Biological Complexity and the Dynamics of Life Processes

Front Cover
J. Ricard
Elsevier, Nov 1, 1999 - Science - 355 pages
The aim of this book is to show how supramolecular complexity of cell organization can dramatically alter the functions of individual macromolecules within a cell. The emergence of new functions which appear as a consequence of supramolecular complexity, is explained in terms of physical chemistry.
The book is interdisciplinary, at the border between cell biochemistry, physics and physical chemistry. This interdisciplinarity does not result in the use of physical techniques but from the use of physical concepts to study biological problems.
In the domain of complexity studies, most works are purely theoretical or based on computer simulation. The present book is partly theoretical, partly experimental and theory is always based on experimental results. Moreover, the book encompasses in a unified manner the dynamic aspects of many different biological fields ranging from dynamics to pattern emergence in a young embryo.
The volume puts emphasis on dynamic physical studies of biological events. It also develops, in a unified perspective, this new interdisciplinary approach of various important problems of cell biology and chemistry, ranging from enzyme dynamics to pattern formation during embryo development, thus paving the way to what may become a central issue of future biology.

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Chapter 1 Complexity and the structure of the living cell
Chapter 2 Elementary life processes viewed as dynamic physicochemical events
Chapter 3 Coupling between chemical and or vectorial processes as a basis for signal perception and transduction
Chapter 4 Control of metabolic networks under steady state conditions
Chapter 5 Compartmentalization of the living cell and thermodynamics of energy conversion
Chapter 6 Molecular crowding transfer of information and channelling of molecules within supramolecular edifices
Chapter 7 Cell complexity electrostatic partitioning of ions and bound enzyme reactions
Chapter 8 Dynamics and motility of supramolecular edifices in the living cell
oscillations and chaos
Chapter 10 Spatiotemporal organization during the early stages of development
Chapter 11 Evolution towards complexity
Subject index

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About the author (1999)

Franois Ricard is a professor of French literature at McGill University. He is the author of "La Litterature contre elle-meme (1985), which won a Governor GeneraI's Award for non-fiction, and the bestselling "La Generation lyrique (1992), a study of the baby-boomers. He lives in Montreal.

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