Biology as Poetry: Organic Chemistry

Bacteriophage Ecology Group


Organic molecule for which a carbonyl group is bound to a non-end carbon.

As all sugars possess carbonyl groups (as seen in their linear form), many sugars – called ketoses – are ketones. Contrast aldoses which instead are aldehedydes.

During fatty acid catabolism ketones are produced, so-called ketone bodies.

Ketones are constituents of numerous other biomolecules. When inspecting a molecular structure, look for C=O, which is a carbonyl group, where the carbon atom to which the oxygen is found is a middle carbon, i.e., C-C'-C, where the middle carbon is indicated with the prime ('). Note as a caveat that carbons are not always explicitly shown in representations of organic compounds.

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