Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biophysics

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From quantum theory to statistical mechanics, the methodologies of physics are often used to explain some of life's most complex biological problems. Exploring this challenging yet fascinating area of study, Molecular and Cellular Biophysics covers both molecular and cellular structures as well as the biophysical processes that occur in these structures. Designed for advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students in biophysics courses, this textbook features a quantitative approach that avoids being too abstract in its presentation.

Logically organized from small-scale (molecular) to large-scale (cellular) systems, the text first defines life, discussing the scientific controversies between mechanists and vitalists, the characteristics of living things, and the evolution of life. It then delves into molecular structures, including nucleic acids, DNA, RNA, interatomic interactions, and hydrogen bonds. After looking at these smaller systems, the author probes the larger cellular structures. He examines the cytoplasm, the cytoskeleton, chromosomes, mitochondria, motor proteins, and more. The book concludes with discussions on biophysical processes, including oxidative phosphorylation, diffusion, bioenergetics, conformational transitions in proteins, vesicle transport, subcellular structure formation, and cell division.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781584886754
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/21/2007
  • Series: Pure and Applied Physics Series
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 0.61 (w) x 0.92 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Hierarchical Organization of Knowledge
General Characteristics of Living Systems
Artificial Life
Biological Information, Information Processing, and Signaling
Origin of Life
Emergence, Intelligence, and Consciousness

Nucleic Acids, DNA, RNA
Generalized Ester Bonds
Directionality of Chemical Bonds
Types of Interatomic Interactions
The Hydrogen Bonds and Hydrophobic Interactions
Amphipatic Molecules in Water Environments
Structure of Proteins
Structure of Nucleic Acids

Tubulin Isotype Homology Modeling
Anisotropic Elastic Properties of Microtubules
Centrioles, Basal Bodies, Cilia, and Flagella
Networks and Meshworks of Protein Filaments, Stress Fibers, and Tensegrity
Cell Nucleus and Chromosomes
Mitochondria and Proton Pumps: Energy Generation and Utilization in the Cell
Cytochrome Oxidase Enzymes
Membranes and Vesicles
Motor Proteins and Their Role in Cellular Processes
Directed Binding as a Model of Kinesin Walk
Other Structures
Large Polar Molecules

Oxidative Phosphorylation
Diffusion Processes
Proton Transport and Bioenergetics
Electronic and Ionic Conductivities of Microtubules and Actin Filaments
Mechanisms of Exciton Energy Transfer in Scheibe Aggregates
Conformational Transitions in Proteins
Vesicle Transport and Molecular Motors
Muscle Contraction
Subcellular Structure Formation
Cell Division


Questions, Problems, and References appear at the end of each chapter.

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