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Breakdown glossary


g l o s s a r y

Wondering what a word means? Need a definition? This is the place to check it.

Acid
any substance that dissociates to form H+ ions when dissolved in water.
Alpha-cell
a cell in the islets of Langerhans that produces the hormone glucagon, which causes liver cells to release stored glucose and fat cells to break down triglycerides.
Amino acids
molecules containing an amino group (-NH2), a carboxyl group (-COOH), a hydrogen atom, and a functional group designated R, all bonded to a central carbon atom.
Beta-cell
a cell in the islets of Langerhans that secretes insulin when a person eats, storing away glucose to be used later.
Carbohydrate
an organic compound consisting of a chain or ring of carbon atoms to which hydrogen and oxygen atoms are attached approximately 1:2:1; they have a general formula of (CH2O)n.
Enzymatic hydrolysis
enzymes which catalyse the hydrolysis of molecules.
Enzyme
a protein capable of speeding up specific chemical reactions by lowering the energy required to activate or start the reaction but remains unaltered in the process.
Epithelial cells
a thin layer of cells forming a tissue that covers the internal and external surfaces of the body.
Fat
a molecule containing many more C - H bonds than carbohydrates contain, thus providing more efficient energy storage.
Fatty acids
components of fats, oils, phospholipids, and waxes.
Fermentation
respiration in which the final electron acceptor is an organic molecule.
Glucose
the most common six-carbon sugar in most organisms.
Homeostasis
the maintainance of a relatively stable internal physiological environment in an organism.
Hormone
a chemical messenger, often a steroid or peptide, produced in a small quantity in one part of an organism and then transported to another part of the organism, where it brings about a physiological response.
Hydrolysis
the process of tearing down a polymer (a large molecule formed of long chains of similar molecules) by adding a molecule of water.
Lymph
in animals, a colourless fluid derived from blood by filtration through capillary walls in the tissues.
Metabolism
the process by which all living things assimilate energy and use it to grow.
Peptide
two or more amino acids linked by peptide bonds.
Protein
a long chain of amino acids linked end to end by peptide bonds.





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