The Roles of ATP

ATP, or Adenosine triphosphate, is an organic chemical compound that has a strong chemical bond which acts as an energy fuel, it isn’t a long term energy store as the bond is quite unstable so when ATP is made it is used almost immediately, when this bond is broken it releases chemical energy which can be used straight away for many functions, it is considered in biology to be the currency of life.  This energy gets released when a phosphate is broken off, you can get a small energy release from one phosphate leaving the ATP; when one leaves you get ADP. The ADP can then be recharged back to being ATP in the mitochondria of our cells, using respiration; this is how we get energy from food.  ATP can also give up bigger amounts of energy if it is needed, when it gives up two phosphates, leaving AMP. ATP has many roles because it is the primary source of energy in living things , we use it in our  body to contract muscles for movement, for active transport, it even lights up fireflies, it powers almost every activity that goes on in our cells. As far as it is known every living thing uses ATP as its primary source of energy, from bacteria to plants. At any instant in time a cell in the human body can contain about one billion ATP molecules, but this amount is used up quite quickly and is normally recycled straight away in the mitochondria where chemiosmotic phosphorylation occurs.

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One way that ATP is used is for muscle contractions, when you are running, walking, even me typing this essay, your body is using ATP to move muscles for movement, but not only movement, but it isn’t only used for skeletal muscle contractions, but also cardiac muscles, responsible for blood transport and the smooth muscle, used to contract blood vessels as well as the gastrointestinal tract, which moves our food along our intestines. ATP is also used on a cellular level, in bacteria it is used for the movement of flagella so the cells can move about. ATP is ...

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The basic building blocks of a nice essay are here, but this could be much better. The student spends a lot of time discussing ways in which ATP is used. Including biological examples is really important, but here the student has spent too much time on things not on the syllabus, and missed out some important points that he could have discussed. (E.g. with respect to the muscles, he could talk about the role of myosin and actin in the muscle fibres). He could also include more detail about active transport in the neurones. The essay contains no mention of ATP as a signalling molecule (and the role of cyclic AMP in glycogen metabolism). These things are on the syllabus, so should be mentioned preferentially if space / time is an issue. This *** essay could be improved by: 1. Writing more clearly in shorter sentences to make it easier to read. 2. Including definitions of technical terms. 3. Using references for the biological aspects and also the diagram. 4. Providing more detail in the sections that come from the syllabus.