Proteins make it possible for us to digest food, to battle disease, to breathe, to move; they underlie life itself. Only in the last 200 years have scientists come to understand how these proteins, or "foremost things," work. How they did so is the subject of this welcome history of protein science.
It doesn't diminish our pleasure in such things to know that the aroma coming from a cooked ham is generated by the reaction of maltose and glutamic acid, while the heavenly scent of chocolate comes from the interaction of phenylalaine and sucrose. Tanford and Reynolds aren't exactly given to rhapsodizing, but they write appreciatively nonetheless of advances such as Franz Hofmeister's identification of the "peptide bond" that joins amino acids in proteins, John Kendrew's work in understanding the three-dimensional structure of myoglobin, and the efforts of modern researchers who, joining protein science to cell biology and genetics, are now working to solve the structures of more than 10,000 protein families.
General readers and students with an interest in the life sciences will find this well-written history to be of much use--and the best of its kind. --Gregory McNamee
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
`Review from previous edition anyone interested in proteins will find Nature's Robots an absorbing and often exciting story, as well as a major contribution to scholarship.' Nature 17/01/02