The Biological Significance Of The Properties Of Water Essay

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The Biological Significance Of The Properties Of Water

The human body 15% lipids, 12% proteins but by far the biggest % is water which makes up a massive 70% of the human body. This is the equivalent of 49kg in an average male adult human of mass 70kg. This is a good indication of just how important water is in the human life. Without water we would not be able to life and Earth is therefore the only planet in this galaxy with life as we know it except for Mars where ice has been discovered so water may have been present once.

Water is a polar molecule, meaning that it has a positive and a negative pole. This is due to the fact that the water is an oxygen atom covalently bonded to 2 separate
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It is this cohesion that allows water to travel up tree trunks to the highest branches on trees, if the cohesion was weaker the water would simply flow back down the xylem vessels due to gravity, therefore without this property of water tall trees and plants would die.

This cohesion of the water creates a surface tension on the surface of water in for example, a pond. In a pond small insects such as pond skaters which are relatively dense can float on the water and live on the surface of the water. Without the tension such organisms would have no habitat and would die.

Water also acts as a good temperature buffer to stabilise experiments within cells. Due to the hydrogen bonds produced bonds between the water molecules water is given the following properties relating to heat and temperature :-

1. Relatively high heat capacity

2. Relatively large latent heat of vaporisation

3. Relatively large latent heat of fusion

These three properties are very similar and basically mean that a relatively large amount of energy required to change the temperature or state of water. The specific heat capacity of water is 4184J/kg, over 40 times that of sodium chloride. This means that a lot of energy is required to change the temperature of water and it is that fact that makes this property very useful in enzyme action. Enzymes in
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