Chapter 9 – Biomolecules

There is a wide diversity in living organisms in our biosphere. Are all living organisms made of the same chemicals, i.e., elements and compounds. If we perform such an element analysis on a plant tissue, animal tissue or a microbial paste, we obtain a list of elements like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and several others and their respective content per unit mass of a living tissue.

If the same analysis is performed on a piece of earth’s crust as an example of non-living matter, we obtain a similar list. What are the differences between the two lists? In absolute terms, no such differences could be made out.

All the elements present in a sample of earth’s crust are also present in a sample of living tissue. However, a closer examination reveals that the relative abundance of carbon and hydrogen with respect to other elements is higher in any living organism than in earth’s crust.

Related posts

Leave a Comment