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ZingPath: Macromolecules

Carbon and Carbohydrates

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Lesson Focus

Carbon and Carbohydrates


Learning Made Easy

You will take a look at the major types of molecules found in living cells. Start off by exploring the function of molecules and then examine the factors that affect the activity of enzymes, and much more.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Describe the structure of carbohydrates.
  • List the functions of carbohydrates.
  • Give examples of different types of carbohydrates such as monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides.

Everything You'll Have Covered

What atoms bond together to form carbohydrates? What are the constituents of carbohydrates?

~ Fixed proportions of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms bond together to form carbohydrates. Glucose, fructose, and galactose - known collectively as monosaccharides - are simple organic molecules which are constituents of carbohydrates

What is a disaccharide? Give some examples of disaccharides.

~ When two monosaccharides come together, they form a disaccharide. Sucrose, or table sugar, is a disaccharide made from glucose and fructose. Lactose, or milk sugar, is another disaccharide made from galactose and glucose. Maltose is formed when two glucose molecules join together.

What is a polysaccharide? Give examples.

~ Sugars made up of more than two monosaccharides are polysaccharides, which are more complex molecules. Plants store starch, which is made from glucose. Humans store glucose as glycogen. Both starch and glycogen are polysaccharides. Cellulose is another polysaccharide that is used to build cell walls. In industrial production, cellulose is used to make paper. Chitin is also a polysaccharide that is found both in insects' shells and in fungi such as mushrooms.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with the terms biochemistry, biology, carbohydrate, carbon, and cellulose.
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary biochemistry, biology, carbohydrate, carbon, cellulose