Molecular Structure

Posted July 19th, 2016 by Tony. Comments Off on Molecular Structure.

yHay something seemingly more simple than water? Despite its apparent simplicity this liquid we know so well is complex and not yet well understood. Water is made up of such exceptional physical – chemical properties that constitute its specificity. As evidenced by this article, the microscopic structure of liquid water, which is the basis of these properties, is a research topic that can bring some new ones. Water is one of the four eelementosu the Greek philosopher Aristotle had defined as constituents of the universe (the others being air, earth and fire). I still do not understand it best. Given our familiarity with the water, the fact is no less surprising. Oceans, lakes, rivers, rainfall, abundant in almost all regions of the earth, water largely determines the landscapes and climates. Very often it is synonymous with life: water is an essential component of the structure and metabolism of all living beings.

Certainly, this role primary water should not be attributed to chance but derives its exceptional physical and chemical properties. An example of a biologically important property of water is the hydrophobic effect, ie the fact that hydrocarbon CH groups tend to be repelled by water molecules. It is responsible, in part at least, the complex spatial structures that present proteins, DNA and lipid bilayers of cell membranes. In absence of water, all these structures would be unstable. It is said that even without much risk of error, that this effect might play a role in the emergence of life on Earth.

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