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The function of water in living cells - Essay Example

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Water is one of the most indispensable substances to life.The importance of water to living cells can never be overstated because of its ability to sustain life through its various properties.This paper will take a closer look at the functions of water in living cells concentrating on its interaction will other molecules inside it.
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The function of water in living cells
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03 January 2008 The Function of Water in Living Cells Water is one of the most indispensable substances to life. The importance of water to living cells can never be overstated because of its ability to sustain life through its various properties. This paper will take a closer look at the functions of water in living cells concentrating on its interaction will other molecules inside it.
Generally speaking, water is the most abundant component of living organisms. For most animal and plant cells, water accounts for the 70-90% of their compositions. The lowest cases are that of seeds which are 20% water while the most extreme is the jellyfish which is 99% water. The significance of water in organisms is highlighted not just in its abundance in living cells but by the functions that it carries out. It should be noted that water plays a pivotal role in cell metabolism as well as in catabolism like the process of photosynthesis. These functions are made possible by the polarity of water which hastens the ionization of substance and compounds whether they are bind by ionic and covalent bonds. Most processes in the living cell require the solution of solute into a solvent and the abundance of water in the cell allows it to mostly serve as a solution utilizing its efficiency and polarity.
Protein which comprises the various parts of the livings is supported by water. It should be noted that for the "three dimensional structure and activity" of the protein, hydration is important for without it protein's activity will be restricted. According to Chaplin, "Hydration also affects the reactions and interactions of coenzymes and cofactors; thus, the various redox potentials (and hence whether they oxidise or reduce) of some iron-sulfur proteins are accounted for by differential hydration rather than direct protein binding effects."
In the case of nucleic acids, water plays a pivotal role in their conformation and utility. It should be noted that B-DNA requires to have 30% of water in its weight in order to "maintain its native confrontation in the crystalline state." Lack of water in this case will not enable nucleic acids to carry out their roles in the living cells.
Water has been counted for support by both animal and plant cell. It should be noted that the process of osmosis which makes fills the plants cells with water will not cause any bursting because of the exertion of the cell wall of an equal force. This is called turgidity which provides support in the leaves of plants. Osmosis is important because it influences the distribution of nutrients and excretion of waste products in living cells. In animal cells, water provides support specifically those without an outside skeleton. An earthworm, for example depends on the fluid (which in this case is mostly water) inside it for support.
Water is truly indispensible to life. This paper shows that water's polarity and ability to support plant and animal cells together with its facilitation of the functioning of protein and nucleic acids becomes the key to existence.

References
Chaplin, M. 2007, Water Structure and Science. London South Bank University. Retrieved 4 January 2008, from http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/protein.html
Chaplin, M. 2007, Water Structure and Science. London South Bank University. Retrieved 4 January 2008, http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/nucleic.html
The Importance of Water in Living Organisms. Planet Papers. Retrieved January 4, 2008, from http://www.planetpapers.com/Assets/2366.php Read More
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