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Pain-Free Biochemistry


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Table of Contents

Preface. SECTION 1 Foundations. Topic 1 Why biochemistry? Topic 2 Remarkableness of life. Chemistry I The basic structure of substances: atoms, molecules, elements and compounds. Chemistry II Atomic structure, valency and bonding. Chemistry III Protons, acids, bases, concentration and the pH scale. Topic 3 Shape, molecular recognition and proteins: an example. Topic 4 Proteins: molecular necklaces. Topic 5 Chemical transformations in the living organism: metabolism. Topic 6 Reactions, catalysts and CONTENTS Topic 7 Specificity, saturation and active sites. Topic 8 Structure of metabolism: anabolism and catabolism. Chemistry IV Equilibrium. Topic 9 Catabolism: degradation vs energy metabolism. Chemistry V Oxidation and reduction. Topic 10 Oxidation and reduction in metabolism. SECTION 2 Catabolism. Chemistry VI Aldehydes, ketones and sugars. Topic 11 Carbohydrates: sugars and polysaccharides in metabolism. Topic 12 Glucose inside the body. Topic 13 Breakdown of sugar: glycolysis. Topic 14 Aerobic oxidation of pyruvate: Krebs cycle. Topic 15 Respiratory chain, oxidative phosphorylation and overall ATP yields. Topic 16 Mobilising the carbohydrate store: glycogenolysis. Chemistry VII Alcohols, esters, glycerol, fatty acids and triglycerides. Chemistry VIII Hydrophobic, hydrophilic and amphiphilic. Topic 17 Phospholipids and membranes. Chemistry IX Saturated and unsaturated. Topic 18 Fats as an energy source. Topic 19 Fats: digestion, transport, storage and mobilisation. Topic 20 Fats: oxidation of fatty acids. Topic 21 Ketone bodies in health and disease. Topic 22 Dietary fat: essential fatty acids. Topic 23 Protein and amino acid breakdown. Topic 24 Shedding excess amino groups: urea cycle. SECTION 3 Anabolism and Control. Topic 25 Is anabolism just catabolism backwards? Topic 26 Making new glucose: gluconeogenesis. Topic 27 Fatty acid biosynthesis. Topic 28 Providing reducing power: NADPH and the pentose phosphate pathway. Chemistry X Isotopes. Topic 29 Red cells and white cells: defence against reactive oxygen and reactive oxygen as defence! Topic 30 The need for metabolic control. Topic 31 Relationship of fats and carbohydrates: use by different tissues. SECTION 4 Genes and Protein Synthesis. Topic 32 The idea of genes. Topic 33 The chemistry of genes: DNA and the double helix. Topic 34 The genetic code and mRNA. Topic 35 Protein synthesis, ribosomes and tRNA. Topic 36 Genetic differences and disease. Topic 37 Genetic variability: drug metabolism and disease susceptibility. Topic 38 Mutation, radiation and ageing. Topic 39 Switching genes on and off: development, tissue specificity, adaptation and tolerance. Topic 40 DNA and protein synthesis as targets: chemotherapy, antibiotics, etc. SECTION 5 Physiological Systems and Clinical Issues. Topic 41 Hormones and second messengers. Topic 42 Switching enzymes on and off: coarse and fine control. Topic 43 Insulin, glucagon and adrenaline. Topic 44 Diabetes. Topic 45 Steroid hormones and receptors: fertility control, pregnancy testing, etc. Topic 46 Pituitary hormones and feedback loops. Topic 47 Thyroid hormones. Topic 48 Adrenal cortex. Topic 49 Prostaglandins and inflammation: aspirin. Topic 50 Membrane transport. Topic 51 Nerve and muscle. Topic 52 pH homeostasis. Topic 53 Diagnostic markers: biochemical tests. Topic 54 Blood, bleeding and clotting. SECTION 6 Appendices. Appendix 1 pH and neutrality. Appendix 2 Crystallography. Appendix 3 Protein forces, secondary structure and folding. Appendix 4 Equilibrium constant. Appendix 5 Phosphorus, phosphoric acid and phosphate esters. Appendix 6 Coenzymes, cofactors and prosthetic groups. Appendix 7 Coenzyme A. Appendix 8 Krebs cycle and evidence for a catalytic reaction sequence. Appendix 9 Knoop?s experiment pointing to ?-oxidation of fatty acids. Appendix 10 Isoenzymes. Appendix 11 Genetic code. Appendix 12 Different kinds of mutation. Appendix 13 Restriction enzymes. Appendix 14 Enzyme inhibition. Appendix 15 Electrophoresis to separate proteins. Appendix 16 Chromatography and mass spectrometry to separate and identify metabolites. Glossary. MCQ answers. Index.

About the Author

Professor Paul Engel is professor of biochemistry at University College Dublin. He has had extensive experience teaching biochemistry to undergraduate and postgraduate biochemistry, biology, medicine, engineering and nursing students, in his current post at UCD and at the universities of Sheffield, Oxford and Hong Kong. He is on the Editorial Board of Biochemical Journal, and Essays in Biochemistry, and is the author of the highly successful textbook: Enzyme Kinetics (Outline Series) published by Chapman and Hall.


"For students embarking on careers in the health sciences, it is an essential academic companion and, retailing at approximately GBP28, it is excellent value for money". (The Biochemist, 1 June 2011) "It's not every day that one picks up a textbook that can claim to occupy a unique niche, given the multitude of scientific textbooks that are vying for a medical readership. However, with the recent publication of Pain-Free Biochemistry: An Essential Guide for the Health Sciences , which is specifically aimed at students of medicine and nursing, one could be left wondering just why nobody thought of this sooner." ( Irish Medical News , September 08, 2010)

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