All objects, whether living or
nonliving, are made of matter. Matter is anything that has mass and
occupies space. In the past, the structure and transformation of
matter was mainly of interest to chemists, not biologists.
However, the boundary between
chemistry and biology has been blurred over the past few decades, as
advances in biology have come about through careful study of the
molecular and atomic nature of life and living systems. In other
words, we have to understand some basic chemistry in order to fully
understand important ideas in biology.
We'll learn about the major and
trace elements of life and the states in which they can exist. We'll
also explore basic ideas about how atoms connect and how molecules
interact and react.