Introduction to Molecular Biology focuses on the principles of polymer physics and chemistry and their applications to fundamental phenomena in biological sciences. It examines the structure, synthesis, and function of nucleic acids and proteins, as well as the physicochemical techniques necessary in determining the macromolecular structure, the kinetics and mechanism of enzyme action, the genetics of bacteria and their viruses, and the genetic code. It also considers the importance of precise quantitative analysis in biochemistry and biophysics, the architecture and function of biological macromolecules, and the unique mechanisms that regulate the cell's biological activity.
Organized into five chapters, this book begins with an overview of proteins and their functional activity, from contractility and enzymatic catalysis to immunological activity, formation of selectively permeable membranes, and reversible binding and transport. It explains how such functions are related to molecular interactions and therefore fall within the purview of molecular biology. The book then proceeds with a discussion on the chemical structure of proteins and nucleic acids, the physicochemical techniques in measuring molecular size and shape, the mechanism of enzymatic reactions, the functions of DNA and RNA, and the mechanism of phase transition in polynucleotides.
This book is intended for both biologists and non-biologists who want to be acquainted with the advances made in molecular biology, molecular genetics, and molecular biophysics during the 1950s and 1960s.