Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chemical Level of Organization

Teaching Anatomy & Physiology I in a six week Summer session involves cramming 3 weeks worth of material into one 3 day week. Yesterday we started discussion of the chemical level of organization of the human body which we will finish today. We covered subatomic particles and why understanding the structure of an atom is important in human medicine. We discussed chemical bonding, hydrogen bonding, activation energy and chemical reactions. We didn't quite cover what I hoped we would cover.

Today we will discuss water, pH and organic compounds followed by protein structure enzymes and nucleic acids. Next week we start on the cellular level of organization.

Do you know where a proton is located, how much it weighs and what charge it has? What does atomic number indicate? Why is the atomic weight of carbon expressed as 12.011? What does having more neutrons than protons indicate about an atom? How many electrons are in the first orbital? Why do we care how many electrons are in the valence shell? What is the difference between an ionic bond, a covalent bond and a hydrogen bond? I hope my students can answer these basic questions.

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