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biological species Monosaccharides

Monosaccharide

also called SIMPLE SUGAR, any of the basic compounds that serve as the building blocks of carbohydrates. Monosaccharides are polyhydroxy aldehydes or ketones; that is, they are molecules with more than one hydroxyl group (-OH), and a carbonyl group (C=O) either at the terminal carbon atom (aldose) or at the second carbon atom (ketose). The carbonyl group combines in aqueous solution with one hydroxyl group to form a cyclic compound (hemi-acetal or hemi-ketal). Monosaccharides are classified by the number of carbon atoms in the molecule; trioses have three, tetroses four, pentoses five, hexoses six, and heptoses seven. Most contain five or six. The most important pentoses include xylose, found combined as xylan in woody materials; arabinose from coniferous trees; ribose, a component of ribonucleic acids and several vitamins; and deoxyribose, a component of deoxyribonucleic acid. Among the most important aldohexoses are glucose, mannose, and galactose; fructose is a ketohexose.
Several derivatives of monosaccharides are important. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is derived from glucose. Important sugar alcohols (alditols), formed by the reduction of (i.e., addition of hydrogen to) a monosaccharide, include sorbitol (glucitol) from glucose and mannitol from mannose; both are used as sweetening agents. Glycosides derived from monosaccharides are widespread in nature, especially in plants. Amino sugars (i.e., sugars in which one or two hydroxyl groups are replaced with an amino group, -NH2) occur as components of glycolipids and in the chitin of arthropods.




carbohydrateClasses of carbohydrates Monosaccharides Sources The most common naturally occurring monosaccharides are D-glucose, D-mannose, D-fructose, and D-galactose among the hexoses, and D-xylose and L-arabinose among the pentoses. In a special sense, D-ribose and 2-deoxy-D-ribose are ubiquitous because they form the carbohydrate component of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), respectively; these sugars are present in all cells as components of nucleic acids. Sources of some of the naturally occurring monosaccharides are listed in Table 2.D-xylose, found in most plants in the form of a polysaccharide called xylan, is prepared from corncobs, cottonseed hulls, or straw by chemical breakdown of xylan. D-galactose, a common constituent of both oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, also occurs in carbohydrate-containing lipids, called glycolipids, which are found in the brain and other nervous tissues of most animals. Galactose is generally prepared by acid hydrolysis (breakdown involving water) of lactose, which is composed of galactose and glucose. Since the biosynthesis of galactose in animals occurs through intermediate compounds derived directly from glucose, animals do not require galactose in the diet. In fact, in most human populations (Caucasoid peoples being the major exception) the majority of people do not retain the ability to manufacture the enzyme necessary to metabolize galactose after they reach the age of four, and many individuals possess a hereditary defect known as galactosemia and never have the ability to metabolize galactose.D-glucose (from the Greek word glykys, meaning "sweet"), the naturally occurring form, is found in fruits, honey, blood, and, under abnormal conditions, in urine. It is also a constituent of the two most common naturally found disaccharides, sucrose and lactose, as well as the exclusive structural unit of the polysaccharides cellulose, starch, and glycogen. Generally, D-glucose is prepared from either potato starch or cornstarch.D-fructose, a ketohexose, is one of the constituents of the disaccharide sucrose and is also found in uncombined form in honey, apples, and tomatoes. Fructose, generally considered the sweetest monosaccharide, is prepared by sucrose hydrolysis and is metabolized by man.Chemical reactions The reactions of the monosaccharides can be conveniently subdivided into those associated with the aldehydo or keto group and those associated with the hydroxyl groups.The relative ease with which sugars containing a free or potentially free aldehydo or keto group can be oxidized to form products has been known for a considerable time and once was the basis for the detection of these so-called reducing sugars in a variety of sources. For many years, analyses of blood glucose and urinary glucose were carried out by a procedure involving the use of an alkaline copper compound. Because the reaction has undesirable features--extensive destruction of carbohydrate structure occurs, and the reaction is not very specific (i.e., sugars other than glucose give similar results) and does not result in the formation of readily identifiable products--blood and urinary glucose now are analyzed ... more

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Human Evolution

Evolution is the complexity of processes by which living organisms established on earth and have been expanded and modified through theorized changes in form and function. Human evolution is the biological and cultural development of the species Homo sapiens sapiens, or human beings. Humans evolved from apes because of their similarities. This can be shown in the evidence that humans had a decrease in the size of the face and teeth that evolved. Early humans are classified in ten different types of families. Creationists believe that humans were always humans.

Humans are classified in the mammalian family Primates. In this arrangement, humans, along with our extinct close ancestors, and our nearest living relatives, the African apes, are sometimes placed together in the family Hominidae because of genetic similarities. Two-leg walking seems to be one of the earliest of the major hominine characteristics to have evolved. In the course of human evolution the size of the brain has been more than tripled. The increase in brain size may be related to changes in hominine behavior (See figure 3). The third major trend in hominine development is the gradual decrease in the size of the face and teeth.

According to the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia '98, the fossil evidence for direct ancestors of modern humans is divided into the category Australopithecus and Homo, and begins about 5 million years ago (See figure 1). Between 7 and 20 million years ago, primitive apelike animals were widely distributed on the African and, later, on the Eurasian continents (See figure 2). Although many fossil bones and teeth have been found, the way of life of these creatures, and their evolutionary relationships to the living apes and humans, remain matters of active discussion among scientists.

The evidence for human evolution begins with the australopithecines. All the australopithecines were bipedal and therefore possible hominines. In details of their teeth, jaws, and brain size, however, they modify enough among themselves to be divided into five species: Australopithecus anamensis, A. afarensis, A. africanus, A. robustus, and A. boisei. Genus Homo are also divided in five different spices: Homo erectus, H. habilis, H. sapiens, and H. sapiens sapiens. According to Britannica Encyclopdia, Australopithecus anamensis lived in Kenya between 4.2 million and 3.9 million years ago. A. afarensis lived in eastern Africa between 3 and 4 million years ago. This australopithecine had a brain size a little larger than chimpanzees. Some had canine teeth more sticking out than those of later hominines. No tools of any kind have been found with A. afarensis fossils.

According to Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia '98, between about 2.5 million and 3 million years ago, A. afarensis clearly evolved into A. africanus. A. africanus had a brain similar to that of its ancestor. However, although the size of the chewing teeth remained large, the canines, instead of sticking out, grew only to the level of the other teeth. No stone tools have been found in association with A. africanus fossils. The more recent include the A. robustus, limited to southern Africa, and A. boisei, found only in eastern Africa. The robust australopithecines represent a specialized adaptation because their principal difference from other australopithecines lies in the large size of their chewing teeth, jaws, and jaw muscles.

According to Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia '98, Homo erectus lived from about 1.8 million to 30,000 years ago. Until recently, Homo erectus was considered an evolutionary ancestor of modern humans, or Homo sapiens. Homo erectus had a larger brain than earlier hominines. Homo erectus was also a taller, with an evenly face and smaller tooth. Scientists believe this species lived in Africa between 2 million and 1.5 million years ago. H. habilis is the earliest known member of the genus Homo. H. habilis had a larger brain than australopithecines. Australopithecines had long arms and short legs, similar to the limbs of apes. Even, H. habilis were similar modern humans with its limbs and small body size relative to its height. H. habilis had smaller molars teeth and a less raised face than earlier Hominines. H. habilis was taller than australopithecines, but shorter than Homo erectus. H. sapiens are not identical in aspect with modern humans. H. sapiens sapiens, first appeared more than 90,000 years ago.

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