The Life Puzzle - On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor
Cairns-Smith (A.G.)
Source: Cairns-Smith - The Life Puzzle - On Crystals and Organisms and on the Possibility of a Crystal as an Ancestor
Paper - Abstract

Paper SummaryText Colour-Conventions


Contents

    Preface – v
    Acknowledgements – vi
  1. Introduction – 1
    … A world in a grain of sand;
    … Gases and golf;
    … Micro-states and macro-states;
    … Forces of order;
    … Order v. chaos;
    … Open systems.
    Part I: From Crystals To Organisms
  2. Crystals – 12
    … Supercooling and supersaturation;
    … Nucleation;
    … Crystal growth;
    … Crystal defects;
    … Dislocation theory of crystal growth;
    … Chemical imperfections;
    … Further reading.
  3. Subcrystals – 20
    … Conformation of molecules;
    … Polymer crystals;
    … Polyamino acids;
    … The primary and secondary structures of DNA;
    … RNA;
    … Proteins;
    … Irregular finite subcrystals;
    … On the virtues and difficulties of molecular sockets;
    … Enzymes as excavators;
    … Precision engineering as the key to enzyme success;
    … Allosteric enzymes;
    … Quaternary structure of proteins;
    … Is protein unique?;
    … Further reading.
  4. Organisms – 51
    … The genetic theory of organisms;
    … Where are the genes?;
    … The genetic code;
    … The translating machinery;
    … ‘The minimum phenotype';
    … The genetic view of organisms;
    … A gene in a stream?;
    … Further reading.
    Part II: Organisation
  5. On Being Organised – 65
    … Prevalence and organisation;
    … Four aspects of organisation;
    … The inadequacy of negentropy;
    … Hereditary organisation;
    … Biological organisation;
    … Information capacity;
    … An idealised measure of organisation;
    … Complexity of genotype and phenotype;
    … Recapitulation.
  6. On Becoming Organised – 82
    … ‘Creative' processes;
    … How to get a monkey to write War and Peace;
    … How to make an enzyme without really knowing what you are doing;
    … How lucky is insulin?;
    … Chance, selection and replication;
    … Corresponding continuity of form and function;
    … Accessible and inaccessible proteins;
    … Would the automotive enzyme finder always come up with the same answer?;
    … Real evolution of proteins and organisms;
    … Mobile landscapes and super-landscapes;
    … Dynamics of a tortoise-blanket-pea system;
    … Further reading.
    Part III: The Origin Of Life
  7. A Quest For An Easy Life – 110
    … ‘The facility principle';
    … Three ideas;
    … Difficulties presented by ‘metabolic' and ‘genetic' views;
    … Genetic metamorphosis1;
    … A possible primitive molecular biology;
    … The story of Sloppy, Sticky, Lumpy and Tough;
    … Catchment areas;
    … Prospects for further evolution;
    … Further reading.
  8. Genetic Metamorphosis2 – 137
    … Local multiplication of genes;
    … Divergence of gene function;
    … Co-adaptation of genes;
    … Elaboration of a communal phenotype;
    … Gene addition;
    … Establishment of 'heterogenetic' communities;
    … Genetic extension;
    … Genetic modification;
    … Cells;
    … Where are the crystal-gene systems now?;
    … Conclusion.
    References – 151
    Index – 157

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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