By Paul S. Agutter, Denys N. Wheatley
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 phone and molecular biology to strengthen an account of the residing nation that applies to all organisms (and in basic terms to organisms). This account is then used to discover questions on evolution, the starting place of lifestyles, and the potential for extraterrestrial existence. the unconventional technique taken by means of this publication to concerns in biology will curiosity and be available to either the overall reader in addition to scholars and experts within the box.
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Additional info for About Life: Concepts in Modern Biology
But they are barriers for water-soluble ones; the first job of the surface membrane is to stop the inside of the cell mixing with the environment. To move, say, a glucose molecule into the cell from the outside, a special piece of equipment is incorporated into the cell membrane. Many protein components of membranes are just such pieces of equipment; 5. DELIGHTS OF TRANSPORT 43 devices for transporting or pumping10 particular water-soluble molecules from one side to the other. Let us sum up so far.
Chapter 4 HIVES OF INDUSTRY A survey of intermediary metabolism The cardboard box models described in chapters 2 and 3 revealed the relative sizes of cell components. Constructing the models showed how tightly packed cells are. Also, it enabled us to talk about the functions of membranes and the relationships among DNA, RNA, ribosomes and proteins. However, the lentils and gherkins and so on that we put into the boxes were inert. The components of real cells, in contrast, are very active and dynamic.
Remember that water is a product of catabolism9). In chapter 4, we saw that metabolic pathways are efficient because the enzymes are fixed in ordered sequences on membranes and metabolons. Their efficiency is further enhanced by the flow of water inside the cell, which continuously feeds raw materials to the enzymes and removes the products. ) The principle is familiar to chemical engineers: making the reactants flow over a catalytic bed ensures that the product is made quickly and in high yield.
About Life: Concepts in Modern Biology by Paul S. Agutter, Denys N. Wheatley