Water

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Water
The chemical formula of water is H2O. This means two hydrogen atoms are joined to one oxygen atom to make up each molecule of water. The two electrons in each oxygen-hydrogen bond are not shared equally. They are more strongly attracted to the oxygen atom, making it a polar molecule. One of the most important results of this charge separation is that water forms hydrogen bonds. The slightly negative oxygen atom of one water molecule will attract to the slightly positive hydrogen atoms of other water molecules in a weak electrostatic attraction called a hydrogen bond. This means that the molecules of water will ‘stick together’ more than you otherwise might expect, because although each individual hydrogen bond is weak, there are a great number of them. Water also has relatively high melting and boiling points compared with other substances that have molecules of a similar size. This is because it takes more energy to overcome the attractive forces of the numerous hydrogen bonds. Water is a liquid and so cannot be compressed. This incompressibility means it is an important factor in many hydraulic mechanisms in living organisms.

One of the major functions of water in living organism is its use as a solvent. Water is a Polar solvent and is thus slightly ionised meaning other polar molecules such as salts, sugars and amino acids will dissolve readily in water. This allows water to be used for the transportation of such substances in the bloodstream of animals and the xylem and phloem vessels found in plants. Water can be used in this way to transport many substances: nutrients, excretory products, hormones and digestive juices, can all be transported by using water as a solvent. Molecules such as starch and glycogen which are hydrophobic are not soluble and therefore are ideal for storage.

The fact that water has an unusually…...

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