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And Properties of Water That Make It Important in Biology

  • Date Submitted: 02/14/2011 05:21 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.7 
  • Words: 396
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Biology is the study of living things and water constitutes a major and important component of organisms(   about 50% of their weight ). The polar nature and formation of hydrogen bonds between water molecules or with other substances give water some of its unique properties. For example water floats and compared to other liquids, water is an excellent solvent making it ideal for biochemical reactions. The energy changes that accompany water transition from solid to liquid to gas (vapor) are significant for living organisms etc..
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Hydrogen bonding between water molecules   in liquid water is the basis of   cohesive property/strength   and of water. The cohesion of water molecules permit liquid water to rise to great heights in narrow columns for example water stretching from roots to leaves of trees more than 100metres high. Hydrogen bonds between water molecules is also the basis of the high surface tension of water. The surface of water is difficult to break and small organisms like insects can walk on water.

Ionization of water produces negatively charged hydroxide ions (OH-) and positively charged hydrogen ions ( H + )participate in many important chemical reactions. These ions also influence acid-base balance in organisms. Some substances release H+   when they dissolve in water.   The H+ can attach to other molecules in organisms and change their properties.

Water is sometimes called the ‘ universal solvent’; it dissolves a great variety of substances than any other liquid. Substances such as simple sugars and alcohols dissolve due to hydrogen bonding between polar groups e.g –OH in their molecules and polar water molecules
Water has a high heat   capacity and this property help make water a moderator of temperature changes. Ice requires a lot of   heat energy to melt because hydrogen bonds must be broken in order for water to change from solid to liquid. Also in freezing a great deal of energy is lost when water is transformed from...


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