J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J.C. REVY, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Computer graphics representation of a molecule of glucose, also called dextrose or grape sugar. Saccharides or sugars are comprised of rings of 4 or 5 carbon atoms and one oxygen atom. Attached around the ring are hydroxy (OH) groups. Glucose is a monosaccharide, based on a single ring. Sucrose (ordinary sugar) consists of two rings joined together. Polysaccharides such as starch and cellulose consist of hundreds of glucose rings joined in a chain. Cellulose, the structural material of plants, is one of the most abundant naturally-occurring polymers. Here, the atomic backbone is represented in stick form; spheres represent the relative atomic sizes.
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