The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and the Order of Life by Franklin M. HaroldWhat is life? Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the worlds most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question.
What is the relationship of living things to the inanimate realm of chemistry and physics? How do lifeless but special chemicals come together to form those intricate dynamic ensembles that we recognize as life? To shed light on these questions, Franklin Harold focuses here on microorganisms--in particular, the supremely well-researched bacterium E. coli--because the cell is the simplest level of organization that manifests all the features of the phenomenon of life. Harold shows that as simple as they appear when compared to ourselves, every cell displays a dynamic pattern in space and time, orders of magnitude richer than its elements. It integrates the writhings and couplings of billions of molecules into a coherent whole, draws matter and energy into itself, constructs and reproduces its own order, and persists in this manner for numberless generations while continuously adapting to a changing world.
A cell constitutes a unitary whole, a unit of life, and in this volume one of the leading authorities on the cell gives us a vivid picture of what goes on within this minute precinct. The result is a richly detailed, meticulously crafted account of what modern science can tell us about life as well as one scientists personal attempt to wring understanding from the tide of knowledge.
The life expectancy of the cell
The ability to examine the body at cellular level has come a long way since the s. Further developments in the field over the past 30 years have been significant with the help of genomics and ground-breaking research, leading us to present day and the latest winner of the Noble Prize for Medicine. Robert Hooke, generally credited as the first person to report on what Cell The basic structural and functional unit of living things. In animals, cells are enclosed by a membrane within which is the cytoplasm that contains cellular organelles, including the nucleus. Wren had produced exquisite drawings of a flea, a louse and a nit for the collection of King Charles II. The work was neither small, nor one to be humble about, as it soon became the reference point for much of subsequent research on the life of the cell. Hooke wanted his work to be something on which others could build.
Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition.
NCBI Bookshelf. Molecular Cell Biology. New York: W. Freeman; A cell in an adult organism can be viewed as a steady-state system. As these proteins function, they are also being degraded and replaced by new ones, and the system is so balanced that the cell neither grows, shrinks, nor changes its function. This static view of the cell, however, misses the all-important dynamic aspects of cellular life.
Cells can last a human lifetime, but not many do. They include cells inside the lens of the eye which become inert once they are in place in the embryo , cells in heart muscle and, perhaps most importantly, neurons in the brain. Counting all the cells a person ever has would take several lifetimes. The average turnover of all human cells in different tissues is seven to ten years, so the lifetime cell count is perhaps ten times the adult total — at least several tens of trillions of cells. That ignores many other cells, like the or so types of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in and on our bodies. Watch or download our animation exploring how the cells in your ear help to transmit sound to your brain.