Thermodynamics in biology is the study of energy transfer within and between cells, organisms, and their environment, including the underlying chemical reactions.

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A question about the intersection of evolution and thermodynamics

From this 2014 article in Quanta magazine by Natalie Wolchover there is a quote from a physicist with an intriguing idea about evolution: “You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine ...
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143 views

Why isn't the phosphoglycerate kinase reaction of the glycolysis pathway irreversible?

Step 7 of the glycolysis pathway is the conversion of 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate into 3-phosphoglycerate by the action of the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase, resulting in the production of 2 ATP ...
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166 views

What is an irreversible reaction?

There are reactions with large Delta G negative values. Why these reactions are irreversible? As in: out of 10 steps of Glycolysis, 3 are irreversible steps. I need an explanation for why they are ...
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51 views

Why do peas change colour?

I am doing an experiment on preservation of peas. The first notable change to the peas over a period of one week is that they have changed colour from bright green to a dull colour... Why is this ...
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165 views

Doesn't osmosis violate the law of conservation of energy?

Osmosis seems very counter-intuitive to me. I will try to explain my doubt with the following thought experiment: Consider a huge container divided into two by a semi-permeable membrane. We add equal ...
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44 views

When a Lysosome's bonding sites all get bonded to, what is the most resource and energy efficient way to handle the used Lysosome?

Let's say a Lysosome that bonds to a hazardous material to neutralize it has all bonding sites used up. would it be more safe / efficient to excrete the entire Lysosome / hazardous material molecule ...
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1answer
292 views

Why does the hydrolysis of ATP increasing entropy increase the Phosphoryl-­‐transfer Potential?

I am currently taking a biology class. I do not understand this concept. I understand that the electrostatic repulsion of the negative charges, resonance stabilization and hydration stabilization all ...
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3answers
4k views

How do warm-blooded animals keep their temperatures constant?

Warm blooded animals like us keep their temperature constant irrespective of their surroundings. But how do they do that? Energy should be supplied from the inside. I assume that reactions like making ...
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102 views

How to quantitatively measure work done by a biological system?

Thermodynamic efficiency can be expressed as the ratio of Work done(W) to Energy invested (Q). Thermodynamic efficiency= W/Q How can one measure work done by a ...
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What is a coupled reaction and why do cells couple reactions?

I was wondering what exactly a coupled reaction is and why cells couple them. I read the wikipedia article as well as several others, such as life.illinois.edu but I still don't get it. Could ...
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1answer
753 views

How does water buffer a sudden drop in temperature?

A property of water is that it is slow to heat and cool. According to my biology book, some energy from an increase in temperature would spent breaking hydrogen bonds, so that temperature does not ...