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- Carbohydrates are used by organisms as sources of energy, as building materials, and as cell surface markers. - They contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in a 1:2:1 ratio. - May be classified into three groups: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides.

Monosaccharides- These are the simple sugars. - Contain a single chain of carbon atoms.- May be distinguished by the carbonyl group they possess, aldehyde or ketone, and the number of atoms in their carbon backbone.

A source of energy for virtually all cells.

A component of lactose, milk sugar.

Fruit Sugar

Oligosaccharides- These are sugars containing several simple sugars attached to one another.

Maltose is found in in grains that are used in the production of beer.

Sucrose is table sugar.

Polysaccharides-Therse are monosaccharide polymers composed of several hundred to several thousand monosaccharide subunits held together by glycosidic linkages.- They function as energy storage and structural support in living cells.

Plants store the Sun's energy in the form of glucose and other carbohydrates.

Starch is the main energy storage molecule in plants. It is a mixture of amylose and amylopectin. Humans and other heterotrophs use the plant's stockpile of energy as a source of food energy for themselves.

Humans and other animals store small amounts of glycogen in muscle and liver cells. They are used for energy during physical exercise.

Many cellulose microfibrils intertwine to form tough, insoluble cellulose fibres that plants use to build their cell walls. Humans use cellulose in wood for lumber and paper, and in cotton and linen for clothing.

The hard exoskeleton of insects and of crustaceans is made of chitin. Chitin's physical and chemical properties make it useful in medical applications, such as contact lenses.


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