chapter  8
20 Pages

- The Most Important Molecule: Electro-Statistics of Water

You already know that water is essential to life, and here we will explain some of the molecular-level behavior underlying that role.

Water is not just essential, it’s ubiquitous. To a good approximation, biochemistry is chemistry in an aqueous environment. Water plays a key “structural” role in both the general folding of proteins and in specific details of protein structures themselves. Besides its role in driving protein folding and stability, the hydrophobic effect also provides the cells with stable membranes to compartmentalize various functions. Water’s remarkable properties arise from its electrostatic character in a fluctuating thermal environment-from “electro-statistics.”