Principles of Biochemistry, 5th Edition
The study of life at the molecular level. As you venture into this exciting and dynamic discipline, you’ll discover many new and wonderful things. You’ll learn how some enzymes can catalyze chemical reactions at speeds close to theoretical limits—reactions that would otherwise occur only at imperceptibly low rates. You’ll learn about the forces that maintain biomolecular structure and how even some of the weakest of those forces make life possible. You’ll also learn how biochemistry has thousands of applications in day-to-day life—in medicine, drug design, nutrition, forensic science, agriculture, and manufacturing. In short, you’ll begin a journey of discovery about how biochemistry makes life both possible and better.
Before we begin, we would like to offer a few words of advice:
Don’t just memorize facts; instead, understand principles In this book, we have tried to identify the most important principles of biochemistry. Because the knowledge base of biochemistry is continuously expanding, we must grasp the underlying themes of this science in order to understand it. This textbook is designed to expand on the foundation you have acquired in your chemistry and biology courses and to provide you with a biochemical framework that will allow you to understand new phenomena as you meet them.
Be prepared to learn a new vocabulary
An understanding of biochemical facts requires that you learn a biochemical vocabulary. This vocabulary includes the chemical structures of a number of key molecules. These molecules are grouped into families based on their structures and functions. You will also learn how to distinguish among members of each family and how small molecules combine to form macromolecules such as proteins and nucleic acids.
Test your understanding
True mastery of biochemistry lies with learning how to apply your knowledge and how to solve problems. Each chapter concludes with a set of carefully crafted problems that test your understanding of core principles.Many of these problems are mini case studies that present the problem within the context of a real biochemical puzzle. For more practice, we are pleased to refer you to The Study Guide for Principles of Biochemistry by Scott Lefler and Allen Scism which presents a variety of supplementary questions that you may find helpful. You will also find additional problems on TheChemistryPlace® for Principles of Biochemistry (http://www.chemplace.com).
Learn to visualize in 3-D
Biochemicals are three-dimensional objects. Understanding what happens in a biochemical reaction at the molecular level requires that you be able to “see” what happens in three dimensions.We present the structures of simple molecules in several different ways in order to illustrate their three-dimensional conformation. In addition to the art in the book, you will find many animations and interactive molecular models on the website.We strongly suggest you look at these movies and do the exercises that accompany them as well as participate in the molecular visualization tutorials.
Finally, please let us know of any errors or omissions you encounter as you use this text. Tell us what you would like to see in the next edition.With your help we will continue to evolve this work into an even more useful tool. Our e-mail addresses are at the end of the Preface. Good luck, and enjoy!
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