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Bonding Basics for Biology

Bonding Basics for Biology


At the end of this section, you should be able to:

  1. describe the formation of the following bonds between atoms: ionic, covalent, polar covalent, van der Waals forces, hydrogen, hydrophobic interactions.
  2. describe the chemical structure of a water molecule; explain why it is called a polar molecule and give consequences of this polarity to living systems.


In this beginning section you will review/learn basic chemical concepts that will be applicable to the rest of the course.  It is essential that you are comfortable with the material presented in this section (atomic structure, bonding, chemical reactions, organic functional groups) since much of the rest of this unit and the next two are biochemical in nature.  While the depth of treatment required in the OAC Chemistry is not necessary for this course, you must understand the concepts introduced at the level presented in the text. 

Molecules are collections of atoms joined by chemical bonds. The activity of electrons within and between atoms determine the nature of the chemical bonds. 

Ionic, covalent and hydrogen bonds are the three types of intramolecular forces studied while hydrogen bonds are examined as a specific example of the dipole-dipole forces.



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#1 Bonding Basics in Biology

Review of formation and properties of ionic and covalent bonds, hydrogen bonds, apolar forces and hydrophobic interactions.

Source: Meg O'Mahony, figures are Open Source

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Bonding Basics

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Source: Meg O'Mahony