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The Role Of Water In Living Organisms

987 words - 4 pages

The Role of Water in Living Organisms

Water is one of the most abundant molecules on planet earth; it is
found in vast amounts not only in earthly enviroments (oceans, lakes
and rivers), but is also present in the atmosphere, and as solid ice
in the two poles. Consequently it is rather logical that water plays
an important role in biological life: the origins of life occurred in
water and life itself wouldn't be able to continue in it's absence .

I will now describe the structure of a water molecule. It consists of
an oxygen atom covalently bonded to two other atoms of hydrogen. The
two bonds form a 105 degrees angle with eachother, but for the reason
that oxygen is more electronegative than hydrogen, the shared electron
charge of the covalent bond is distributed more towards this atom,
making the water molecule weakly polar. Always due to reasons related
to the distribution of the charge water is able to form weak hydrogen
bonds, both to other water molecules and also to many other types of
polar molecules. This is a very essential characteristic, which allows
water to have unique properties.

Water's ability to form weak H-bonds to other polar molecules allows
the anion and the cation of a polar-bonded molecule to separate from
one another, and go into solution. Evene large molecules such as
proteins can form enough H-bonds with water to become soluble, also
the catalytic activity totally depends upon the soluble nature of the
enzyme molecules. Water, takes up a large space in cells, which are
the single components of the human body. This is a physical
demonstration, of how water is essential for life to be happening. The
structure of the cells themeselves is highly dependant upon the
solvent properties of water. The cytoplasm is a mixture of water
soluble molecules, but some of them, knows as phospholipids are unable
to dissolve totally in water. The partial attraction and partial
repulsion of the phospholipids to and from water cause them to form
interfaces, or membranes, separating the cytoplasm from the external
enviroment, and hence defining the cell.

Humans themselves are made up of a 70% of water, they are considered
the most-solid looking organisms. Without this high water content,
waste heat generated from metabolic reactions would soon denature
cellular enzymes. The high specific heat capacity, and the high
thermal conductivity, of the water in cytoplasm dissipates heat from
cellular reactions, preventing thermal damage from occuring.

As water warms , some of the molecules gain sufficient energy to

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