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Chapter 5
Energy & Life

This chapter describes the way biological systems derive energy from their surroundings and the necessity of enzymes to allow those processes to take place.  No matter what you do in life, no matter what you study, you should have a basic working knowledge of the processes that allow us and all organisms to live and thrive.  The processes are delicate and complex and the slightest variation means that life would not be possible.  We, as organisms, are all connected in life.  We, as organisms depend on other organisms to thrive.  There is a continuity between all organisms in the way that energy is acquired, processed and used.  This chapter gives a glimpse into that continuity and how we all are connected.  At the end of the chapter, the student should be able to perform the following objectives.


  1. Distinguish chemical reactions that absorb energy from those that release energy
  2. Describe the role of activation energy in chemical reactions
  3. Describe how an enzyme interacts with its substrate
  4. Analyze the roles of enzymes in cells
  5. Explain how cells use energy
  6. Compare the way a fire releases energy from fuel with the way a cell releases energy from fuel
  7. Describe the role played by ATP in cells
  8. Recognize the path of energy between plants and animals in the living world
  9. Describe how photosynthetic organisms use energy from light to make organic molecules and oxygen
  10. Explain how plant cells use the ATP and NADPH that forms during photosynthesis
  11. Analyze the roles of electrons and protons in photosynthesis
  12. Summarize the three stages in photosynthesis
  13. Explain the role of cellular respiration in making energy available to living things
  14. Contrast fermentation and oxidative respiration
  15. Explain how feedback inhibition regulates ATP production

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