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The Machinery of Life

By: David S Goodsell

167 pages, 70 illustrations in colour


Hardback | Jun 2009 | Edition: 2 | #180127 | ISBN-13: 9780387849249
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx

About this book

The Machinery of Life is a journey into the sub-microscopic world of molecular machines. Readers are introduced to the types of molecules built by cells, including proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and polysaccharides; then, in a series of full-color "watercolour" illustrations, which show a portion of a living cell magnified by 1,000,000 times, the reader is guided through the interior world of cells. The book 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 book is a fascinating introduction to biochemistry 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.

This new edition has been updated to include the many major advances of the past decade, and is richly illustrated in full colour throughout.

From the reviews of the second edition: "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. ! The Machinery of Life is a pictorial overview of the molecules that orchestrate the processes of life. ! The book provides a fascinating introduction to biochemistry and molecular biology for the non-specialists ! . It is written in clear, jargon-free text that is accessible to the lay reader." (Medical News Today, May, 2009) "This book is amazing. ! this second edition is a major update. And what it conveys is the sheer unbelievable intricacy -- and realness -- of every cell in your body. David Goodsell ! accomplishes this via amazing full-color illustrations, paintings based on computer animations created from microscope images. ! It's slim, readable and engaging, a nonfiction book that calls to you from the nightstand table. If you are even a little curious about how cells work, get your hands on The Machinery of Life." (Lisa Parsons, The Hippo, July, 2009) "The Machinery of Life, which is a new edition of Goodsell's 1993 book of the same name. ! the author's full-color illustrations are astonishing, forcing the reader to dwell for minutes on every picture. They are based on data from scientific papers, electron microscopy and information about molecular structures that were obtained by X-ray crystallography. ! He does a good job. ! Goodsell's technique is remarkable. He uses a combination of hand-drawing and computer graphics illustration." (Weanee Kimblewood, Lab Times, Issue 5, September, 2009) "Anyone who finds biology, especially modern biology at the molecular level, quite baffling and bristling with incomprehensible jargon -- this could be the book for you! ! David Goodsell is clearly a master of communication, conveying complex biological processes with great clarity. ! An excellent gift, then, for anyone interested in learning about biology in an enjoyable way. A book bursting with colour and genuinely difficult to put down ! ." (Michael Smith, Chemistry World, December, 2009) "In science, true understanding comes with the ability to visualize the system. For students of cell and molecular biology, this visualization often comes in the form of diagrams simplified in the name of clarity. ! Using coordinates taken from the RCSB Protein Data Bank, Goodsell's wonderfully drawn illustrations are true to the scale and shape of the real molecules. ! This work will be enjoyed by all who are interested in the molecular processes ! from new students to experienced scientists. Summing Up: Highly recommended." (D. Carroll, Choice, Vol. 47 (4), December, 2009) "This well-written, beautifully illustrated volume serves as an introduction to the molecules that compose cells and viruses. The book is written at a very accessible level and is appropriate for nonspecialists and students beginning their study in biology. ! experienced biologists will appreciate the lucid treatment of complex concepts, particularly the idea of molecular crowding in cells. ! In summary, the easy-to-read narrative and beautiful illustrations of The Machinery of Life make this volume worthwhile to recommend to both nonspecialists as well as practicing biologists." (A. James Link, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 85 (1), March, 2010)


1 Introduction
A Matter of Scale
The Molecular World
2 Molecular Machines
Nucleic Acids
The Strange World of Molecules in Cells
3 The Processes of Living
Building Molecules
Harnessing Energy
Protection and Perception
4 Molecules in Cells: Escherichia coli
The Protective Barrier
Building New Proteins
Powering the Cell
Cellular Propellers
Molecular Warfare
5 A Human Cell: The Advantages of Compartments
6 The Human Body: The Advantages of Specialization
Infrastructure and Communication
7 Life and Death
Ubiquitin and the Proteasome
DNA Repair
Programmed Cell Death
8 Viruses 127
Poliovirus and Rhinovirus
Influenza Virus
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
9 You and Your Molecules
Broad-Spectrum Poisons
Bacterial Toxins
Antibiotic Drugs
Drugs and Poisons of the Nervous System
You and Your Molecules
Atomic Coordinates
Additional Reading

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Dr. David S. Goodsell is Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA. His illustrations have become well known and now appear in many publications as the primary demonstration of the crowded nature of cells. He has also provided expertise and illustrations to many science museums, most recently acting as a "thinking partner" for a new multi-site nanotechnology initiative headed in part by the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

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