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Maintaining Cellular Conditions: pH and Buffers

Author(s): Lou Gross1, Monica Beals1, Susan Harrell1

University of Tennessee Knoxville

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This module introduces the chemical reactions related to pH in the context of understanding how acidity can affect both the structure and chemical reactivity of cellular molecules. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

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Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q4JM9X - cite this


Student Introduction: Water is the universal solvent inside all cells and extracellular fluids. Water molecules (H2O) can dissociate into hydroxide ions (OH-) and hydrogen ions (H+). Other molecules or parts of molecules have the ability to either give up hydrogen ions, acids, or accept hydrogen ions, bases. Consequently, we can characterize any aqueous solution by the concentration of positively charged hydrogen ions and negatively charged hydroxide ions.

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