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Energy and Life Free energy is the energy released or absorbed as
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Energy and Life


Free energy is the energy released or absorbed as a chemical reaction approaches equilibrium. Just as water flows down hill, negative changes in free energy are associated with spontaneous processes and non-spontaneous processes require free energy to occur. Many of the chemical processes that define life are endergonic  reactions. This means in order for living systems to thrive, there must be a continuous source of exergonic free energy. This drives a dynamic equilibrium process that is an important part of homeostasis, an important part of the living process.

Looking at the process of osmosis, free energy is used to move ions in both endergonic and exergonic directions. In every cell, the essential exchange of free energy needed to sustain life is fueled by adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Hyperlinks for review:

http://www.chem1.com/acad/webtext/thermeq/TE4.html

http://www.chem1.com/acad/webtext/chemeq/

http://www.wiley.com/college/pratt/0471393878/student/review/thermodynamics/index.html

http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~bioslabs/studies/invertebrates/steadystate.html

http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~wjh/neurotut/mempot.html

http://www.3rd1000.com/chem301/chem302y.htm

http://www.wiley.com/legacy/college/boyer/0470003790/animations/membrane_transport/membrane_transport.htm

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/biology/atp.html



After reviewing the above information, please answer the following questions:

1. What is the difference between dynamic equilibrium and homeostatis in living systems?

2. What is adenosine triphoshate and and why is it important to the equilibirum of living systems?

3. Write the chemical reaction for the dephosphorylation of ATP to ADP. What is the free energy change associated with this reaction? What other compound is equired as reactant in this reaction? Is this an exergonic or an endergonic process?

4. Summarize (share you references) (APA) how the hydroolysis of ATP can be used to move sodium ions (Na+) to a higher concentration gradient. Explain why this is important to kidney function.

 







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