Largest organic compouds

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by Chatha, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    Only one person has answered correctly. DNA is by far the largest organic polymer in existence. Nothing else comes close. Let’s take human chromosome 1 (the largest human chromosome but not the largest chromosome in nature) as an example:

    A chromosome is comprised of one continuous double stranded molecule of DNA. The two stands are held together by hydrogen bonding, so each single strand is its own distinct molecule.

    Chromosome 1 has 247,249,719 bases (each strand).

    • Purines (adenine and guanine) have 5 carbon atoms.

    • Pyrimidines (cytosine and thymine) have 4 carbon atoms.

    • Ribose has 5 carbon atoms.

    • Phosphate has no carbons (PO[sub]4[/sub][sup]-[/sup])

    So, let’s use the average of the number of carbons found in purines and pyrimidines for each position in the DNA strand:
    4.5 carbon atoms.

    Each position on the strand is comprised of a base (either purine or pyrimidine), a ribose and a phosphate. These three items together are called a “nucleotide”.

    Total carbons for each nucleotide (base + ribose + phosphate) is:
    4.5 + 5 + 0 = 9.5 carbons.

    Multiply this by the number of nucleotides in chromosome 1........

    9.5 x 247,249,719 = 2,348,872,330 carbons!!!!

    My quick calculation of the complete formula for the DNA molecule in chr1 is:

    C[sub]2348872330[/sub]H[sub]2719746909[/sub]N[sub]741749157[/sub]O[sub]1483498314[/sub]P[sub]247249719[/sub]

    This may be a little off as I have taken averages for the composition of the four nitrogenous bases, but it will be pretty close.
     
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  3. Positron Agony: Not all pain is gain Registered Senior Member

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    Well I would agree DNA is the largest organic molecule but that's something most people know already. I'm still curious as to the Second largest though.
     
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  5. Facial Valued Senior Member

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    DNA is a coded polymer, meaning that it would have monotonous digital properties.

    Just about every other polymer, outside RNA, would carry no information and have a single monotonous analog property.

    A protein is very large, and in general they have non-monotonous, or unique, analog properties.

    It really depends on what functional properties you want to look at.
    If it's all-out biggest, then I would probably say a protein polymer, such as spider silk (I don't know the actual one).
     
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