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.
- 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
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
CHAPTER 1 BEGINNINGS
Some ancient intuitions
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
Box.3.1 Separation Methods
Box 3.2 Immunological methods
CHAPTER 4 PROTEINS IN THREE DIMENSIONS
The first globular protein structures
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
The chemical structures of nucleic acids
“What is life?”
DNA carries genetic information
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?
CHAPTER 11 GENE TO PROTEIN: THE WHOLE PATH
What was known in 1960?
The rest of the story
Regulation of transcription in bacteria
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
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
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
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
A CRISPR revolution?
Cloning of whole animals
Jurassic park or de-extinction
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- © Academic Press 2018
- 20th February 2018
- Academic Press
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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.
Oregon State University, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
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.
University of Wyoming, Department of Molecular Biology