New PDF release: About Life: Concepts in Modern Biology

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By Paul S. Agutter, Denys N. Wheatley

ISBN-10: 9048173639

ISBN-13: 9789048173631

This ebook makes use of glossy organic wisdom to take on the query of what distinguishes dwelling organisms from the non-living global. The authors first draw on fresh advances in mobile and molecular biology to improve an account of the residing nation that applies to all organisms (and basically to organisms). This account is then used to discover questions about evolution, the starting place of lifestyles, and the potential for extraterrestrial lifestyles. the unconventional method taken via this booklet to matters in biology will curiosity and be obtainable to either the overall reader in addition to scholars and experts within the box.

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It burns fuel rapidly. A cell that manufactures a hormone must build and maintain the requisite manufacturing and secreting equipment, so the relevant anabolic pathways are active as well. A cell that takes in more nutrients than it needs for its immediate catabolic and anabolic activities converts the excess nutrient into food reserves. Let us pause to reflect on the sizes of nutrient molecules – the products of food digestion such as glucose - and other molecules involved in metabolism. Recall the "grain of salt" image of a protein molecule in a cell (chapter 3).

The picture is not yet complete but it has progressed sufficiently for the reader to see a problem: how is the cell kept in order? Within the tiny space of the cell, many different structures are tightly packed. These structures are continually being made, repaired, broken down, recycled and moved from place to place. Thousands of different types of proteins are being synthesised all the time, moved to specific destinations, used, and finally degraded. Some of these proteins are components of the many different membrane systems; some form loose fibrils in the cytoplasm, others are components of the cytoskeleton, still others are located inside the nucleus or the mitochondria or other membranebound compartments.

When we use the expression “internal state”, think of the following diagram, but bear in mind that each apex of the triangle hides a huge wealth of descriptive detail. 54 Chapter 6 Fig. 6-1: the internal state of a cell. “Internal state” is a summary description of a cell at a particular moment. In principle, it can change from one moment to the next.

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About Life: Concepts in Modern Biology by Paul S. Agutter, Denys N. Wheatley


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