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Posted: May 8, 2009
Molecules that orchestrate the processes of life
(Nanowerk News) Imagine that we had some way to look directly at the molecules in a living organism....Think of the wonders we could witness firsthand: antibodies attacking a virus, electrical signals racing down nerve fibers, proteins building new strands of DNA...
The Machinery of Life is a journey into the sub-microscopic world of molecular machines. Readers are introduced to the types of molecules within the cell, including proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and polysaccharides. Then, in a series of full-color illustrations, which show a portion of a living cell magnified 1,000,000 times, the reader is guided through the interior world of cells.
In the second edition of his book, author David S. Goodsell explores the ways in which molecules work in concert to perform the processes of living, and how vitamins, viruses, poisons and drugs each have their effects on the molecules in our bodies. The Machinery of Life is a pictorial overview of the molecules that orchestrate the processes of life.
Goodsell said, "I created the illustrations in this book to allow us to see the molecular structure of cells, if not directly, then in an artistic rendition. I have included two types of illustrations: watercolor paintings and computer-generated pictures. In this second edition, these illustrations are presented in full color, and they incorporate many of the exciting scientific advances of the 15 years since the first edition."
The book provides a fascinating introduction to biochemistry and molecular biology for the non-specialist, and combines a lucid text with an abundance of drawings and computer graphics that present the world of cells and their components in a truly unique way. It is written in clear, jargon-free text that is accessible to the lay reader.
David S. Goodsell is an Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute who divides his time between biomolecular research and science education. His research involves development of new computational tools to study the basic principles of biomolecular structure and function. He is currently employing these tools to search for new drugs to fight drug resistance in HIV therapy. He is also author of the Molecule of the Month, a feature at the RCSB Protein Data Bank that presents a new molecule each month, describing its function and role in health and welfare. More information may be found on his website at: http://mgl.scripps.edu/people/goodsell