Update item information
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 Page7
Description CHEMICAL KEYS TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE PROCESSES 7 knowledge that they constitute the main machinery which carries out the metabolic functions of living cells. The major function performed by proteins is that of catalysis. Catalysts are accelerators of chemical reactions. What do we mean by this ? A bottle of sugar may remain on the kitchen shelf for many, many years without any sign of chemical change or modification. Yet, when added to yeast cells or to a suitable extract of yeast cells, the sugar will be rapidly converted through rather complex chemical pathways into simpler chemical compounds, particularly water and carbon dioxide gas. The action of the yeast on sugar produces the carbon dioxide which raises the bread or cake to its spongy and tasty form. In the fermentation vat, sugar is converted into alcohol as well as carbon dioxide by the living yeast cells. The process is catalyzed by a number of enzymes working in a coordinated stepwise manner. We need not be concerned here with the pathways of these chemical transformations. One important point is that the living cell can derive energy from this process and can utilize certain of the products in conjunction with other compounds, in order to grow and multiply, in effect, making new living cells. Unless the sugar is specifically broken down into simpler compounds, the stored energy is unavailable to the cell. Until near the turn of the century, many believed that the fermentation of sugar could be accomplished only by intact cells. Since the demonstration that broken cell preparations could perform this process, biochemists have succeeded in isolating the various components which are involved. In the same way, many other chemical transformations occurring in living cells have been studied. The total of all the chemical processes which occur in cells is called metabolism. In the past half-century, we have learned much about metabolism and the most striking findings are these. First of all, most metabolic processes are very similar even in cells of diverse origin. For example, the metabolic reactions involved in the transformation of sugar to carbon dioxide and water are much the same in all cells whether they are derived from plants, animals or microorganisms. Secondly, the entire structure of cells is synthesized from a relatively small number of rather simple compounds. The processes are complex and, as we shall see later, the machinery is intricate, but the starting materials are very simple. Plants which can utilize the. radiant energy of the sun for biosyn-
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 012-RNLT-SmithE_Page7.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 319848
Reference URL