What Is the Definition of Metabolism?

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Metabolism refers to all of the chemical reactions that take place inside of organisms to allow life to occur. Learn about the categories of metabolism, such as catabolism and anabolism, with help from a science teacher and field biologist in this free video on biology.

Part of the Video Series: Biology & Organic Chemistry
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Brian with Ericksontutoring.blogspot.com and today we're going to discuss what metabolism actually is. So, metabolism, simply put, are all the chemical reactions that occur inside of organisms, to allow the processes of life to take place. So, it's just chemical reactions inside of an organism. There's two way, or, metabolism is broken down into two subcategories. You have catabolism, which is the breaking apart of molecules to produce energy, so like the breaking down of glucose to produce ATP, which is cellular respiration. And then you also have anabolism, which is using energy to form different molecules. Metabolism often happens in a series of steps called a metabolic pathway. Metabolic pathways usually involve enzymes, and by lumping reactions together, you can regulate them better, and you can also take advantage of enzymes' abilities to reduce activation energies, the energy needed for a reaction to occur. So you can have a whole series of reactions occur, that otherwise might not have been able to occur on their own. So, this has been a brief discussion of metabolism.


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