Applied Science, Life Science, Biology
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Rice University
Alpha-helix Structure, Amino Acid, Beta-pleated Sheet, Biological Macromolecule, Biological Molecules, Carbohydrate, Carbohydrate Classification, Carbohydrates, Cellulose, Chaperones, Chitin, Condensation, Condensation Reaction, Cytochrome c, DNA, Dehydration, Dehydration Reaction, Dehydration Synthesis, Denaturation, Deoxyribonucleic Acid, Disaccharide, Double Helix, Energy From Fat, Enzyme, Fat, Fatty Acid, Glycogen, Glycosidic Bond, Hormone, Hydrolysis, Hydrolysis Reaction, Lipid, Lipids, MRNA, Macromolecule Synthesis, Messenger RNA, MiRNA, MicroRNA, Molecular Structure, Monomer, Monosaccharide, Nucleic Acid, Nucleic Acids, Nucleotide, Oil, Omega 6, Omega Fat, Omega-3, Peptide Bond, Phosphodiester, Phospholipid, Polymer, Polynucleotide, Polypeptide, Polysaccharide, Primary Structure, Protein, Protein Folding, Protein Function, Protein Organization, Protein Shape, Protein Type, Proteins, Purine, Pyramidine, Quaternary Structure, RNA, Ribonucleic Acid, Ribosomal Rna, Rrna, Saturated Fat, Saturated Fatty Acid, Secondary Structure, Steroid, Synthesis of Biological Macromolecules, Tertiary Structure, Trans Fat, Transcription, Transfer Rna, Translation, Triacylglycerol, Triglyceride, Trna, Unsaturated Fat, Unsaturated Fatty Acid, Wax
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0


Section 1

Photo shows a variety of cheeses, fruits, and breads served on a tray.
Foods such as bread, fruit, and cheese are rich sources of biological macromolecules. (credit: modification of work by Bengt Nyman)

Food provides the body with the nutrients it needs to survive. Many of these critical nutrients are biological macromolecules, or large molecules, necessary for life. These macromolecules (polymers) are built from different combinations of smaller organic molecules (monomers). What specific types of biological macromolecules do living things require? How are these molecules formed? What functions do they serve? In this chapter, these questions will be explored.