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Metabolism for Energy and the Respiratory Quotient

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

University of Tennessee Knoxville

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This module introduces the respiratory quotient in the context of understanding how metabolism is affected by environmental conditions. It is intended for an introductory biology audience.

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 15 Feb 2019 doi:10.25334/Q4XT81 - cite this


Student Introduction: Animal cells obtain energy in the form of ATP by oxidizing food molecules through the process of respiration. The hydrolysis of ATP supplies energy needed for cellular processes, such as the transport of molecules or cellular movement. Carbohydrates and fatty acids are the most important fuels for generating ATP in animal cells. Respiration in animal cells depends on oxygen. Electrons from the chemical bonds of the fuel source combine with oxygen and hydrogen ions to form water and carbon dioxide. Cells couple this reaction to the production of ATP.

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