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The Biological importance of water

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The Biological importance of water Water is an essential element to life. Without it there would be no life on this earth. Water is a single molecule made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms (H20). Water molecules are charged (polar), where by the oxygen atom is slightly negative and the hydrogen atoms are positive. These opposite charges attract each other to form hydrogen bonds. Because water is charged water is a very good solvent. This allows many substances to dissolve in it. Substances that dissolve in water are known to be hydrophilic (water loving). Ionic substances such as sodium chloride and many other organic substances such as glucose can dissolve in water. Because water can dissolve many substances, it can act as a transport medium. ...read more.


As water is evaporated in plants (transpiration) and animals (sweating), it extracts heat from around it therefore results in cooling the organism. When water is frozen and its state changes from liquid to solid, the solid state (ice) is less dense than the liquid state so therefore ice floats on water. The ice on top of the water acts as an insulating layer, which allows aquatic life to continue even in freezing conditions. Water molecules are also highly cohesive. Cohesion occurs when water molecules stick together due to their hydrogen bonds. The cohesive property of water is significant in living organisms. For example the cohesion of water allows plants to pull up water through xylem vessels from the roots to the leaves, this is called the transpiration stream. ...read more.


Another property of water is that it is transparent, which means that water allows light to pass through it. This is important in plants because it allows light to enter the chloroplasts in plant cells, which allows photosynthesis to occur. It is also important for the eye so that light can reach the retina in order to see. Water is the medium for many reactions, especially those that occur in cells. Water is key in condensation reactions where water is removed from molecules to bond them together, this occurs with many sugars and carbohydrates. Because of all the properties of water, it makes water the most important substance in our planet. There are no other substances that have properties that are similar to water or share such varied characteristics. Mubashar Ishfaq 1 ...read more.

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An overview of this topic which is quite superficial in places and needs more specific examples.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 20/05/2013

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