Q:

What are the four major classes of organic compounds?

A:

Quick Answer

The four major classes of organic compounds are nucleic acids, lipids, carbohydrates and proteins. These compounds are found in every living organism.

Know More
What are the four major classes of organic compounds?
Credit: elias kordelakos photography Moment Open Getty Images

Full Answer

An organic molecule is a molecule that contains hydrogen and carbon. The four major types of organic molecules are very large because they contain thousands of atoms of these two elements.

Nucleic acids carry genetic information, making them essential for the continuation of a species. RNA and DNA are examples of nucleic acids. Lipids are used for long-term energy storage and insulation and are also an essential component of the membranes found in living organisms. Fats and oils are common examples of lipids.

Carbohydrates serve as a source of energy in living things. Glucose, fructose and starch are just a few of the carbohydrates found in living organisms. Finally, different types of proteins have different functions. Structural proteins help the hair and skin maintain their structure, while proteins called enzymes speed up chemical reactions. The antibodies that help fight infection are also proteins.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What happens when iron reacts with oxygen?

    A:

    Iron rusts when it comes in contact with oxygen and water. It rusts faster in acid rain and salty water. Both oxygen and water are necessary for rusting, which is an oxidation reaction.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Does aluminum react with oxygen?

    A:

    Aluminum reacts with oxygen to form a layer of aluminum oxide on the outside of the metal, according to HowStuffWorks. This thin layer protects the underlying metal from corrosion caused by oxygen, water or other chemicals. Aluminum burns in oxygen with a white flame to form the trioxide aluminum (III) oxide, says WebElements. Chemists write the chemical reaction between aluminum and oxygen as: 4Al+ 3O2 = 2Al2O3.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When was boron discovered?

    A:

    Boron was discovered in 1808. French chemists Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac and Louis-Jaques Thénard and English chemist Sir Humphry Davy independently isolated the element, and all three are credited with its discovery.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why are Group 18 noble gases inert?

    A:

    Noble gases are inert due to their complete electron shells. Their stable atomic structure makes the energy required to add or remove an electron prohibitively high, so the noble gases do not form compounds in natural conditions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore