Giant Molecules: From nylon to nanotubes

Paperback | June 15, 2011

byWalter Gratzer

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Our lives are dominated by giant molecules, which have remarkable properties, some of which are only just being discovered and exploited by science, though many have long been exploited far more effectively by Nature. Giant molecules dominate our lives - from the proteins and DNA within us tothe man-made fibres of our clothes and the many plastics that we use every day. And they are set to have an enormous impact on the future, as scientists and engineers learn from nature (biomimetics), and utilize the full potential of tiny carbon nanotubes. The possibilities may seem like sciencefiction - a space station tethered to Earth by cables of giant molecules, tiny molecular vehicles carrying and dispensing drugs in our bodies, smart materials that adjust automatically to optimize our comfort, minute computers utilizing the information storage capacity of DNA - but they are thesubjects of cutting edge research. Walter Gratzer gives a fascinating account of the discovery and variety of giant molecules, how they come to have their remarkable properties, and how these are used by Nature and increasingly by us, pausing now and again to tell of some of the remarkable characters involved in their discovery anddevelopment.

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Our lives are dominated by giant molecules, which have remarkable properties, some of which are only just being discovered and exploited by science, though many have long been exploited far more effectively by Nature. Giant molecules dominate our lives - from the proteins and DNA within us tothe man-made fibres of our clothes and the m...

Walter Gratzer is a biophysicist. He has spent most of his career at King's College London, with spells at Harvard and Columbia Universities. He is now Emeritus Professor at King's. Professor Gratzer has published numerous scientific papers, and many articles and reviews. He is the author of the popular science books Eurekas and Eupho...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 7.72 × 5.08 × 0.68 inPublished:June 15, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019956213X

ISBN - 13:9780199562138

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Table of Contents

1. Before the dawn2. The basics: a little chemistry3. Proteins: from skin and bone to enzymes4. Storage: of food and information5. The protean element: carbon in new guises6. The plastic world7. The quiddity of polymers: shapes, sizes, and their effects8. The new age: giant molecules for the 21st century9. Present and future: where will it end?10. The many faces of DNAFurther ReadingBibliography