Cellular respiration

Life depends on the transfer of energy. ATP is an important source of energy for biological processes. Energy is transferred from molecules such as glucose, to an intermediate energy source, ATP.

ATP is a reservoir of potential chemical energy and acts as a common intermediate in metabolism, linking energy requiring and energy yielding reactions. Students need to know the structure of ATP, its uses and its role in biological processes.

For core and further science concepts, students will need to understand how substrate molecules such as glucose are broken down in cells to yield energy in the form of ATP, and how this involves both oxidation and reduction reactions. For the occupational area of laboratory science, a more detailed understanding of the biochemical pathways involved in each stage of aerobic respiration is required, including glycolysis, link reaction, Kreb’s cycle and the electron transport chain. Students studying this occupational area will also need to understand the main activities and outputs of beta-oxidation and the role of beta-oxidation in aerobic respiration when an alternative initial substrate such as fat is used.

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