Biomolecules Tutorial:
Gateway Page

Welcome to the Biomolecules Tutorial! This set of modules will provide you with a descriptive overview of the four major classes of biomolecules found in all living organisms: carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. You should come to appreciate how the complicated processes found in living things are carried out by ordinary chemical reactions you are studying in your chemistry classes right now.

As you are making your way through these modules, pay attention to the following themes that are repeated over and over in biological systems:

  • Complicated molecules are made by linking together smaller, simpler molecules.
  • These links are often made by a condensation reaction, in which a small, stable molecule like water is produced.
  • The same reactions you study in chemistry are found carried out by biological molecules.
Lipids Proteins 1
Carbohydrates Proteins 2
DNA 1 Enzymes

To navigate between pages in the module, use the menu in the left-hand navigation bar. Home takes you to the Tutorials homepage. Table of Contents takes you to a list of all the pages in the Biomolecules Tutorial so you can quickly return to any spot in any module you were at previously. The Biomolecules Gateway Page link will return you to this page. The page links take you to the page in the tutorial with that title. The Chime tutorial will open an accessory window with some instructions on how to use Chime.

There are some common icons you will see used over and over in this tutorial. These icons and what they mean are listed below.

Back button. Click here to go back to the previous page. Next button. Click here to go to the next page.
Page tracking icon. These icons tell you which page in the module you are on and how many pages there are in all in the module. Debriefing icon. Click here at the end of a module to go to a debriefing that will test what you have learned in the module.
The mouse icon alerts you to an interactive element on the page that may require you to click somewhere, enter some information, or somehow interact with the page.
The Jmol logo tells you when an interactive molecular structure is embedded on the page using the Jmol applet. Click on the icon at left to go to a tutorial on how to use Jmol.
Throughout each module you will find certain technical words you may be unfamiliar with. These words will be emphasized like this, and will be followed by the book icon shown at left. Clicking on the book icon pops up an alternate definition of the term in plain English. Try clicking on the one at left to see how it works. Don't forget to close the alternate definition windows when you are done with them!
Occasionally in the modules you will need to apply something you have learned earlier in the course, perhaps in another tutorial. Clicking on the test tube icon (like the one at left) pops up an accessory window that reviews what you may have forgotten or need to review. Click on the test tube at left to see how this works. Don't forget to close accessory windows when you are done with them!
The following two references were used repeatedly in the development of this tutorial.

John W. Moore, Conrad L. Stanitski, James L. Wood, John C. Kotz, and Melvin D. Joesten. The Chemical World: Concepts and Applications (2nd edition). Saunders College Publishing, New York (1998).

Lubert Stryer. Biochemistry (4th edition). W.H. Freeman and Company, New York (1995).