By Charles Tanford

I learn this publication two times; the 1st time was once whilst I wrote my e-book on water and aqueous answer and extra lately, whereas writing the sequel to my booklet at the function of water in biochemical processes.

In either situations i've got loved examining the e-book. Tanford and Reynolds inform the tale of proteins in an easy, non-technical and interesting variety, let alone the numerous fun anecdotes.

Although i've got a couple of reservations, in addition to a few disagreements on particular statements made during this ebook, this didn't hose down nor decrease my delight in studying it. i used to be really inspired to profit concerning the "evolution" of the techniques of early scientists at the "dominant forces" in biochemical approaches, in instances whilst the constitution of proteins was once almost unknown.

The publication additionally comprises brief stories at the wealthy repertoire of various proteins' physiological capabilities similar to enzymatic task, locomotion of residing organisms, colour imaginative and prescient and more.

I wholeheartedly suggest this booklet for any reader, a layperson or examine scientists to call a couple of, who're curious to profit how medical principles evolve from very primitive speculations to hugely subtle theories, continually leaving elbow room for extra learn and knowing of the character of Nature's Robots.

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Additional resources for Nature's Robots: A History of Proteins (Oxford Paperbacks)

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13 Around the same time amino acid content began to supplement elemental analysis, although the technology for anything like complete amino acid analysis was still a long way off. 14,15 Moreover, the same intrinsic difference between proteins and other natural products (cellulose, starch, rubber, all now known to be macromolecular) makes its impact again. The latter are all homopolymers and no inkling of large size could therefore be deduced for them in this manner. No wonder the received heritage of the group of organic chemists that laid the foundations of the synthetic polymer field was different from the received heritage of the investigators studying proteins!

Challenges to the peptide bond The simultaneity of the Fischer and Hofmeister papers might lead one to suspect that the peptide bond was ‘in the air’—a common idea in many minds—and that Fischer and Hofmeister just happened to be first to articulate it for public presentation. The evidence is against that view and indicates that few people had yet entertained the idea of a unique or predominant bond. Albrecht Kossel, for example, in many ways one of the most far-seeing of protein scientists at the time, was still under the influence of the then current ideas about protein digestion in the gut, which we have already mentioned as an early influence on Hofmeister.

Germany was on top of the world. They had won the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 and had annexed Alsace; Strasbourg became Strassburg and the university there (where Louis Pasteur had begun his professional career in 1849) was made into a showcase for German superiority. 9 With German dominance, huge research groups became the order of the day, presided over by powerful directors, following the precedent set 50 years earlier by Justus von Liebig in Giessen. They flourished everywhere and communication between them was greatly improved by the existence of railway networks to link them and by nationwide meetings, where issues of the day could be debated.

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