By William Robert Fearon (Auth.)
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Extra info for An Introduction to Biochemistry
Nitrogen, 1-7 kg. ; calcium, 1-1 kg. ; phosphorus, 630 gm. ; chlorine, 112 gm. ; fluorine, 60-100 gm. ; sulphur, 110 gm. ; potassium, 90-100 gm. ; sodium, 95 gm. ; magnesium, 60 gm. ; iron, 4-5 gm. Variations depend on the state of nutrition, the relative fat content and the size of the skeleton. The availability of the biological elements fixes the limits to the expansion of life. " The yield of any crop is determined by the nutrient present in least amount. L. J. Henderson has developed the concept of environmental fitness, and has shown that the unique properties of the primary elements, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, endow their compounds with the maximal fitness for the manifestation of life.
COOH (amino acids), R . N H . C 0 . NH 2 (guanidines). C. Complex organic : purines, pyrimidines, porphyrins, proteins, etc. Many important biological properties reside in the amino group, NH 2 . Nitrogen is trivalent, and when these valencies are satisfied still possesses a " lone pair " of orbital electrons which are able to accept a proton, or H-ion, thus conferring a positive charge on the group and making it a potential H-ion donator. N: H Amino compound (basic). + H+ Proton. NH+ H Onium ion (acidic).
The most abundant element in nature, next to oxygen. Aluminium silicate is the chief con stituent of clay, and silicates as a class make up 55 per cent, of the earth's crust. Silicon is universal in plants, especially the stems of cereals, bamboo, and coarser grasses. Expressed as percentage Si0 2 in total ash, representative values are : wheat, 2·28 ; barley, 22-3 ; oats, 42-64. , the bulk being in the skin. Silica, Si0 2 , is the characteristic structural component in the skeletons of silicious sponges.
An Introduction to Biochemistry by William Robert Fearon (Auth.)