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Question Video: Recalling the Uses of ATP in Animals Biology

Which of the following is not a use of ATP in animals? [A] Synthesis of large molecules from smaller ones [B] Movement and locomotion [C] Regulation of body temperature [D] Simple diffusion of substances across cell membranes [E] Active transport of substances across cell membranes

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Video Transcript

Which of the following is not a use of ATP in animals? (A) Synthesis of large molecules from smaller ones. (B) Movement and locomotion. (C) Regulation of body temperature. (D) Simple diffusion of substances across cell membranes. Or (E) active transport of substances across cell membranes.

ATP is the molecule that carries energy in animal cells. It provides the energy required for countless processes within the cell. All of the answers here are processes that occur in animal cells. So which require energy, and therefore ATP, to complete? Let’s take a look at the answers and narrow down our options.

Synthesizing large molecules from smaller ones does require energy because bonds, which carry energy, are being built. This is called anabolic metabolism, and it occurs when smaller molecules, such as amino acids, are joined together. With the use of ATP, bonds are built between the amino acids, which create a larger molecule, known as a protein. Since this process does use ATP, we can eliminate it.

Movement and locomotion require energy as well. We know our bodies require more ATP when we are active because we breathe faster and our hearts beat at a faster rate. This is because within our cells, cellular respiration is occurring at an increased rate to match the cells demand for ATP. As a result, our body is working overtime to get oxygen to the cells and carry waste carbon dioxide away from those cells to allow cellular respiration to continue to occur. So since we know that movement requires energy, we can eliminate answer (B) as well.

Energy can be required for the regulation of body temperature as well, for example, when we move or shiver in order to keep our body warm. So answer (C) would not be the best choice either.

Now let’s discuss answers (D) and (E), which are about transport across membranes. This is an important process by which nutrients, vitamins, and chemicals pass into and out of cells. Molecules will naturally move from areas of high concentration to areas of low concentration with no input of energy. This process is known as diffusion. When something must be transported against the concentration gradient, meaning from areas of low concentration to areas of high concentration, this requires active transport, which uses energy. Answer (E) describes active transport, which is a process that does require energy in the form of ATP. So we can eliminate that choice.

Answer (D) describes diffusion, which is a passive process that does not use energy or, specifically, ATP. Therefore, the correct answer is (D). Simple diffusion of substances across cell membranes is not a use of ATP in animals.

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