotic Pressure and Red Blood Cells
See the effect of hypertonic, isotonic and hypotonic osmotic pressure on red blood cells.
Photosynthesis Basics - Study Guide
Photosynthesis is the name for the set of chemical reactions used by plants and other organisms to make food from sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Here's a look at the process and study questions to help make sure you understand the key concepts.
This is a generalized diagram of the chemical reactions necessary for photosynthesis.
Protein and Polypeptide Structure
This article describes the four levels of protein and polypeptide structure, with examples and links for additional reading.
Purines, Pyrimidines, Nucleosides and Nucleotides
These are the chemical structures of the purines, pyrimidines, nucleosides, and nucleotides.
Ricin and RCA - Castor Bean Toxins
Learn about ricin and RCA, the two potent toxins from the castor bean plant. Information is provided about the action, symptoms, and treatment of ricin and RCA poisoning.
Steroid Molecular Structures
See the molecular structures of steroids.
Tattoo Ink Chemistry
Tattoo inks aren't regulated by the US FDA, so what you don't know can hurt you. This 3-part article examines the pigments, carriers, and other chemistry-related issues concerning tattoo inks and their toxicity. Instructions for making your own tattoo ink are provided.
The primary methylxanthine in chocolate is theobromine, a molecule similar to caffeine. See the structure of theobromine and read about its chemistry, effects on people and animals, and uses. There are links to chocolate history and chemical research, veterinary advice for theobromine poisoning, and related resources.
Transcription - Quick Overview
Learn about the process of transcription in which RNA is made from a DNA template.
Learn about the process of translation, in which the genetic code of mRNA is used to produce amino acids that will ultimately become proteins.
Urine Chemical Composition
Urine is a liquid produced by the kidneys to remove waste products from the bloodstream. Human urine is yellowish in color and variable in chemical composition, but here is a list of its principal components.
Vitamin Chemical Structures
This is a collection of molecular structures of the vitamins.
What Are the Elements in the Human Body?
Do you know the chemical composition of the human body? Here's the list of elements, given in percentage according to weight.
What Causes Rigor Mortis?
Dead bodies are sometimes referred to as 'stiffs' for a reason! Learn what rigor mortis is and find out why it happens.
What Is the Volume & Chemical Composition of Blood?
Do you know how many liters of blood are in your body? How about what's in your blood? Let's learn about the chemistry of human blood.
What Is the World's Most Venomous Insect?
The most venomous insect isn't some rare, exotic rain forest creature. You may have them in your own yard. Can you name guess what it is?
What Makes Lead Poisonous?
You probably know that lead is toxic, but do you know what makes it poisonous? Here's an explanation of what lead does in your body that makes it such a health hazard.
Why Are Babies Born with Blue Eyes?
Do you know the answer? It's a matter of chemistry as much as biology. I've included other factoids about eye color, including some that may surprise you.
Why Cut Apples Pears Bananas and Potatoes Turn Brown
Learn why apples, pears, bananas, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables turn brown when they are cut or damaged.
Why Do Onions Make You Cry?
Find out why you cry when you cut onions and how you can keep it from happening.
Why the Flu Vaccine Doesn't Work
A new study conducted by the CDC indicates that getting the flu vaccine doesn't protect you against cold, flu-like illness, or even the flu. Surprised? Here are some reasons why the vaccine may not work.
How Much Weight Can You Gain in a Day?
Have you ever wondered if there is a limit to how much weight you can gain in a day, no matter how many calories you eat?
Amino Acid Quiz
Test how much you know about amino acids with this fun multiple choice science quiz.
How Many Atoms Are There in a Human Cell?
Have you ever wondered how many atoms are in a human cell? It's a huge number! Here's a look at the answer.
How Many Atoms Are in the Human Body?
Have you ever wondered how many atoms are in the human body? Here's the calculation and answer to the question.
Name 3 Disaccharides
Disaccharides are sugars or carbohydrates made by linking two monosaccharides. This is a list of disaccharides, including the monosaccharides they are made from and foods containing them.
Name 3 Monosaccharides
Being asked to name 3 monosacchararides (or more) is a common chemistry and biochemistry question. Here is a list of monosaccharides.
This is a table of mRNA codons for amino acids and a description of the properties of the genetic code.
Proteins - What Are Proteins?
This is an introduction to proteins, a large class of biological molecules.
How To Extract DNA
Learn how to extract DNA easily from any living organism.