Biochemistry and Molecular Biology How Life Works


Biochemistry and its allied field molecular biology are the fundamental sciences of life and the cornerstones of today’s biotechnology revolution. Together, they are among the crown jewels of science, on par with general relativity, quantum theory, and plate tectonics. But despite being about a subject that concerns us all—life—they are considered almost unapproachably difficult by non-scientists. That needn’t be. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: How Life Works is an accessible and entertaining introduction to this vital discipline in 36 half-hour lectures, heavily illustrated and tailored to viewers with no more of a science background than high school chemistry. Using the innovative methods that have earned him a multitude of teaching awards, Professor Kevin Ahern of Oregon State University covers the essential topics of a first-semester college course in biochemistry and molecular biology, introducing viewers to amino acids, proteins, enzymes, genes, and dealing with the intricate workings of living cells. Noting that biochemistry deals chiefly with just six bonding atoms, Professor Ahern starts by stressing the subject’s underlying simplicity. As he proceeds, complexity mounts in intriguing ways, but there are always surprising links to everyday questions, such as: How does coffee wake us up? Why do I check my phone 50 times per day? And, why don’t elephants get cancer?

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