The Tao of Chemistry and Life: A Scientific Journey

Hardcover | June 26, 2009

byEugene H. Cordes

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Written with the non-scientist in mind, this book employs the molecule and its interactions to explain the characteristics of living organisms in terms of the underlying chemistry of life. Following introductory chapters on the fundamentals of life, attention then turns to small molecules suchas hormones and neurotransmitters and subsequently to macromolecules including proteins and nucleic acids. The interactions between small and macromolecules remains a central point throughout the book. These include enzymatic catalysis, hormone action, neurotransmission, regulation of metabolism,biosynthesis of macromolecules, the mechanism of action of drugs, taste, olfaction, learning and memory, and chemical communication. A second central point of emphasis is the sensitive relationship between chemical structure and biological activity. Examples abound and include why subtle changes in fatty acid architecture have positive or negative outcomes for human health in omega-three fatty acids and trans fats and how modestchanges in the chemical decoration of the steroid skeleton provide the difference between male and female sex hormones. Beyond these examples taken from the chemistry of small molecules, the book includes a thoughtful consideration of genomics, including the relationship between genome structure andspecies. The theme of human health appears throughout the book. Cardiovascular medicine, cancer, metabolic diseases, and diseases of the nervous system receive significant attention including consideration of how a variety of drugs work in combating these issues. In sum, the goal of this book is to inform the non-scientist community in a way that will lead to increased understanding of the relationship between chemistry and life.

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Written with the non-scientist in mind, this book employs the molecule and its interactions to explain the characteristics of living organisms in terms of the underlying chemistry of life. Following introductory chapters on the fundamentals of life, attention then turns to small molecules suchas hormones and neurotransmitters and subse...

Gene Cordes has been a professor of chemistry and pharmacy at Indiana University and the University of Michigan, a VP in the Merck Research Labs and President of RandD at Sterling Winthrop Inc. His research work has been largely in the area of enzymatic and non-enzymatic mechanisms of catalysis whereas his pharmaceutical industry work...

other books by Eugene H. Cordes

Format:HardcoverDimensions:432 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.98 inPublished:June 26, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195369637

ISBN - 13:9780195369632

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Table of Contents

1. Life: Unity out of Diversity2. Life: Central Properties3. Molecular Structures Based on Carbon: The Foundation for the Molecules of Life4. Building Blocks and Glue5. From Methane to Chemical Communication6. Nitrogen and Oxygen: Atmospheric Elements7. More About Oxygen-Containing Molecules8. Now for the Rest of the Elements in Vitamin Pills9. Proteins: An Amazing Collection of Multifunctional Molecules10. Amino Acids: The Building Blocks of Proteins11. Proteins Are Three-dimensional Objects12. Nucleotides Are the Building Blocks of Nucleic Acids: The Stuff of Genes13. The Central Dogma of Biology and Protein Synthesis14. Genomes15. Vitamins: Molecules of Life16. Carbohydrates: Sweetness and Life17. Generating Energy from Catabolism18. Fatty Acids: The Building Blocks of Lipids19. Lipids: The Greasy Stuff of Life20. Steroids: Sex and Other Good Things21. Your Brain: What It Does And How It Works22. Your Brain: Good Things and Not-Good Things23. Antibiotics: The Never-Ending War Against Infectious Disease24. Cancer: What It Is and What We Can Do About It25. Chemical Communication