|MadSci Network: Biochemistry|
To answer this question we just need to look at the words and consider their meaning. ANAEROBIC, well I'm sure you know the word AEROBIC which means involving or in the presence of oxygen. The AN part of ANAEROBIC simply means without, therefore ANAEROBIC means without or not involving oxygen. Now for RESPIRATION. This is an energy conserving process inside cells. It is the way we take the energy in the chemicals bonds of the foods we eat. To do this, we convert the energy into a form we can use. Inside the body this is principally ATP and NADH. So how do we define RESPIRATION? Well technically its where in a series of reactions electrons are taken from a molecule that are at high energy. They are passed through a system and ultimately are combined with oxygen and 2 hydrogen nuclei (protons) to form water (AEROBIC see the oxygen here). So let's put the 2 words together. ANBAEROBIC RESPIRATION is where electrons are moved from 1 chemical to another and in the process we make ATP but in the absence of oxygen. So where do those electrons end up? Well instead of oxygen getting them at the end another chemical such as nitrate receives them and is converted to nitrite. This occurs inside your intestines, in the soils and many places where oxygen is absent but food is rich.
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