Biology as Poetry: Organic Chemistry

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Hydrophilic Functional Groups

Additions to hydrocarbon backbones, additions that possess full or partial charges.

Hydrophilic functional groups include hydroxyl groups (resulting in alcohols though also found in sugars, etc.), carbonyl groups (giving rise to aldehydes and ketones), carboxyl groups (resulting in carboxylic acids), amino groups (i.e., as found in amino acids), sulfhydryl groups (giving rise to thiols, i.e., as found in the amino acid cysteine), phosphate groups (as found in nucleic acids and phospholipids), etc. In addition are various hydrophylic linkages such as ethers (i.e., C-O-C), esters linkages (as found holding together fats, i.e., triglycerides), phosphodiester linkages (nucleic acids), glycolytic linkages (disaccharides and polysaccharides), and peptide bonds (polypeptides/proteins).

Early on in studying organic chemistry one learns the various functional groups along with naming conventions. This actually is the relatively easy part of organic chemistry which then goes on to consider the reactions used in the synthesis of organic compounds such as the adding of functional groups to organic molecules.

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