As you explore each of the different pairs of types of reactions, take note of how the functional groups are changing. Look for similarities and differences between the pair of changes. Record this using the template for a comparative contrastive map – see the overall map idea below. For example, if we wanted to compare physical changes with chemical changes, we could compare and contrast them like this: 

On far left is the heading Physical changes versus chemical changes. There are three boxes in a row. The middle box has a line connecting it to the box on the left and another line connecting it to the box on the right. The box on the left says 'Chemical changes involve atoms combining in new ways to make products with different properties.' The box on the far right says 'Physical changes involve atoms within molecules staying in the same combination, but the molecules are now reorganized'. The box in the middle says 'Both make products that are different from their reactants'.

Common Biochemical Reactions

  1. Dehydration Synthesis and Hydrolysis
  2. Phosphorylation and Hydrolysis
  3. Phosphorylation and Decarboxylation
  4. Oxidation and Reduction

Dehydration Synthesis and Hydrolysis

This first pair of reactions we have already seen in Unit 1, so let’s review by working through some interactives.

  1. Overview – Scroll the page to the last interactive: Building and Breaking Biomolecules: Launch Activity. 
  2. Carbohydrates – Scroll the page to the third interactive: Building and Breaking Carbohydrates: Launch Activity. 
  3. Proteins – Scroll the page to the second interactive: Building and Breaking Proteins: Launch Activity. 
  4. Lipids – Scroll the page to the third interactive: Building and Breaking Fats: Launch Activity. 
  5. Nucleic Acids – Scroll the page to the second interactive: Joining Nucleotides: Launch Activity.

 Please take a look at these information slides to learn about the other reaction types.  You are not limited to this information – use it as a starting point.



Using good details, compare and contrast the pairs of different biochemical reactions. Create your own comparing and contrasting map similar to the one below to show your understanding.

This is a template showing a heading of First Pair of Reaction Types, then a column to describe differences of Anabolism, then a column to describe differences of Catabolism and finally a column to describe similarities between the two.  The pattern is repeated 4 times; one for each pair of reaction type.

Think on…

Energy 4. Describe why it is necessary and efficient to recycle the ADP and inorganic phosphate rather that just release them as waste products.

Between Biochemcial Changes post and this one you should be able to use and connect these words… perhaps a mind map!?!





dehydration synthesis