Water and water clusters in biological systems
Faculty of Science and Technology, Institute of Chemistry, University of Tartu, Ravila 14a, EE50411 Tartu, Estonia;
Water is inherently a simple substance, but from Aristotle's time until today it raises a lot of questions. Living cells are about eighty per cent water. Organisms consist essentially of liquid water, which fulfils a lot of functions and should never be considered just an inert diluent. The unique properties of water are of fundamental relevance for human life and play a substantial role in many biochemical and biological systems. In the second half of the previous century, researchers came to an understanding about the differences between biological water and ordinary water. This article reviews previous studies on water function and its significance in biological systems. Present knowledge about water clusters, the understanding of water cluster role in biological systems and common methods used in the analysis of determining water clusters are examined in this paper.