The Element of Life

Biology Level 2

Carbons are crucial for life to happen. It's complex, yet its functional and flexible structure allows it to form a variety of bonds with different elements. Carbon is supplied by the carbon cycle and can be easily found in nature. Among other reasons, carbon became one of the most important elements in the composition of life as we know. Considering carbon's properties that make it so imporant, which of the mentioned properties below are true?

I. Carbon has 4 valence electrons, which is crucial in its role to make bonds with other elements.

II. Carbon has a positive charge, and that's why it easily combines with negatively charged oxygen atoms to make, for example, \(CO_{2}\) (carbon dioxide) and \(CO_{2}H\) (carboxyl).

III. Carbon is usually found in nature combined with one or more of these following elements: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sodium.

IV. Carbon's importance is due to it's 4 valence electrons, however, if it did not occur in nature, it could be easily substituted by another elements such as silicon, which also has 4 valence electrons.

V. Every organic compound has a carbon, but not every carbon containing compound is organic.


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