Basic Biophysics for Biologist

Basic Biophysics for Biologist
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Basic Biophysics for Biologist

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Publisher: Agrobios Publications
ISBN: 9788177541540
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Preface
The heavy armour employed by a physicist in problem-solving often frightens a biologist who ventures to adopt physical principles in solving biochemical and clinical problems. This resulted in an exceptionally small number of biologists entering into the arena of biophysical problem solving. Since physics is based primarily upon a handful of concepts such as dimension, mass, force and energy an attempt is made here to expose the simple principles underlying the complicated processes, giving a minimal mathematical treatment. A great catalogue of formulae, equations and physical laws is avoided and emphasis is placed on the usage of physical methods in model building and solution of problems. The powerful analytical techniques developed in recent years provide many ways to sidetrack the arduous procedures inherent in the problem solving of physics and chemistry and to arrive at the answer in a few simple steps. The object of this book is to provide a working knowledge on the relationships between physical properties, chemical constitution and biological function. A fairly good knowledge of such relationships will help us to predict the chemical nature of a substance from its physical properties, with great accuracy and vice versa. An analysis of the data on physical and chemical nature of a compound will provide a great deal of insight into the behaviour of these substances in a biological system. I greatly enjoyed preparing this book. Although the teaching of Biophysics at the graduate level for years sharpened my understanding of the subject, the additional reading and the fruitful discussions with the students on the ideas I rediscovered widened the horizons of my perception. Actually it was during these discussions, a better way of looking at an old problem dawned on me and I learned to simplify a difficult concept without getting entangled in the heavy machinery of physics. The book is divided into four chapters, each chapter dealing with a specific aspect of living organisms. The first chapter is devoted to the structure and
behavior of matter. The electronic structure of atom is only outlined, but bonds and their formation are detailed. Special attention has been given to hydrogen bonds and apolar bonds, the to great forces stabilising the biological world. Van der Waal s forces, which contribute to the stability of molecules partially, also are dealt with in detail. The energy changes taking place in a system as well as the redox potential of various systems are discussed in brief. The chapter concludes with a note on the inclusion complexes. The mode of molecular organisation in living matter is covered in the second chapter. Though the structure of membranes is matter of debate, the components of membranes and their properties are evaluated. Transport being a major function of the membrane, various mechanisms of membrane transport are presented. The conformations of macromolecules and the forces behind their complex and precise structures are reviewed in detail. Third chapter embodies the spectroscopy. The changes induced by the electromagnetic radiation and the applications of these principles in the structure elucidation of organic compounds are covered here. Chiroptical methods and their importance in biological researches are appreciated. A brief account of radioactivity and its applications especially Mossbauer