Concepts in Biology by Enger-Ross

By Enger-Ross

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This makes that side of the molecule slightly negative and the other side slightly positive. One side of the molecule has possession of the electrons more than the other side. When a molecule is composed of several atoms that have this uneven charge distribution, the whole molecule may show a positive side and a negative side. We sometimes think of such a molecule as a tiny magnet with a positive pole and a negative pole. This polarity of the molecule may influence how the molecule reacts with other molecules.

The hydrogen ion is positive because it has lost its electron and now has only the positive charge of the proton. An acid is any ionic compound that releases a hydrogen ion in a solution. You can think of an acid, then, as a substance able to donate a proton to a solution. However, this is only part of the definition of an acid. We also think of acids as compounds that act like the hydrogen ion—they attract negatively charged particles. Acids have a sour taste such as the taste of citrus fruits.

They are all constructed of individual pieces hooked together. Each is distinctly different because the repeating units are not the same, that is, pearls are not anchor links. In all these examples, individual pieces are called monomers (mono = single; mer = segment or piece). The entire finished piece composed of all the units hooked together is called a polymer (poly = many; mer = segments). The plastics industry has polymer chemistry as its foundation. The monomers in a polymer are usually combined by a dehydration synthesis reaction (de = remove; hydro = water; synthesis = combine).

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