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Title Chemical keys to an understanding of life processes
Subject Biochemistry ; Nucleic acids; Proteins
Description Twenty Second Annual Frederick William Reynolds Lecture.
Creator Smith, Emil L., 1911-
Publisher Extension Division, University of Utah
Date 1958-01-13
Date Digital 2008-05-29
Type Text
Format image/jpeg
Digitization Specifications Original scanned on Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner and saved as 400 ppi uncompressed tiff. Display images generated in PhotoshopCS and uploaded into CONTENTdm Aquisition Station.
Resource Identifier,564
Source LD5526.U8 n.s. v.49 no.11
Language eng
Relation Digital reproduction of "Chemical keys to an understanding of life processes," J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections
Rights Digital Image Copyright University of Utah
Metadata Cataloger Seungkeol Choe; Ken Rockwell
ARK ark:/87278/s6c8277g
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-31
ID 319868
Reference URL

Page Metadata

Title Page17
Description CHEMICAL KEYS TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE PROCESSES 17 have as their fundamental units certain simpler compounds named nucleotides. There are only four types of nucleotides present in the nucleic acid of chromosomes, but an individual nucleic acid may contain as many as 10,000 or more nucleotide units. Thus, there is plenty of scope for variation in nucleic acid structure by different sequences of nucleotide units. Without going further into such complex chemistry, it should be evident that the structure of nucleic acids is as complex as that of proteins. What is important for present consideration is that excellent evidence now is available from many different sources that genetic information is transmitted by nucleic acids. Let us consider first what this means and then mention some of the evidence for this concept. Since the metabolic machinery of the cell consists of a host of specific proteins, genetic factors must represent a method of determining the synthesis of individual proteins. Thus the transmission of genetic information is a transmission of chemical information. It is not yet known exactly how this is accomplished but somehow nucleic acids of a specific chemical character, in conjunction with the rest of the machinery of the cell, can determine the biosynthesis of a highly specific protein structure. Let us review briefly why the biochemist and geneticist are certain that genetic information is transmitted by nucleic acid. One line of evidence is derived from the study of viruses, ultramicroscopic bodies which can infect host cells, multiplying at the expense of such cells and causing damage to the host. Among familiar virus diseases of man are poliomyelitis and measles. There are other virus diseases which affect plants and viruses which even infect bacterial cells. In the last twenty years many viruses have been isolated in pure form and some behave as single chemical compounds. Indeed, many of them crystallize into the same perfect shapes as do simpler chemical compounds. Each virus that has been obtained in pure form has proved to be a nucleoprotein of high molecular weight. It is meaningless to argue whether viruses are living or not because this becomes a matter of definition. The important point to be emphasized is that a virus particle inside a living cell utilizes the metabolism of the host cell to influence a biosynthesis of new virus particles exactly like the parent virus. Although a virus is a nucleoprotein, it has been demonstrated that the reproductive property is associated only with the nucleic acid portion of the virus. Thus nucleic acid can somehow influence
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 022-RNLT-SmithE_Page17.jpg
Source Original Manuscript: Chemical keys to an understanding of life processes by Emil L. Smith.
Setname uu_fwrl
Date Created 2008-07-29
Date Modified 2008-07-29
ID 319858
Reference URL