BIO 181 Lecture 4.2

Lecture 4.2: Introduction to Metabolism


Human beings are walking, talking biochemical reactors. We are part of this universe. We cannot, therefore, violate the laws that govern this universe. Among these inviolable proscriptions are the laws of thermodynamics, which ban certain things like perpetual motion machines and either de novo production or destruction of energy (at our scale). But, what is energy? Here we explore that concept and begin to see how it governs all of our metabolism. It must be conserved, and when a system, like our bodies, use it, we lose the ability to use all of it a second time.


  1. Read Section 8.1 of the textbook.
  2. Download Lecture 4.2 slides.
  3. Do one of the following:
    1. In-person section: Attend Lecture 4.2.
    2. Online section: Complete the following activities:
      1. Watch video 4.2.1, Introduction to Thermodynamics for Biology.
      2. Read Section 8.2 of the textbook.
      3. Watch video 4.2.2, Metabolic Energy Transfer.
  4. Complete the questions on Study Guide 4.2.


After completing the activities, log into Canvas, launch BIO 181 and complete Lecture 4.2 Quiz.

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