Q:

What molecule actually does the work of life?

A:

Quick Answer

ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, is the molecule that can be considered to perform the work of life. It is necessary in many cellular and biological processes, including motility, cell division and biosynthetic reactions.

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Full Answer

ATP is a nucleotide that stores its energy in the form of phosphate bonds. To utilize its energy, a cell must break down ATP into ADP. When this occurs, different metabolic reactions take place. Due to the number of reactions that involve ATP, it is often called the universal energy currency for metabolism. Plants and animals produce ATP during the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration, respectively.

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