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The Importance of Water to Living Organisms

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The Importance of Water to Living Organisms Water is a simple chemical compound, each molecule composed of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. It is the most important biochemical of all. There would be no life on the planet whatsoever without the existence of water. Water can be found in all 3 states (gas, water and solid) naturally. Water molecules are dipolar (meaning that its electrons are not shared equally due to covalent bonding) and this generates hydrogen bonding between atoms. This raises its melting and boiling points. As a result its structure gives water many important properties such as its thermal, high surface tension, incompressibility and cohesiveness, which give it many useful biological roles such as being a solvent, a coolant, an insulator, as support, a lubricant and a reagent. I am now going to talk about the properties of water. Water is attracted to other water. This is called cohesion. Water can also be attracted to other materials. ...read more.


. Non polar molecules are insoluble in water Water has thermal properties as well. As hydrogen bonding restricts the movement of water molecules, a relatively large amount of energy is needed to raise the temperature of water. This means that large bodies of water such as oceans and lakes are slow to change temperature as environmental temperature changes. As a result they are more stable habitats. Due to the high proportion of water in the body internal changes in temperature are also minimized, making it easier to achieve a stable body temperature. Since a relatively large amount of energy is needed to convert water to a gas, the process of evaporation transfers a correspondingly large amount of energy and can be a effective means of cooling the body, as in sweating and panting. Conversely, a relatively large amount of energy must be transferred from water before it is converted from a liquid to a solid (ice). ...read more.


it will not burst but the cell wall exerts a force equal to the osmotic force (the cell is turgid) and this is important in the support of leaves Water is a major component of cells, typically forming between 70 and 95% of the mass of the cell. In a cell water is used for hydrolysis, the breakdown of a substance by water e.g. polysaccharides to monosaccharide, forming a glycosidic bond; a medium for chemical reactions, due to its properties as a solvent; the diffusion and osmosis of substances, e.g. gaseous exchange, the surfaces the exchange is taking place over need to be moist as the exchange takes place in solution, therefore there is water in the lungs or in mesophyll cells (in plants). Water has a low viscosity. This is useful as it allows it to flow easily through tubes e.g xylem vessels In conclusion it is obvious to see from looking at all the properties and uses of water that living organisms have no chance of surviving without it. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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