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The smallest portion of an element found in the periodic chart; examples include carbon, oxygen, gold


An organic molecule produced by a living organism

Chemical bond

A connection made between atoms when electrons are attracted, shared, or transferred

Condensation reaction (or Dehydration synthesis)

A chemical reaction that combines smaller molecules and forms water as a byproduct; the reaction is often used to form polymers

Covalent bond

A chemical bond formed when elements share electrons

Hydrolysis reaction

A chemical reaction between water and another molecule that breaks down the molecule into simpler molecules; the reaction splits a water molecule to break apart a polymer into monomers

Inorganic molecule

A molecule that is not organic; most (but not all) do not include carbon; examples include water (H2O), ammonia (NH3), table salt (NaC1), and carbon dioxide (CO2)


An electricity charged "atom" that has either gained or lost electrons

Ionic bond

A chemical bond formed when elements transfer (donated or accept) electrons

Macromolecules (or macronutrients)

The large biomolecules that make up living organisms; include proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids


A chemical combination of two or more atoms that forms a separate substance; for example, one molecule of water (H2O) is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom


A small molecule that may be chemically bonded to other like molecules to form a polymer

Organic molecules

Carbon-containing molecules that are generally associated with living organisms


A long chain of monomers (small, repeating molecules)


the chemical process of combining monomers to form a polymer; often uses condensation reactions