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The Amoeba Sisters create well-animated, engaging, and unique videos that teach students about science. In this video, they address biomolecules. I highly recommend this video for either an in-class introduction to the topic or as an at-home review for students. We’ve posted from this series previously. Check out Characteristics of Life – Biology Basics and Properties of Water for more.

What is a Monomer?

Think of monomers as building blocks. As the different types of biomolecules are being discussed, the stuff that makes up the biomolecules will be called monomers. They are the pieces that make up the whole structure.


Carbohydrates or carbs as they are commonly called, are great sources of energy. The monomers of carbs are called monosaccharides. What you need to know, is that monosaccharides make up carbohydrates.


Lipids often called “fats” are made up of two different building blocks called glycerol and fatty acids. Lipids are great insulators and can store energy for a long time. They also make up cell membranes.


Proteins are great for muscle building. Protein monomers are called amino acids. Proteins are also useful for the immune system and as enzymes.

Nucleic Acids

Nucleic acids include DNA and RNA. Nucleic acid’s monomer is called a nucleotide. These biomolecules are responsible for encoding traits.

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