Download Biological physics : energy, information, life by Philip Charles Nelson; Marko Radosavljević; Sarina Bromberg PDF

By Philip Charles Nelson; Marko Radosavljević; Sarina Bromberg

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Extra resources for Biological physics : energy, information, life

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M) Pyruvate dehydrogenase, a large enzyme complex also discussed in Chapter 11. ] Cells are the fundamental functional units of life. Whether alone or integrated into communities (organisms), individual cells perform a common set of activities. More precisely, while a particular cell may not do everything on the following list—there are a couple hundred distinct, specialized cell types in our bodies, for example—still there is enough overlap between all cells to make it clear that all are basically similar.

This “apoptosis” is a normal part of the development of higher organisms, for example removing unneeded neurons in the developing brain. 1 Internal gross anatomy Paralleling the large degree of overlap between the functions of all cells, we find a correspondingly large overlap between their gross internal architecture: Most cells share a common set of quasipermanent structures, many of them visible in optical microscopes. To see some of the fine substructure below, however, we need to use the electron microscope, an instrument that gives better resolution but requires killing the cell.

Fusion of synaptic vesicles with the nerve cell membrane (upper solid line) at the junction, or synapse, between a neuron (above) and a muscle fiber (below). A vesicle at the left has arrived but not yet fused; two in the center are in the process of fusion, releasing their contents; one on the right is almost completely incorporated into the cell membrane. Vesicle fusion is the key event in the transmission of nerve impulses from one neuron to the next; see Chapter 12. [Digital image kindly supplied by J.

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