Archive for October, 2010

October 22, 2010

Hierarchy Of Life

The atom is a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense, central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The atomic nucleus contains a mix of positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons (except in the case of hydrogen-1, which is the only stable nuclide with no neutrons). The electrons of an atom are bound to the nucleus by the electromagnetic force. Likewise, a group of atoms can remain bound to each other, forming a molecule. An atom containing an equal number of protons and electrons is electrically neutral, otherwise it has a positive or negative charge and is an ion. An atom is classified according to the number of protons and neutrons in its nucleus: the number of protons determines the chemical element, and the number of neutrons determines the isotope of the element A molecule is defined as a group of at least two atoms in a definite arrangement held together by covalent chemical bonds.In the narrow use of the word, molecules are electrically neutral. Molecules are distinguished from polyatomic ions in this strict sense. However, in quantum physics, organic chemistry, and biochemistry, the term molecule is used less strictly and also is applied to molecular ions, charged organic molecules, and biomolecules. In cell biology, an organelle  is a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function, and is usually separately enclosed within its own lipid bilayer. The name organelle comes from the idea that these structures are to cells what an organ is to the body (hence the name organelle, the suffix -elle being a diminutive). Organelles are identified by microscopy, and can also be purified by cell fractionation. There are many types of organelles, particularly in eukaryotic cells. Prokaryotes were once thought not to have organelles, but some examples have now been identified

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