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In spite of ingenious experiments, imaginative theories, and unshakable faith in supreme forces, there is no way to know how life began. What is certain is that in the course of the development of the universe existing sources of energy fused to generate atoms, and atoms mingled to become small molecules. At some point by chance or design-according to one's belief, but no one's evidence-small molecules such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, and ammonia reacted to yield larger molecules with the property most essential to life: self-replication. Such molecules had to achieve a proper balance between the stability needed for their survival in the environment and the mutability for the generation of many forms of life. How amino acids were created or how DNA, RNA, and proteins developed remains a mystery. But we know that a simple core of nucleic acid embedded in a protein coat made the simplest unit of life (except for viroids). Whether viruses are a primitive or degenerated form of life is not known. Once proteins appeared, their great structural plasticity allowed them to react with other elements such as sulfur, iron, copper, and zinc. After an incalculable number of years, some of the proteins became capable of catalyzing the synthesis of new nucleic acids, new proteins, and other compounds such as polysaccharides and lipids.
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· Volume 1.- 1. Cellular Sources of Energy.- Bioenergetic Pathways.- References.- 2. Determination of Cellular Specificity.- The Nucleus.- The Chromosomes.- Protein Synthesis.- Elaboration of Polypeptide Chains.- Operon Theory.- The Endoplasmic Reticulum.- Microbodies-Peroxisomes.- References.- 3. Inborn Errors of Metabolism.- Hereditary Disease.- Therapy for Inborn Errors of Metabolism.- Chromosomal Anomalies.- References.- 4. Malnutrition.- General Malnutrition.- Protein Deficiency.- Vitamin Deficiency.- Malnutrition Due to Disease.- Obesity.- References.- 5. Calcium and Phosphorus Metabolism.- Importance of Calcium.- Sources of Calcium.- Calcium Absorption.- Serum Calcium.- Ossification and Bone Metabolism.- Rickets.- Parathyroid Glands.- Pseudohypoparathyroidism.- Osteoporosis.- Calcitonin-Thyrocalcitonin.- Pathological Calcification.- References.- 6. Iron and Bile Pigment Metabolism.- Iron Metabolism.- Iron Metabolism and the Red Cell.- Control of Iron Metabolism.- The Biological Role of Iron and Other Metals.- Siderosis, Hemosiderosis, and Hemochromatosis.- Iron Deficiency.- Bile Pigments: Metabolism and Jaundice.- References.- 7. Blood Coagulation.- The Coagulation Theory.- Interference with Blood-Coagulating Factors.- The Role of Platelets in Blood Coagulation.- Vascular Factors in Blood Coagulation.- Fibrinolysis.- Thrombi and Emboli.- Conclusion.- References.- 8. Hormones.- Diseases of the Hypophysis.- Diseases of the Thyroid.- The Adrenal Cortex : Function and Diseases.- Sex Hormones.- Diabetes of Pancreatic Origin. The Mode of Action of Insulin, and Hypoglycemia.- Common Denominators in Hormone Action: Receptors and Second Messengers.- References.- 9. Alterations of Body Fluids and Electrolyte Metabolism.- Anatomy of the Kidney.- Sodium Metabolism.- Potassium Metabolism.- Chloride Metabolism.- Acids and Bases.- Edema.- Urea Metabolism and Uremia.- Lithiasis.- References.- Subject Index · Volumes 1 and 2.
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