- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Sinauer Associates is an imprint of Oxford University Press; New edition (February 16, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0878933336
- ISBN-13: 978-0878933334
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,240,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton New Edition
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"The cytoskeleton is an area of intense research and we are in danger of drowning in a sea of facts. A textbook is needed which starts from first principles and leads to an understanding of the dynamics of the system. And here is that book."
--Edwin Taylor, Nature
"The book is a great launching point for gaining a biophysical understanding of the current detailed literature of motility which is increasingly filled with mathematical models describing motility data. As such, it will benefit students of a wide range of biological and physical backgrounds who are interested in understanding the nuts-and-bolts of cellular motility."
--Stephen J. King, Cell
About the Author
Jonathon Howard is Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Physics at the Yale School of Medicine. He earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Australian National University, doing postdoctoral research there as well as at the University of Bristol and the University of California, San Francisco. The Howard Lab uses highly sensitive techniques to visualize and manipulate individual biological molecules, seeking to understand the interaction rules that allow molecules to work together to form highly organized and dynamic cellular structures.The writing of Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton was inspired by Dr. Howard's teaching of a course on Cell Motility at the University of Washington.
Top customer reviews
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In addition to being an excellent entry point for biologists into this subject, this book would also be an excellent resource for engineers who become interested in cell biology (like myself) because it presents many of the current research frontiers in cell biology from an essentially engineering perspective and using quantitative reasoning. Again, the author has taken great pains to present the subject in a logical way that does not require much prior knowledge about biology on the part of the reader. Thus, either for biologists who want to learn about the quantitative/physical approach to cell biology, and for engineers or physicists who want to learn how they can apply their type of thinking to problems of cell biology, this book is highly recommended.
The first thing Dr. Howard does is to the set the visual stage for us by clearly elucidating in numerical terms the forces at work inside a cell -think of a cell magnified a million times to the size of a football field(300 ft) and the things moving inside are all range from 1cm - 3ft . The force of gravity is at least a billion times smaller than the viscous force on a molecule - gravity is irrelevant in the world inside cells. For those of us who have read Dr. Seuss's Horton Hears a Who, journey into the world of cells would be very much like visiting Whoville, except the kangaroo had its way and dipped the soft clover with its village, and all its little people living on it, into the barrel of oil - luckily it is not hot.
Now the question immediately arises, how do things move inside a treacle? Add crowding to that too! To give you a sense of the crowding inside a cell, a typical mammalian cell contains a billion individual protein molecules. Can diffusion alone do the job of moving stuff around? The answer is no. Diffusion only plays a role at short ranges but for long range movement inside cells, nature has devised a means of transport of hauling stuff around on cables (see Dr. Howard's recent excellent paper in Nature June 2011 on diffusion vs active transport - Turing's next step: the mechanochemical basis of morphogenesis). Cables that double as scaffolds too - nature assembles these cables inside cells and uses them to haul cargo around using energy from food we eat. Dr. Howard explains in great detail how nature dynamically assembles cables and how little nanomachines walk (rather strut) on them hauling cargo. This form of active transport is faster than diffusion - nature's solution that is ubiquitous in all forms of life - from single cells to multicellular life forms.
This is a must read for any person who is curious to know what is happening inside each cell in our bodies. Nature's engineering is bound to humble and awe even the best engineer among us and this book is a great start in that incredibly exciting journey.
Thank you Dr. Howard for writing such a great book.