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Stanley Student is confused on the similarities and differences between proteins
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Killer Whale
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Stanley Student is confused on the similarities and differences between proteins and nucleic acids. Assuming he has learned and understood the basic chemistry, what is the likely source of his confusion? To help him sort this out, make a table or flowchart to explain the structure of these molecules and their relationship to each other.

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May 20, 2011

His confusion probably stems from the fact that both proteins and nucleic acids are classified as macromolecules, and both are assembled by covalently bonding certain monomers in a particular order. Also, nucleic acids contain the information necessary for manufacturing proteins, the term acid is used in describing the structure of both nucleic acids and proteins, and both nucleic acids and proteins must contain nitrogen. The monomer of protein is the amino acid, which has a central carbon, a variable chain denoted as R, and a nitrogen-containing amino group. There are 20 naturally occurring amino acids. The monomer of the nucleic acid is the nucleotide, which has a sugar attached to a nitrogen-containing base, and a phosphate. There are five different bases and two different sugars. The sequence of bases in a DNA or RNA molecule determines the sequence of amino acids in the protein.

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