The machinery of life

by David S. Goodsell


The cell is the basic unit of life, but most of us have at best a fuzzy, low-power idea of how cells are put together and what they look like. "The microscopic world of molecules is separated from our everyday world by an insurmountable, million-fold difference in size," says David Goodsell. "I created the illustrations in this book to help bridge this gulf and allow us to look at the molecular structure of cells, if not directly, then in an artistic rendition." Goodsell has succeeded remarkably. His pictures, mostly line drawings, show the structures of crucial biochemicals and the boggling intricacy of their arrangement in living cells. "A few minutes' study may be needed to overcome the feeling of claustrophobia," said Nature, "but will reward the reader with a lasting impression of the density and complexity of this soup of life." --Mary Ellen Curtin

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