Why is water essential for Life to exist on Earth? We are about 60% water – and there are some organisms that are as much as 90% water! What is so important about water? How does it support life?
In this video, we discuss the special properties of water that make it the “Solvent of Life.” Chief among these properties is the extensive Hydrogen Bonding between water molecules that make water an extremely cohesive liquid (the molecules stick together). Due to the extensive hydrogen bonding, water has some emergent properties that impact life on Earth in many ways. These include:
High surface tension
High specific heat
High heat of vaporization
Ice Floats (Ice is less dense as a solid than liquid water)
For each of these properties, we discuss how they impact living creatures on Earth.
Our series on Biology is aimed at the first-year college level, including pre-med students. These videos should also be helpful for students in challenging high school biology courses. Perfect for preparing for the AP Biology exam or the Biology SAT. Also appropriate for advanced homeschoolers. You can also follow along if you are just curious, and would like to know more about this fascinating subject.
Our current biology textbook recommendation is Campbell Biology from Pearson.
10th edition Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2mahQTi
11th edition Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2m7xU6w
Shop Amazon Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%
For lighter reading, we recommend:
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
This video was made possible by the generous donations of our Patrons on Patreon! We dedicate this video to our VIP Patron, Tracy Karin Prell. Tracy is an amazing advocate for science communication. Thank you so much, Tracy!
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Directed by Michael Harrison
Written and Produced by Kimberly Hatch Harrison
About our instructor:
Kimberly Hatch Harrison received degrees in Biology and English Literature from Caltech before working in pharmaceuticals research, developing drugs for autoimmune disorders. She then continued her studies in Molecular Biology (focusing on Immunology and Neurobiology) at Princeton University, where she began teaching as a graduate student. Her success in teaching convinced her to leave the glamorous world of biology research and turn to teaching full-time, accepting a position at an exclusive prep school, where she taught biology and chemistry for eight years. She is now the head writer and producer of Socratica Studios.
Creative Commons Picture Credits
Basilisk running on water
Author: Minetti et al.
Author: Boutilier et al 2014 PLOS
Author: Jingmin et al 2012 PLOS
Little girl drinking
Army scout drinking
Water drop Macro View
Woman in the Ocean
Water on fabric
Author: Petar Milosevic
Polar bear on ice
Author: Arturo de Frias Marques
Penguins on ice
Author: Brocken Inaglory
Hydrogen bonds in water
Water strider footage
Author: Jessie Eastland
Partially frozen pond
Author: David Wagner