Natural Exam Essay Minimum 2500 Words

Notes: Although there is a minimum word count of 2500 words for the entire exam (about 625 words or more per question), you will find that it is likely going to require more than the minimum to fully answer the questions. You may not copy or quote from any source. All information must be re-written in your own words.

Question 1: Membranes

Membranes are the primary structural elements of cells and, more than any other structure, provide the integrity of what makes a cell a cell. Discuss the structure of membranes, their role in compartmentalization, and the mechanisms by which some molecules are excluded and others are allowed to enter the cell. Include in your answer:

a. the reasons that molecules would be excluded from passage across a membrane and how membranes are used to compartmentalize the cell

b. the mechanisms by which some molecules are allowed passage across the membrane

c. how molecules are transported into a cell against their concentration gradients

Question 2: Enzymes, Metabolic Pathways and Bioenergetics

Describe the production of pyruvate from glucose and the net increase of ATP during glycolysis. Include in your answer:

a. the structure of proteins and the particular nature of proteins important to enzyme action and the roles of coenzymes, cofactors and allosteric regulators

b. a description of coupled reactions that drive metabolic pathways and the general reasons why some molecules are unstable while others are stable

c. a description of the structure of ATP, the reasons for which it is unstable, and the role(s) of the phosphate group once transferred to another molecule

Question 3: Electron Transport Chains

Electron transport chains found in chloroplasts and mitochondria are central to photosynthesis and respiration for powering most life. Describe the electron transport chains of photosynthesis and respiration and their functions in using light to transform stable molecules into unstable molecules (photosynthesis) and using these unstable molecules to fuel cells (respiration). Include in your answer:

a. the special properties of chlorophyll and ATP synthase

b. the sequences of events in both photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport chains from the sources to the sinks

c. the overall function of each electron transport chain that drives the chemical pathways each serves

Question 4: Photosynthesis

Describe the structure of the chloroplast and the mechanisms of photosynthesis. Include in your answer:

a. the structure and function of the different compartments and membranes of the chloroplast

b. the role of light in the photosynthetic process (photolysis and photophosphorylation)

c. the synthesis of sugars from carbon dioxide and the products of photophosphorylation (photosynthetic carbon reduction cycle)

d. a comparison of C-3 and C-4 plants and adaptations of C-4 plants for tropical and desert habitats

References Immediately following the essay, two lines below the last line of your last answer (do not skip to a following page), list all sources used in writing your essay to answer the question. Do not use in-text citations and do not use footnotes. Simply list your sources in this “References” section. You must have a References section with at least five references which you have used in preparing your answers

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