What Exactly Is A Macromolecule
- Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
- B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College
In chemistry and biology, a macromolecule is defined as a molecule with a very large number of atoms. Macromolecules typically have more than 100 component atoms. Macromolecules exhibit very different properties from smaller molecules, including their subunits, when applicable.
In contrast, a micromolecule is a molecule which has a small size and molecular weight.
The term macromolecule was coined by Nobel laureate Hermann Staudinger in the 1920s. At the time, the term “polymer” had a different meaning than it does today, or else it might have become the preferred word.
Examples Of Root Words Starting With Macro
- Macrophage The word is derived from Greek, makro and phagein . A macrophage is a large, specialized cell of the immune system. These cells have the ability to recognize, engulf and destroy foreign pathogens.
- MacromoleculeA macromolecule is a large complex molecule that consists of thousands of atoms. In biology, there are four major macromolecules important for life they are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids.
- Macrocephaly Macrocephaly is a condition where an individual possesses an overly large head. Clinically, it is defined as the circumference of the head more than two standard deviations above the mean value for a given gender and age group. It is usually a symptom of other underlying conditions.
- Macrocytic Macrocytic is a term used to denote an abnormally large cell. The term is often used to describe blood cells for example macrocytic anaemia.
- MacronucleusA macronucleus is a large type of nucleus usually found in organisms such as Paramecium. This cell organelle usually controls all the functions of the cell excluding reproduction.
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Properties Of Matter: Macro To Nano Scale
Through a series of video and hands-on demonstrations, students explore and discuss how certain properties of matter change at the nanoscale.
5 Videos, 2 PDFs
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1. Activate students prior knowledge about properties of matter and the nanoscale.
Ask: What is a property of matter? Elicit from students that properties of matter are the characteristics that determine how different types of matter behave. Unique combinations of properties make them similar to or different from other types of matter. Ask: What are some examples?
Introduce the properties that will be the focus of the demonstrations by writing them on the board: color, visible light, reactivity, surface area to volume ratio, and surface tension. As a class, briefly discuss what each property means. Explain that its okay if students dont fully understand the properties yet. They will learn more about them throughout the activity. Write the term nanoscale on the board and have student pairs discuss what they think the term means. Then, as a class, ask students to share aloud some of their ideas. Encourage students to break the term down into its root words, nano and scale. Address any incorrect responses and make sure they understand that nanoscale has something to do with measurement.
2. Have students view and discuss the NISE Net video, Intro to Nano.
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Outside Examples Of Macro Vs Micro
- They deepen my empathy for individuals without requiring me to think about the macro, which can be paralyzing. The New York Times
- Youll learn the importance of keeping track of your macronutrients or macros , as well as food pairing and moderation. Chicago Tribune
- That machine wasnt an option because it scatters micro-droplets and could spread the coronavirus. Los Angeles Times
- The D.C. government led the relief effort with a $25 million micro-grant program that allows freelance artists to apply, and the $2.2 trillion federal stimulus includes changes to unemployment benefits that will help performing artists who are seeing future work disappear. Houston Chronicle
Sequence Comparisons Lead To Structural Functional And Evolutionary Insights
Much valuable comparative sequence information awaits us as the data accumulate and as analytic methods become more reliable and informative. Already, one can do much using the data bases to help interpret any DNA sequence plucked more or less at random from a genome. The patterns of sequence in the regions that code for the amino acid chains of proteins differ enough from the noncoding regions that the former can usually be identified. For example, we know about types of sequences that are required for efficient synthesis of proteins in many different types of organisms. We know about some general types of control elements for certain genes important in developmental pattern formation or in an organism’s response to environmental stress.
Many proteins with related functions have probably evolved from common ancestors. Thus receptorsproteins designed to sit at the Cell surface and detect the environmentmay represent one or more fundamental families of structures and sequences. For example, the sequence of the beta-adrenergic receptor, which binds the hormone adrenalin, and the sequence for rhodopsin, which detects light, are sufficiently similar that we can tell both were once related through a common progenitor. In the same way, proteases often resemble other proteases and structural proteins resemble other structural proteins.
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A Technical Breakthrough Promises Information About Dynamic Processes In The Function Of Proteins
The massive electron-storage rings that physicists use to probe the fundamental components of matter also emit x-ray beams high in power. These synchrotron x-ray sources have recently been used to study large biological molecules. The beams of x-rays are thousands of times as strong as those from conventional laboratory x-ray sources, reducing x-ray data-collection time from months to hours. An experimental breakthrough in the application of multiple-wavelength x-ray diffraction now provides exposure times of milliseconds. The biochemical events on the surface of a protein can therefore be studied by a series of snapshots of the structure every few milliseconds. This should allow the sequence of events that constitute a chemical reaction or protein conformational change to be understood in atomic detail. Examining the dynamics of fundamental biological reactions will deepen our understanding of how proteins work, provide insight into normal functions, and raise the possibility of understanding abnormal functioning in disease.
The Dna Sequences Of Entire Genomes Of Some Simple Organisms Will
The explosion in sequence data has just begun. DNA sequencing is far easier than protein sequencing, and the tools already available for cloning and efficient sequencing of 500-base-pair blocks of DNA will ensure that the current stream of new sequence data will become a torrent.
The ultimate target would be to determine the sequence of all the DNA in an organism, that is, to sequence an entire genome. Genomes range in size from 750,000 base pairs to more than 3 billion base pairs.
Such large-scale sequencing programs are feasible by today’s technology, but they are expensive in both manpower and actual dollar cost. Automated DNA sequencing techniques have begun to be developed, which should markedly diminish manpower requirements and decrease costs. It now seems likely that in the next few decades we will determine the complete DNA sequence of the bacterium Escherichia coil, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the human genome, the fruitfly Drosophila, the mouse genome, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, and possibly even a number of plant and other bacterial and yeast genomes. The resulting information will stimulate future generations of biologists as they explore the functions of the tens of thousands of genes that will be revealed for the first time by such sequencing programs.
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Genetically Engineered Proteins Reveal Much About How Proteins Function
The use of site-directed protein modification offers great promise for answering some of the fundamental questions in contemporary biology. For example cell-surface receptors must migrate throughout the cell from one organelle to another, moving from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi complex to the plasma membrane . Once inside a coated pit, these proteins are taken inside the cell in a coated vesicle and then recycled back to the cell surface in a recycling vesicle. All of these movements seem to be dictated by signals contained within the structure of the protein itself. What are these targeting signals? Are they simply short, continuous stretches of amino acids or are they determined by the three-dimensional structure of the protein? Are protein modifications, such as phosphorylation or fatty acylation of the protein, required for any of these targeting signals?
The use of chimeric proteins has made it possible to define the functions of linear sequences responsible for protein translocation into the endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, and nucleus. However, signals that are defined by noncontinuous amino acid sequences are more difficult to define functionally with chimeric proteins. Incorrect protein folding becomes a major obstacle when the function of an internal sequence or domain is examined by this approach.
Examples Of Macronutrient In A Sentence
macronutrient Good HousekeepingmacronutrientForbesmacronutrient Good Housekeepingmacronutrient Popular Sciencemacronutrient The Indianapolis StarOutdoor LifemacronutrientsGood Housekeepingmacronutrient Popular Science
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘macronutrient.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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The Protein Data Bank Is An Rich Resource For Predicting Structure
In the ad hoc approaches, the protein data bank is searched for patterns and statistical correlations. For example, probabilities based on the occurrence of each amino acid in various types of secondary structure differ and can, in turn, be used predictively to estimate probable regions of alpha helix, beta strand, and beta turn structures in any sequence. In parallel efforts, combinatorial algorithms aimed at packing assigned secondary structures into supersecondary and larger tertiary units have been developed. Most recently, combinations of such secondary and tertiary prediction schemes that show great promise in providing probable domain structures have been worked out. Whether the resulting models are close enough to converge to the native structure through molecular dynamic or energy minimization procedures is not yet known. Although all ad hoc approaches are implicity based on the underlying chemistry through the use of known structures, only a few explicity refer to these properties in the algorithm itself.
Rna Structure Is An More Challenging Area Of Research
The structure of RNA has been even more difficult to deal with than that of proteins and DNA. Only the smallest class, transfer RNA, has yielded any solved crystal structures. All the transfer RNAs turn out to be similar L-shaped molecules. This similarity is reflected in the cloverleaf model for secondary structure, originally derived by searching for similar base pairing possibilities within the single chains. Although no other RNA structures are yet available through diffraction procedures, the extensive use of sequence data and sequence homology has led to a large array of secondary structure predictions that will almost certainly be retained in the three-dimensional structures eventually determined. Nuclear magnetic resonance is starting to provide a substantial amount of structural information on RNAs, but diffraction-quality crystals would be enormously useful.
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Advances In Computation Will Revolutionize The Study Of Molecular Structure And Function
Improved methods are needed for collecting and transmitting DNA sequences including a single, international data base. Improved methods are also needed for extracting more biological information directly from sequence data. We must ensure that continuing advances in computer science are made available, rapidly and broadly, to the field of structural biology.
More accurate protein folding calculations must be developed, including better methods for refining x-ray structures and improved semiempirical methods based on the ever-increasing data base of structures. In addition, uniform, inexpensive devices to display three-dimensional structures are needed so that, ultimately, every biologist can view any known structure directly and accurately.
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance And X
NMR and x-ray diffraction provide both overlapping and distinct information about molecules. Recently, the chain-folding of a small protein was determined from an analysis of interatomic distances provided by NMR. X-ray diffraction simultaneously verified the structure, confirming as a side benefit that the structure of a protein in solution as seen by NMR is the same as that in a crystal as seen by x-ray diffraction. We can now confidently predict that NMR will make it possible to determine a series of structures of small proteins in solution.
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What Does Macrocell Mean
A macrocell is a cell used in cellular networks with the function of providing radio coverage to a large area of mobile network access. A macrocell differs from a microcell by offering a larger coverage area and high-efficiency output. The macrocell is placed on stations where the output power is higher, usually in a range of tens of watts.
Examples Of Macro In A Sentence
macro San Antonio Express-Newsmacro Forbesmacro Voguemacro Varietymacro Forbesmacro Forbesmacro clevelandmacro Star Tribunemacro WSJmacro Forbesmacro San Francisco Chroniclemacro BGRmacroForbesmacroForbesmacroDallas NewsmacroRobb Report
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘macro.’ Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Much Remains To Be Learned About The Structures Of Carbohydrates
Significant by its absence in the above discussion is any mention of the three-dimensional structure of polysaccharides . As mentioned earlier, these substances have been particularly intransigent in yielding high-resolution structural data. Only the smallest compounds have provided truly crystalline material. Most studies have been chemical or spectroscopic. In view of their unquestioned biological importance, much greater effort on the three-dimensional structure of this class of polymers is indicated. We do not even know whether such molecules have unique three-dimensional structures.
We Can Now Design And Construct New Molecular Machines
Until recently, the experimental strategies available to structural biology were largely limited to examining naturally occurring biological structures. Testing specific hypotheses by altering structures was limited to observing naturally occurring biological variants when they could be identified, as in the numerous mutant hemoglobins. This approach is limited in having no systematic way to search for a particular desired variant. Furthermore, one was restricted to those variants that had no lethal consequences for the organism and variants that had a significant chance of arising by natural biological mutation or evolution.
The development of recombinant DNA technology has dramatically altered our study of the structure and function of proteins. The major breakthrough lies in our new ability to modify or synthesize de novo genes that, when introduced into cells, direct the synthesis of modified or new protein molecules. What was only a fantasy a few years ago is today a routine procedure: We can produce protein molecules of any desired sequence. We can produce altered proteins in bacteria, yeast, or plant or animal tissue-culture cells, which makes it possible to isolate large enough quantities for structural and functional studies. In addition we can produce the altered proteins in vivo in transgenic animals to gauge the effect of the altered protein on complex biological processes.
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Crystallization Of The Sample Is Still An Major Hurdle
The major obstacle to the structural analysis of molecular assemblies has been and will continue to be in preparing suitable crystals. The growth of two-dimensional crystals has become a key aspect of electron microscopic structure determination, and new general approaches are urgently needed. Thus, the lipid-layer crystallization technique , if successfully developed, would play a critical role. The difficulties encountered in three-dimensional crystallization, as needed for highresolution x-ray analysis, will depend on the type of assembly in question. With membrane complexes, the crystals must be grown from precise mixtures of detergents, amphiphiles , protein, and lipid the process of crystallization has an additional dimension compared with that of soluble proteins. A major difficulty at present, therefore, is in obtaining sufficient commitments of financing and time to support such crystallization efforts. The first such crystallizations were carried out only after many years of trials in Europe, where the support of science can maintain a constant effort in a high-risk, long-term endeavor. Because risks have been demonstrably reduced, considerable weight must be given to early successes in growing crystals of sufficient quality for high-resolution analyses.
How To Use Macro In A Sentence
Macro definition: As mentioned, the word macro means large, or more precisely, something that is large-scale.
The interesting thing about the word macro is that is it a combining form. In other words, it is often combined with another one to form a more precise word. For example: macro + economics = macroeconomics.
- The women attended college to study macro-biology.
- As he looked toward the night skies, the scientist pondered the macrocosm.
The word macro also functions as an adjective, meaning large, thick or exceptionally prominent.
- The professional photographer used a macro lens to capture close-up images.
When combining the term macro to another compound, often, there is an opposite corresponding compound, using the word micro.
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When To Use Macro
What does macro mean? Macro is a common English prefix. It one describes something that is larger relative to its unmodified noun.
A macro can also refer to a type of digital image,a set of computer instructions, or a very close-up photograph.
Here are some examples,
- Macroeconomics deals with large-scale economic activity.
- Most Internet memes are simply macro images with ironic or clever commentary.
- You can use macroinstructions to automate complex or time-consuming programming segments.
- On the macro level, you can see the grand silhouettes of distant old trees, especially when their tracery is revealed before the seasons pale yellow skies. The Washington Post
Unlike micro-, macro- is not a unit of division in the metric system.