CourseInfo_2006

5 j howard mechanics of motor proteins and the

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J. Howard, Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton , Sinauer As- sociates, 2001. Howard’s book is full of interesting insights and will serve as our second central source of reading. O. Mouritsen, Life - As a Matter of Fat , Springer, 2005. This book gives a number of insights into the role of lipids. My view is that lipids are short changed in the discussion of biological systems. Another book that I like a lot more is R. Robertson, The Lively Membranes , Cambridge University Press, 1983. Yes, the book is probably dated, but I like the tone and the figures. G. Forgacs and S. Newman, Biological Physics of the Developing Embryo , Cambridge University Press, 2005. I am not sure yet whether I like this book or not, but at any rate, it is yet another example of the physics types trying to take stock of biological phenomena. Developmental biology is one of my favorite topics and clearly it will admit of an increasing participation on the part of quantitative scientists. R. Burton, Physiology by Numbers , Cambridge University Press, 2000. This book is on my list because it attempts to take stock of many of the processes of physiology from the perspective of ”a feeling for the numbers” as we have done in the class. R. Schleif, Genetics and Molecular Biology , Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993. This is another one of my favorite books on molecular biology. Schleif has many interesting things to say about a variety of topics that we cover in the class. Nelson, P., Biological Physics: Energy, Information, Life , W. H. Freeman and Company, 2004. Phil Nelson’s book represents a view of parts of biol- ogy from a fully quantitative perspective and makes for enlightening reading. Ptashne, M., A Genetic Switch , Blackwell Science, 1992 and Ptashne, M.and Gann, A., Genes and Signals , Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2002. I am a huge reader and always have been and as a result collect lists of great 6
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books given to me by any and everyone. Ptashne’s two books make it onto my all time classics list. The clarity of the thinking and the farreaching vi- sion which attempts to tame the complexity of biological specificity is truly inspiring. I also encourage you to listen to Ptashne’s lectures at Rockefeller University which you can find online. Dill, K. and Bromberg, S., Molecular Driving Forces , Garland Publishing, 2002. This fantastic book gives a proper description of the power and ver- satility of statistical mechanics as opposed to the schoolboy exercises that make for the main substance of most books on statistical mechanics. The applications to real world problems in biology and chemistry are as refreshing as they are enlightening. Carroll S. B., Grenier J. K. and Weatherbee, S. D., From DNA to Diversity , Blackwell Science, 2001. This book is of the same high quality as those by Ptashne (and indeed, was inspired by Ptashne’s A Genetic Switch ). From my unsophisticated perspective, the way I view this book is as an attempt to bring together modern thinking on gene regulatory networks, developmental biology and the theory of evolution. Like Ptashne, these authors try to follow one key idea to its extreme, namely, the idea that animals share the same “genetic toolkit” that dictate body pattern.
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