Molecular Structure and Function

A. Malcolm Campbell, Christopher Paradise

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One of the overarching themes in nature is that form meets function, meaning that the shape of an object determines how well the object can perform its function. This book begins with some basics about specificity of shapes and the four increasing levels of protein structure. Most of this book examines how epinephrine (adrenaline) can cause the liver to release glucose when a person experiences a fight or flight response. Whenever someone gets scared, all of their cells are bathed in epinephrine. A subset of those cells will respond directly to this hormone, and the liver cells prepare other cells for the extra energy they might need to survive. This book presents some of the data that revealed how the information of fear is carried inside liver cells. This book will also consider how and why some cell membranes are wavy. In short, this book looks at the structure/ function relationship at the molecular level.

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A. Malcolm Campbell

A. Malcolm Campbell teaches biology at Davidson College, NC. He received national and international education awards: Genetics Society of America (2013); American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012); and American Society for Cell Biology (2006). He was the founding co-editor in chief of CBE Life Sciences Education; founding director of Genome Consortium for Active Teaching (GCAT); and member of the American Society for Cell Biology governing council (2012–2014).

Christopher J. Paradise

Christopher J. Paradise is professor of biology and environmental studies at Davidson College. He teaches introductory biology, ecology, entomology, and topical seminars on ecotoxicology and renewable natural resources. He also occasionally leads a study abroad program in India.  His research evaluates anthropogenic factors that influence insect biodiversity at a variety of scales.  His current research interests include effects of land use patterns on pollinator communities in parks.