The Evolution of Molecular Biology - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128129173

The Evolution of Molecular Biology

1st Edition

The Search for the Secrets of Life

Authors: Kensal Holde Jordanka Zlatanova
Paperback ISBN: 9780128129173
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 24th January 2018
Page Count: 266
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Description

The Evolution of Molecular Biology: The Search for the Secrets of Life provides the historical knowledge behind techniques founded in molecular biology, also presenting an appreciation of how, and by whom, these discoveries were made. It deals with the evolution of intellectual concepts in the context of active research in an approachable language that accommodates readers from a variety of backgrounds. Each chapter contains a prologue and epilogue to create continuity and provide a complete framework of molecular biology. This foundational work also functions as a historical and conceptual supplement to many related courses in biochemistry, biology, chemistry, genetics and history of science.

In addition, the book demonstrates how the roots of discovery and advances–and an individual’s own research–have grown out of the history of the field, presenting a more complete understanding and context for scientific discovery.

Key Features

  • Expands on the development of molecular biology from the convergence of two independent disciplines, biochemistry and genetics
  • Discusses the value of molecular biology in a variety of applications
  • Includes research ethics and the societal implications of research
  • Emphasizes the human aspects of research and the consequences of such advances to society

Readership

Researchers, academics, and students in life sciences, for example in molecular biology, evolutionary biology, biochemistry, genetics/molecular genetics, epidemiology, oncology, gerontology, cell biology, and microbiology, as well as many disciplines beyond biological science; secondarily, as an auxiliary text for specific courses and seminars at colleges and universities

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 BEGINNINGS
 Some ancient intuitions
 Spontaneous generation
 Vitalism
 The demise of vitalism
 The rise of modern biology
 The microscope opens a new world

CHAPTER 2 THE ORIGINS OF BIOCHEMISTRY
 Recognition of proteins
 Some proteins are catalysts: Enzymes
 What enzymes do, and why it is so important
 How do enzymes work?
 Proteins fulfill many roles
 What are proteins made of?

CHAPTER 3 THE CHEMICAL STRUCTURE OF PROTEINS
 The peptide hypothesis
 Colloid or macromolecule?
 Some unexpected results
 Proteins as homogeneous polypeptides
 Fred Sanger and the sequence of insulin
 Boxes:
Box.3.1 Separation Methods
A: Sedimentation
B: Chromatography 
C: Electrophoresis
Box 3.2 Immunological methods

CHAPTER 4 PROTEINS IN THREE DIMENSIONS
 Fibers
 Globules
 The first globular protein structures
 Boxes:
Box 4.1 How to Determine Protein Structure
A. The principle of diffraction
B. Diffraction from fibers
C. Diffraction from crystals

CHAPTER 5 THE ORIGINS OF GENETICS
 Classical genetics and the rules of trait inheritance
 Friar Gregor Mendel plants some peas
 Mendel formulates the two laws of inheritance
 Mendel’s laws have extensions and exceptions
 Mendel was long ignored
 Darwin, Mendelism, and mutations
 Genes are arranged linearly on chromosomes and can be mapped
 What do genes do, and what are they made of?

CHAPTER 6 NUCLEIC ACIDS
 Miescher's mysteries
 The chemical structures of nucleic acids
 “What is life?”
 DNA carries genetic information
 Mysterious numbers
 Boxes:
Box 6.1 Gel electrophoresis

CHAPTER 7 THE GREAT SYNTHESIS
 Bacteria and viruses have genetics, too: the introduction of cloning
 Critical experiments show that the genetic material is DNA
 Revealing DNA structure; perspiration plus inspiration
 "It has not escaped our attention..."
 The most beautiful experiment
 DNA sequence and protein sequence; a tale of two languages
 Methods Box: Reading a helix and chasing replication

CHAPTER 8 HOW DNA IS REPLICATED
 What is the mode of replication?
 How does replication proceed?
 The lagging strand problem

CHAPTER 9 THE CENTRAL DOGMA
 Speaking in different languages
 Intuiting a dogma
 Who is the Messenger?
 The great decade: 1952-1962

CHAPTER 10 THE GENETIC CODE
 How might a code function?
 What kind of code?
 What were the code words?
 The code

CHAPTER 11 GENE TO PROTEIN: THE WHOLE PATH
 What was known in 1960?
 Breakthrough
 The rest of the story
 Regulation of transcription in bacteria
 Overview 

CHAPTER 12 EUKARYOTES POSE NEW PROBLEMS
 What is a eukaryote?
 The origin of eukaryotes
 The three domains of life
 Interrupted messages and splicing
 Every cell type has special needs and functions
 Multiple levels of control
 Chromatin and nucleosomes
 Too much DNA? Junk DNA?

CHAPTER 13 DIFFERENTIATION AND DEVELOPMENT
 Two Ideas about development dominated thinking in ancient times
 The Introduction of scientific approaches to the field of development
 An opportunity missed?
 What do we know about development and differentiation at present?
 Embryonic stem cells (ESC) serve as a model for pluripotency
 The Molecular Basis of Differentiation and Development
• The maternal-zygotic transition
• Genes control development: the case for the fruit fly
 Nuclear transfer experiments and the principle of genetic equivalence
 Genome reprogramming towards earlier phases of development is possible

CHAPTER 14 RECOMBINANT DNA: THE NEXT REVOLUTION
 The power of DNA recombination
 How to clone DNA
 Construction of recombinant DNA molecules needs restriction endonucleases and ligases
 The first recombinant DNA molecules
 Polymerase chain reaction and site-directed mutagenesis
 Manipulating the genetic content of eukaryotic organisms
 CRISPR, the gene-editing technology of today and tomorrow
 Boxes:
Box 12.1: Cloning vectors. The expression of recombinant genes.

CHAPTER 15 UNDERSTANDING WHOLE GENOMES: CREATING NEW PARADIGMS
 The evolution of sequencing methodology
 Genomic libraries contain the entire genome of an organism as a collection of recombinant DNA molecules
 There are two classic approaches for sequencing large genomes
 Ultrafast sequencing allows deep analysis of genomes
 Whole genomes
 The human genome project
 ENCODE results raise question. Whence biology?
 So, what was learned from ENCODE?
 Transcription factors interact in a huge network
 Where is ENCODE leading?
 Attempts at a contemporary definition of a gene
 Boxes:
Box 15.1 The classic definition of a gene is not consistent with recent observations
CHAPTER 16 WHOLE GENOMES AND EVOLUTION
 Evolutionary theory: from Darwin to the present day
 Classifying organisms: Phylogenetics
 Phylogenetics goes molecular
 The comparative genomics revolution
 Tracing human evolution

CHAPTER 17 PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF RECOMBINANT DNA TECHNOLOGIES
 Catching criminals and freeing the innocent
 Production of pharmaceutical compounds in recombinant bacteria or yeast
 Genetic engineering of plants
 Gene therapy
 A CRISPR revolution?
 Cloning of whole animals
 Jurassic park or de-extinction

Details

No. of pages:
266
Language:
English
Copyright:
© Academic Press 2018
Published:
Imprint:
Academic Press
Paperback ISBN:
9780128129173

About the Author

Kensal Holde

Kensal van Holde is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Biophysics and Biochemistry at Oregon State University. Dr. van Holde has made significant contributions to the field of chromatin structure and dynamics, for which he was awarded the highly prestigious American Cancer Society Research Professorship in 1977. His second major research interest was focused on protein structure and function. The scientific contributions of Dr. van Holde have been recognized by election to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and numerous awards and fellowships, including Guggenheim, NSF, and EMBO. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 scientific papers, as well as multiple well-received and well-known books. His teaching experience includes undergraduate and graduate chemistry and molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics, and also the physiology and molecular biology course at the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, MA. In 1999, Dr. van Holde received the Emily M. Gray Biophysical Society award for teaching and education publication in Biophysical Chemistry. In 2012, he received the Monie A. Ferst Award from the Scientific Society Sigma Xi; this Award is granted specifically for excellence in graduate education.

Affiliations and Expertise

Oregon State University, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics

Jordanka Zlatanova

Jordanka Zlatanova is Professor Emeritus of Molecular Biology at the Department of Molecular Biology at the University of Wyoming. She founded and chaired the Department of Molecular Genetics at the Institute of Genetics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, before moving to the United States to work as a Senior Research Professor in the laboratory of Dr. van Holde, with whom she shares an interest in chromatin structure and dynamics. After time at the Argonne National Laboratory as a Deputy Director of the Biochip Technology Center and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of NY University, she moved to Wyoming to chair the Department of Molecular Biology. Dr. Zlatanova has published more than 200 papers and co-authored or co-edited multiple research books. Her teaching experience includes undergraduate and graduate courses in biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, microbiology, genetics, and general biology.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Wyoming, Department of Molecular Biology