Essay about Cellulose, Starch, Glycogen, Prion Disease and Cholesterol

953 Words Aug 4th, 2013 4 Pages
1. Cellulose, starch, and glycogen are very similar, yet very different. Describe the process by which each of these molecules is formed. Why does the subtle difference in how the simple sugar monomers are bonded in starch and cellulose affect how the two molecules are used?

Cellulose is built from glucose molecules bonded covalently together through a process known as hydrolysis. Hydrolysis is a chemical process in which a molecule of water is added to a substance. Each alternating glucose ring of the cellulose molecule is flipped over and the water molecule (H2O) has been split out leaving an oxygen molecule between each ring. This chain or ribbon (the cellulose molecule) will continue for 3,000 to 5,000 glucose units. Starch is
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Cellulose is a lot stronger than starch. Starch is practically useless as a material, but cellulose is strong enough to make fibers from. Cellulose doesn't dissolve in water the way starch will, and doesn't break down as easily.

2. What is a prion disease? Why are they hard to detect and treat?

Prion diseases belong to group of progressive conditions that affect the nervous system in humans and animals. Prion diseases impair brain function which cause memory changes, personality changes, a decline in intellectual function (dementia), and problems with movement that worsen over time. Prion is a misfolded protein that becomes infectious. They are hard to detect and treat because the infectious agent or prion lacks a nucleic acid component. It consists solely of an abnormally folded conformer of the normal host protein PrP that the infected organism does not recognize as foreign so that neither inflammatory nor immunological responses are observed. Laboratory diagnosis of TSEs is further complicated by the uneven distribution of TSE agents in body tissues, with highest concentrations consistently found in nervous system tissues and very low concentrations in easily accessible body fluids such as blood or urine.

3. Describe why termites are able to digest cellulose.

Termites are able to digest cellulose because they have

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