The chemical basis of life: inorganic and organic components
If we analyze each of the different types of living beings, we will find that living matter is made up of about seventy elements. These elements found in living matter are called bioelements or biogenic elements (of bios, life, and genos, origin).
These bioelements will combine to give rise to biomolecules or immediate principles.
The bioelementos can be classified by their contribution to the total mass of the body into three groups: the primary bioelements, the secondary bioelements and trace elements.
- The primary bioelements. They are essential for the formation of organic biomolecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids), which are the molecules that make up all living beings. Biomolecules are also called immediate principles because they constitute, without intermediaries, living matter, and that is why they can be extracted from it by physical procedures (dissolution, evaporation, decantation, etc.). They are a group of six elements, which constitute 96% of all living matter. They are oxygen (O), carbon (C), hydrogen (H), nitrogen (N), and to a lesser extent, phosphorus (P) and sulfur (S).