Field of Science

New Book

Dennis Gray's "Wetware: A Computer in every Living Cell" discusses the forces of physics, chemistry and self-assembly that turns a cell into a computer like concatenation of protein networks that communicate, evolve and perform complex functions. The origin of life is essentially a chemistry problem and it centers on self-assembly.

1 comment:

  1. I'm always a little bit hesitant to categorize biology as "applied chemistry", much as physicists think of chemistry as "applied" physics. Intellectually, I certainly see the connections (although I love to challenge my physics colleagues by telling them to first derive the Schroedinger equation before attempting to prove that all chemistry can be predicted by it). Something is lost in the reduction.

    The best analogy I can think of is the magnetic poetry kits - a bunch of words with magnetic backings that you can slide around on the fridge to create poetry. Just about everyone can come up with something of value.

    But if you were to take those words and chop them into individual letters, most people would really struggle to come up with something, even though in both cases the exact same data is available. To me, physics is the individual letters, chemistry is the words, and then biology would be full paragraphs (or even short essays).

    Part of the issue here is the human factor, something that doesn't exist in the random motion of molecules, and yet science is still a human affair.


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