The Polarity of Water

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Why is the polar nature of a water molecule important to living organisms? Answer: The polarity of water allows two important things to happen (or not happen) in living organisms for survival. -First, since water is polar, it has an unequal distribution of charge. This means that water molecules are slightly positive and negative. This quality is important because that makes water a good solvent (it can dissolve many things). Other polar compounds and ions can easily be dissolved in water because polar + polar = even distribution of charge, and ions have a charge, so it's attracted to the opposite charge on the water molecule. The ability of water to dissolve many solutions is essential in organisms. In the bloodstream, for example, sugars and other nutrients are dissolved so that the blood cells can carry it to cells in the body. If sugars weren't dissolved, they couldn't reach cells. -Second, the polarity of water is important in repelling nonpolar compounds. Nonpolar compounds don't dissolve well in water (like how oil, a nonpolar solution, forms "beads" in water). This is important to cell membranes in the body. The shape and function of cell membranes depend on the interaction of polar water with nonpolar membrane molecules. What type of chemical bonding does water have? Answer: The atoms in water molecules are connected via covalent bonds, which means the hydrogen and oxygen share electrons (rather than taking electrons from each other as in in ionic bonds). The covalent bonds in water are very polar, which means that the oxygen has a partial negative charge and the hydrogens have partial positive charges. Because it is so polar, water can form hydrogen bonds, where the oxygen from one molecule of water has a strong attraction to the hydrogen atoms in another molecule of water. These H-bonds are strong compared to other intermolecular
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