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Radiant Dielectric Aether Field Energy

22 October 2007

Biopolymer versus polymers

A major but defining difference between polymers and biopolymers can be found in their structures. Polymers, including biopolymers, are made of repetitive units called monomers. Biopolymers inherently have a well defined structure: The exact chemical composition and the sequence in which these units are arranged is called the primary structure. Many biopolymers spontaneously fold into characteristic compact shapes (see also "protein folding" as well as secondary structure and tertiary structure), which determine their biological functions and depend in a complicated way on their primary structures. Structural biology is the study of the structural properties of the biopolymers. In contrast most synthetic polymers have much simpler and more random (or statistic) structures. This fact leads to a molecular mass distribution that is missing in biopolymers. In fact, as their synthesis is controlled by a template directed process in most in vivo systems all biopolymers of a type (say one specific protein) are all alike: they all contain the same sequence and number of monomers and thus all have the same mass. This phenomenon is called monodispersity in contrast to the polydispersity encountered in polymers. As a result biopolymers have a polydispersity index of 1.

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