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Skip Navigation LinksKCC Home > Academic Departments > Biological Sciences > 11New > Webpages > Unit 3, Lesson 5

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Anatomy and Physiology I
Unit 1: Introduction to Human Anatomy and PhysiologyExpand Unit 1: Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology
Unit 2: The Cell and It’s EnvironmentExpand Unit 2: The Cell and It’s Environment
Unit 3: Cellular ChemistryExpand Unit 3: Cellular Chemistry
Unit 4: Biomolecules, Cell Architecture and Cellular Molecular FunctionExpand Unit 4: Biomolecules, Cell  Architecture and Cellular Molecular Function
Unit 5: Tissues, Membranes and GlandsExpand Unit 5: Tissues, Membranes and Glands
Unit 6: Integumentary SystemExpand Unit 6: Integumentary System
Unit 7: Skeletal System
Unit 8: Muscular System
Unit 9: Nervous System Introductory Concepts
Unit 10: The Central Nervous System - The Spinal Cord
Unit 11: The Central Nervous System - The Brain
Unit 12: The Autonomic Nervous System and Smooth Muscle

Lesson 5 - Ions

Student Performance Objectives
1. Define ion, cation and anion.
2. Define ionic bond, and show how an ionic bond forms.
3. Explain the relationship between the words ion, electrolyte, and mineral.
4. Describe a simple experiment to show that ions can carry an electrical current.
5. Explain the importance of unpaired electrons in the chemistry of the human body utilizing
    the terms: free radical and antioxidant.

Lesson Outline
A. Definitions
    1. Ion - charged particles (e.g., atoms or atomic groupings called radicals) having unequal numbers of         protons and electrons.
    2. Cation: examples - Na+, K+, Mg+2, Ca+, H+, OH-.
    3. Anion: examples - Cl-, HCO3-?, HPO4-2, and H2PO4-1
B. Formation through redox reactions (see below, Lesson 8, part B5)) and resultant attraction of
    the oppositely charged ions forming the ionic bond - use Na and Cl as examples. See
     http://www.mikeblaber.org/oldwine/chm1045/notes/Bonding/Ionic/Bond02.htm 
C. Relationship of ions, electrolytes and minerals - an electrolyte is a solution that carries an
    electrical current (such as the body fluids), but in more common usage, electrolytes are the
    most commonly found and most important ions in human body tissues - sodium, potassium,
    calcium, magnesium, chloride, bicarbonate, and the phosphates. In nutritional jargon, the
    commonly found ions/electrolytes are referred to as minerals.
D. DEMONSTRATION: The point is to show the ability of charged particles in a solution, ions,
    to carry an electrical current. Using the "light apparatus" demonstrate the inability of
    distilled water to carry an electrical current and light up the bulb. Then demonstrate the
    inability of a glucose solution, which is unionized in water, to light up the bulb. Then
    demonstrate the ability of a small amount of NaCl to light up the bulb and the ability of
    increasing amounts of NaCl added to the solution to make the bulb light up even more
    intensely.
E. Importance of unpaired electrons in chemical reactivity,
    1. Concept of free radicals and the body's defense against them as the Antioxidant
        defense system. See http://www.healthchecksystems.com/antioxid.htm
        a. Natural generation of free radicals from the cellular energy generating
            organelles - the mitochondria.
        b. Free-radical theory of how we age. See
            http://intelegen.com/nutrients/free_radicals_and_aging_1.htm
        c. Potentially damaging effects of free radicals on DNA, lipids, and proteins.
        d. Antioxidant defense system
            (1) Enzymes - e.g., superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase
            (2) Cofactors - minerals like selenium, zinc, and manganese
            (3) Vitamins like ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and the tocopherols (Vitamin E).
    2. Importance of free radicals in the killing mechanisms of the leucocytes.
    3. Importance of free radicals in the initial origin of life when there were no enzymes for
        catalysis.








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