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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 Page10
Description 10 TWENTY-SECOND ANNUAL REYNOLDS LECTURE remarked more than sixty years ago, the enzyme must fit its substrate, as the key fits the lock. Thus, the enzyme has built into it a number of characteristic pieces of information, or chemical groupings, all at the correct distances. The property of having a number of bits of information built in, rather than a single kind of information, is characteristic of all specificity. We recognize the faces of people not by an eye or a nose or a chin, but by the configuration of all these structures in relationship to one another. We may recognize the eyes of a human being showing through a mask, but we usually cannot learn more than that. The more we can see of the face, the more precise is our identification of the individual. To give another analogy, we cannot recognize music by hearing one note. We must hear a series of notes or harmonies in correct spatial relationship or rhythm; this permits us to identify the melody or musical phrase. On a different scale, specificity has its everyday applications. The physician cannot diagnose an illness from the information that the child has a fever. If, in addition, it is known that the patient has a cough and has spots of a certain color on certain parts of the body, etc., a specific diagnosis, perhaps of measles, may be made even over the telephone. In other words, specific information at any level depends on having a number of kinds of information in relationship to one another. This is what we mean by specificity. Perhaps the point is being belabored, but such familiar concepts are an important part of our scientific methodology. To return now to the specific enzyme, we may visualize, in broad terms, a molecule which has built into it chemically reactive groups of the right kind and at the right distances from one another so that the enzyme can react with certain kinds of molecules and not with others. Much of the activity of biochemists is presently devoted to ascertaining the kinds of chemical groupings in different enzymes which are responsible for their reactivity. It is obvious from all this that an enzyme molecule has a very definite structure. As far as we know, when a cell produces a certain kind of enzyme, it makes every enzyme molecule essentially like its brother. This ability to synthesize identical molecules is a property shared by all normal cells to a amazing degree. This concept is, of course, thoroughly familiar to all of you. We have seen identical twins that are almost impossible to distinguish from one another, at
Format image/jpeg
Identifier 015-RNLT-SmithE_Page10.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 319851
Reference URL