The Structure and Functions of Macromolecule
1. A type of organic molecule that would be most advantageous for energy storage in birds would be a type of lipid called fats. Fats are made from two kinds of molecules, glycerol and three fatty acids. Glycerol is a type of alcohol with a hydroxyl group on each of its three carbons. The three fatty acids are joined by dehydration synthesis. Dehydration synthesis is when the monomers of organic compounds join together to make polymers. As there are three fatty acids attached, they are known as triglycerides. It would be a good idea for the birds to use fat for energy storage because fat stores 9 KCal/g of energy, which is helpful during a long-term migration. Carbohydrates would be another choice to consider, but carbohydrates only store 4 KCal/g of energy. This is much lower than the ability of energy storage when compared to fats.
2. A substance in plants and animals that could be examined for radioactivity would be their amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. They also can carry both positive and negatives charges. When amino acids join together they form peptides or polypeptides. When this occurs proteins are the product. In order to test her hypothesis she could do so by taking samples of amino acids in animals and plants she believes not to be contaminated, and then take samples of plants and animals she believes to be contaminated. Then compare the ratio they occur naturally in the “non-contaminated” organism, and compare it to the “contaminated” samples. In the samples she would look for radioactivity in the amino acids, which could then tell her whether or not the plants or animals consumed radioactive nitrogen.