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The Molecules of Life


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Table of Contents

Part I. Biological Molecules 1. From Genes to RNA to Proteins 2. Nucleic Acid Structure 3. Glycans and Lipids 4. Protein Structure 5. Evolutionary Variation in Proteins Part II. Energy and Entropy 6. Energy and Intermolecular Forces 7. Entropy 8. Linking Energy and Entropy Part III. Free Energy 9. Free Energy 10. Chemical Potential and the Drive to Equilibrium 11. Voltages and Free Energy Part IV. Molecular Interactions 12. Molecular Recognition 13. Specificity of Macromolecular Recognition 14. Allostery Part V. Kinetics and Catalysis 15. Rates of Molecular Processes 16. Principles of Enzyme Catalysis 17. Diffusion and Transport Part VI. Assembly and Activity 18. Folding 19. Fidelity in DNA and Protein Synthesis

About the Author

John Kuriyan is Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology and of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. He began his career at Rockefeller University, New York and has been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 1990. His laboratory uses x-ray crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structures of proteins involved in signaling and replication, as well as biochemical, biophysical, and computational analyses to elucidate mechanisms. Kuriyan was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2001. Boyana Konforti is Director of Scientific Strategy and Development, The Howard Hughes Institute. She received her PhD from Stanford University. David Wemmer is Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and has served as Vice Chair, Assistant Dean, and Executive Associate Dean since joining the faculty in 1985. His research in structural biology uses magnetic resonance methods to investigate the structure of proteins and DNA toward a better understanding of how these molecules function. Systems studied include DNA-ligand complexes, covalent DNA adducts, protein-DNA complexes, and diverse proteins involved in cellular regulatory processes. Wemmer is a Fellow of the AAAS and a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi.


"This is an excellent book that does exactly what it says on the front cover. The book is indeed written in what is now the standard format of a student textbook: very clear presentation with good graphics; special points highlighted in shaded boxes; with problems and suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter." - British Society for Cell Biology Newsletter, January 2013 "With its quantitative approach and step-by-step derivations of key equations, this book prepares students in biology and health sciences well for the increasingly quantitative approaches in biology...this is an excellent learning resource for anyone interested in the mechanism and function of biomolecules. The particular strengths of the book are the authors' clear and didactic writing style, the excellent figures, and the connection of biophysical principles to current research questions...Kuriyan et al.'s comprehensive undergraduate textbook addresses the future quantitative and physics requirements for students to go on to careers in health care or biomedical research..." - Quarterly Review of Biology, August 2013 "This detailed paperback, written for undergraduates, starts with straightforward explanations that may also appeal to enthusiastic pre-university students. Biologists in other disciplines will also welcome the information on chemical structure and the molecular mechanisms in biology...It certainly provides a fine reference book for those trying to keep up with the vast amount of new information becoming available in this important area of biological science. I strongly recommend it." - The Biologist, April/May 2013 "The Molecules of Life is an excellent introductory text from Garland Science with an emphasis on the physical and mathematical principles underpinning structure and function of biological macromolecules...This textbook fills a conspicuous void in university-level biology curricula...As would be expected from the eminent crystallographer John Kuriyan, the book is eloquently written and progresses in a clear and logical fashion." -Crystallography Reviews, August 2014 "The text is eloquently written and scattered with high-resolution images and easily interpreted figures and diagrams...The Molecules of Life is ideal for beginning undergraduate or graduate students with a background in biochemistry, physics, and differential equations who wish to begin understanding the physical basis of life...For instructors and professors looking to prepare their students to ask important questions in the quantitative world that awaits the future of biomedical research, The Molecules of Life: Physical and Chemical Properties is an excellent selection." -Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, March 2015

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