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Unformatted text preview: TOPIC 1: CELLS, LIFE AND SIZE Occam's Razor or The Principle of Parsimony " It is vain to do with more what can be done with less. " ( William of Occam c. 1285 - 1349) Study all of Chapter 1 plus A-1 to A-6 (Not Phase Contrast - Yet!) THREE FUNDAMENTAL PROPOSITIONS The fundamental unit of life is the cell. Cells are small and are thus governed by forces which are largely foreign to us. All extant cells evolved from a single type of primordial ancestor. In this lecture I want to help you get a feel for how small cells are, and perhaps more importantly, for some of the consequences of their minuteness. For example, humans are large organisms and so we are dominated by the force of gravity. Conversely, small organisms and cells are influenced primarily by different forces such as viscosity and surface tension. To us, cells and small organisms live in a very strange world. But before we can talk about the size of cells you must first understand the units of measurement used in the study of cells and molecular biology.of cells you must first understand the units of measurement used in the study of cells and molecular biology....
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- Winter '07