Glossary of Biological Terms

Graphical abstract

Cortisol Levels, Thyroid Function and Aging
Water Potential Concept 7: The Benedict's test identifies reducing sugars monosaccharide's and some disaccharides , which have free ketone or aldehyde functional groups. This region is extremely rich in serotonin transporters and is considered as a governor for a vast network involving areas like hypothalamus and brain stem , which influences changes in appetite and sleep; the amygdala and insula , which affect the mood and anxiety; the hippocampus , which plays an important role in memory formation; and some parts of the frontal cortex responsible for self-esteem. Different models for inducing depressive behaviors have been utilized; neuroanatomical manipulations such as olfactory bulbectomy or circuit specific manipulations with optogenetics; genetic models such as 5-HT1A knockout or selectively bred animals; [] models involving environmental manipulation associated with depression in humans, including chronic mild stress, early life stress and learned helplessness. Immobilized enzymes Enzymes are widely used commercially, for example in the detergent, food and brewing industries. This has a number of commercial advantages:. Enzymes have an active site.

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In an effort to reverse or stop a disease process, the following elements must be taken into account to restore health:. Functional Medicine is appropriate for anyone who wants to learn more about how nutrition and proper diet to can help them live fuller, healthier lives. Patients who are receiving medical treatments that affect their nutritional status, such as chemotherapy, can also benefit from nutritional counseling to support their healing.

Almost anyone can benefit from using Functional Medicine. It is gentle, safe and effective enough to support treatment of a wide variety of conditions and health concerns with minimal risk.

There are, however, considerations to take into account when using Functional Medicine to complement convential treatment. Some Functional Medicine remedies utilizing herbs or supplements may interact with conventionally perscribed medicines.

Your Functional Medicine practitioner will review your list of medications and nutritional supplements for any known interactions. Recommendations for new therapies will be made while taking your current medications into account.

Functional Nutrition focuses on a patient's individual biochemistry and metabolism and how those factors affect the ability to function optimally. This approach to health promotion and disease prevention asserts that making simple adjustments to diet and lifestyle based on a patient's individual biochemistry can have profound positive impact on maintaining or restoring health. Our practitioners have a strong understanding of the relationship between food and well-being.

We will analyze your current diet, assess your goals and help you develop a dietary plan that specifically works for you. Improving your nutritional balance through healthy diet can help you increase energy, relieve symptoms, prevent illness and enhance your overall health. Functional Medicine practitioners identify the cause of many health conditions based on the results of science-based testing. Most often these tests are in conjunction with standard blood tests but are critical to identifying the core biochemical and metabolic imbalances that may be at the root of a disease process.

Based on these test results, Dr. Chavez will develop a personalized treatment protocol designed to prevent, reverse or stop a disease and its symptoms. Supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids and other food components that are used to support good health and address illness. All heteroatoms have a greater or lesser attraction for electrons than does carbon.

Thus, each bond between a carbon and a heteroatom is polar, and the degree of polarity depends on the difference between the electron-attracting properties of the two atoms. The most important atomic groupings that contain such reactive polar bonds are also able to generate functional groups. To emphasize the generality of reactions between molecules that contain the same functional group, chemists often represent the less reactive portions of a molecule by the symbol R.

Thus, all molecules that contain a double bond, however complicated, can be represented by the general formula for an alkene —i. This type of formula suggests that the molecule will undergo those reactions that are common to double bonds and that the reaction will occur at the double bond. The rest of the molecule, represented by the four R groups, will remain unchanged by the reaction occurring at the functional group site.

Molecules with more than one functional group, called polyfunctional , may have more complicated properties that result from the identity—and interconnectedness—of the multiple functional groups. Many natural products contain several functional groups located at specific sites within a large, complicated, three-dimensional structure. Alkanes are compounds that consist entirely of atoms of carbon and hydrogen a class of substances known as hydrocarbons joined to one another by single bonds.

Both carbon-carbon and carbon-hydrogen sigma bonds are single strong, nonpolar covalent bonds that are normally the least reactive bonds in organic molecules. Alkane sequences form the inert framework of most organic compounds.

For this reason, alkanes are not formally considered a functional group. When a hydrocarbon chain is connected as a substituent to a more fundamental structural unit, it is termed an alkyl group.

The simplest examples of alkanes are methane CH 4 ; the principal constituent of natural gas , ethane C 2 H 6 , propane C 3 H 8 ; widely used as a barbecue fuel , and butane C 4 H 10 ; the liquid fuel in pocket lighters.

Hydrocarbon chains commonly occur in cyclic forms, or rings; the most common example is cyclohexane C 6 H For a more detailed examination of these compounds, see hydrocarbon. Organic compounds are termed alkenes if they contain a carbon-carbon double bond. The quantum mechanics of bonding. The alkene functional group is an important one in chemistry and is widespread in nature.

Some common examples shown here include ethylene used to make polyethylene , 2-methyl-1,3-butadieneisoprene used to make rubber , and vitamin A essential for vision.

For ethene, both the carbon atoms of an alkene and the four atoms connected to the double bond lie in a single plane. Molecules that contain a triple bond between two carbon atoms are known as alkynes. The most common example of an alkyne is ethyne also known as acetylene , used as a fuel for oxyacetylene torches in welding applications.

Alkynes are not abundant in nature, but the fungicide capillan contains two alkyne functional groups. A distinctive set of physical and chemical properties is imparted to molecules that contain a functional group composed of three pairs of doubly bonded atoms usually all carbon atoms bonded together in the shape of a regular planar flat hexagon.

The hexagonal ring is usually drawn with an alternating sequence of single and double bonds. The molecule benzene , C 6 H 6 , first discovered by English physicist and chemist Michael Faraday in , is the smallest molecule that can contain this functional group, and arenes contain one or more benzene or structurally similar rings.

Because benzene and many larger arenes have a strong odour, they have long been known as aromatic hydrocarbons. Benzene, and all the larger arenes, have a characteristic planar structure forced on them by the electronic requirements of the six or more pi electrons. When named as substituents on other structural units, the aromatic units are called aryl substituents. Naphthalene , the active component of mothballs, contains two fused benzene rings. Benzo[a]pyrene , an aromatic hydrocarbon produced in small amounts by the combustion of organic substances, contains five fused benzene rings.

Like several other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, it is carcinogenic. Aromatic compounds are widely distributed in nature. Benzaldehyde , anisole , and vanillin , for example, have pleasant aromas. When a hydroxyl group is joined to an alkane framework, an alcohol such as ethanol , is produced. When the hydroxyl group is joined to an aryl ring, a phenol results shown above. Both alcohols and phenols are widespread in nature, with alcohols being especially ubiquitous.

The hydroxyl group of alcohols and phenols is responsible for an interesting variety of physical and chemical properties. The biochemical action of vitamin E , for example, depends largely on the reactivity of the phenol functional group. An oxygen atom is much more electronegative than carbon or hydrogen atoms, so both carbon-oxygen and hydrogen-oxygen bonds are polar. The oxygen atom is slightly negatively charged, and the carbon and hydrogen atoms are slightly positively charged.

The polar bonds of the hydroxyl group are responsible for the major reaction characteristics of alcohols and phenols. In general, these reactions are initiated by reaction of electron-deficient groups with the negatively charged oxygen atom or by reaction of electron-rich groups with the positively charged atoms—namely, carbon or hydrogen—bonded to oxygen.

An organic molecule in which an oxygen atom is bonded to two carbon atoms through two sigma bonds is known as an ether. Ether molecules occur widely in nature. Diethyl ether was once widely used as an anesthetic.

An aromatic ether known as Nerolin II 2-ethoxynaphthalene is used in perfumes to impart the scent of orange blossoms. Cyclic ethers , such as tetrahydrofuran , are commonly used as organic solvents. Although ethers contain two polar carbon-oxygen bonds, they are much less reactive than alcohols or phenols.

Epoxides are cyclic ethers that contain a three-membered ring. The simplest example is oxirane ethylene oxide. An epoxide is one of the functional groups in the insect hormone known as juvenile hormone. A thiol is structurally similar to an alcohol but contains a sulfur atom in place of the oxygen atom normally found in an alcohol.

The outstanding feature of thiols is their foul smell. The simplest thiol is hydrogen sulfide , H 2 S, the sulfur analog of water. It can be detected by the human nose at a concentration of a few parts per billion and is readily identifiable as having a rotten-egg odour.

Ethanethiol is added in trace amounts to natural gas to give it a detectable odour, and striped skunks deter predators by releasing a liquid spray containing 3-methylbutanethiol.

When present as a substituent on another structural unit, the SH group is commonly termed mercapto , as in 2-mercaptoethanol. Amines are functional group compounds that contain at least one nitrogen atom bonded to hydrogen atoms or to alkyl or aryl groups. If the substituents other than hydrogen atoms are alkyl groups, the resulting compounds are termed alkyl amines. If one or more substituents is an aryl group, the compounds are termed aryl amines.

Amines are commonly categorized as primary, secondary, or tertiary, depending on whether the nitrogen atom is bonded to one, two, or three alkyl or aryl groups, respectively.

The resulting compound , called a quaternary ammonium salt , has a positive charge on the nitrogen atom and a tetrahedral arrangement of groups around the nitrogen atom. Amines are very common organic molecules, and many are physiologically active. Amphetamine , for example, is a central nervous system stimulant and acts as an antidepressant.

Amines are particularly valuable because of their ability to act as bases, a property that is a consequence of the ability of amines to accept hydrogen atoms from acidic molecules. Halides, or organohalides , are compounds that contain a halogen atom fluorine , chlorine , bromine , or iodine bonded to a carbon atom by a polar bond.

The slightly positive charge that exists on the carbon atom in carbon-halogen bonds is the source of reactivity of halides. A wide variety of organohalides have been discovered in marine organisms, and several simple halide compounds have important commercial applications. Chloroethane ethyl chloride is a volatile liquid that is used as a topical anesthetic. Chloroethene vinyl chloride is the monomeric building block for polyvinyl chloride PVC , and the mixed organohalide halothane is an inhalation anesthetic.

The compound epibatidine, isolated from glands on the back of an Ecuadorian poison frog , has been found to be an especially potent painkiller. When an oxygen atom forms a double bond to a carbon atom, a carbonyl functional group is obtained.

The carbon atom of a carbonyl group is bonded to two other atoms in addition to the oxygen atom. A wide range of functional groups are produced by the presence of different atomic groupings on the carbon of the carbonyl group. Two of the most important are aldehydes and ketones. In a ketone , both atoms bonded to the carbonyl carbon are other carbon atoms, and, in an aldehyde , at least one atom on the carbonyl carbon is a hydrogen.

Many aldehydes and ketones have pleasant, fruity aromas, and these compounds are frequently responsible for the flavour and smell of fruits and vegetables.

A 40 percent solution of formaldehyde in water is formalin , a liquid used for preserving biological specimens. Benzaldehyde is an aromatic aldehyde and imparts much of the aroma to cherries and almonds. Butanedione, a ketone with two carbonyl groups, is partially responsible for the odour of cheeses.

Civetone, a large cyclic ketone, is secreted by the civet cat and is a key component of many expensive perfumes. The carbonyl group has a wide variety of reaction pathways open to it. Whereas carbon-carbon double bonds are nonpolar, carbon-oxygen double bonds are polar. The energy relationships of carbonyl addition reactions are consequently very different from those of alkene addition reactions.

Other reaction possibilities of carbonyl compounds depend on the nature of the atomic groupings, termed substituents , attached to the carbonyl carbon. When both substituents are unreactive alkane fragments, as in ketones, there are few reactions other than carbonyl additions.

When one of the substituents is not an alkane fragment, different possibilities emerge. In aldehydes, the carbonyl carbon is bonded to a hydrogen atom, and reactions that involve this hydrogen atom distinguish the reactions of aldehydes from those of ketones.

The conjunction of a carbonyl and a hydroxyl group forms a functional group known as a carboxyl group. The hydrogen of a carboxyl group can be removed to form a negatively charged carboxylate ion , and thus molecules containing the carboxyl group have acidic properties and are generally known as carboxylic acids. Vinegar is a 5 percent solution of acetic acid in water, and its sharp acidic taste is due to the carboxylic acid present.

Lactic acid provides much of the sour taste of pickles and sauerkraut and is produced by contracting muscles. Citric acid is a major flavour component of citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruits, and oranges. Ibuprofen , an effective analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent, contains a carboxyl group. The structural unit containing an alkyl group bonded to a carbonyl group is known as an acyl group. A family of functional groups, known as carboxylic acid derivatives , contains the acyl group bonded to different substituents.

Each type of acid derivative has a set of characteristic reactions that qualifies it as a unique functional group, but all acid derivatives can be readily converted to a carboxylic acid under appropriate reaction conditions.

Many simple esters are responsible for the pleasant odours of fruits and flowers.

Ethers and epoxides