Download 101 Things You Don't Know About Science and No One Else Does by James Trefil Physics Professor PDF

By James Trefil Physics Professor

James Trefil takes the reader on an exhilarating journey around the borders of present medical knowledge-from astronomy to genetics, from info know-how to cosmology, the good contested questions that preoccupy researchers this day and should turn into headlines the next day. In based, witty three-page summations, Dr. Trefil "makes experience of technological know-how for the remainder of us" (Washington Post).

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For two molecules to combine to form a third, for example, they must be shaped so that the atoms on their surfaces can form bonds to lock the molecules together. The function of a molecule in a living system depends on its shape. And this is where drugs come in, because the function of the molecules in any drug you take is to alter the shapes of molecules in your cells and thereby alter their function. Here's an example. The functioning of a bottle is determined by its geometry. It has a large enclosed space for the storage of liquids and an open neck so that it can take them in and release them.

Historically, people have looked in all sorts of places for molecules that can play the role of medicines. Nature, after all, < previous page page_33 next page > < previous page page_34 next page > Page 34 has been cooking up chemicals for billions of years, so there is a huge supply of possible ''corks" out there. Scientists gather specimens of plants and animals from all over the world and analyze them for interesting-looking chemicals which are then tested to see whether they have particular useful properties.

And this is where drugs come in, because the function of the molecules in any drug you take is to alter the shapes of molecules in your cells and thereby alter their function. Here's an example. The functioning of a bottle is determined by its geometry. It has a large enclosed space for the storage of liquids and an open neck so that it can take them in and release them. If you put a cork in the bottle, it can no longer perform its function, because the cork keeps liquids from entering or leaving the bottle.

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