J. Membrane Biol. 171, 1–24 (1999) The Journal of Membrane Biology © Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1999 Topical Review R.S. Eisenberg Department of Molecular Biophysics and Physiology, Rush Medical Center, 1750 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA Received: 16 March 1999/Revised: 24 May 1999 Introduction The other part of the biologists’ quest is to under- stand how these structures produce function. There, the goal is not in sight yet, although we will argue later in Life is diverse and complex in both structure and func- this paper that it may be fairly soon for one type of tion. The variety of animals and structures within ani- protein, ionic channels, that have simple structure when mals has been obvious at least since the time of Aristotle open, and use particularly simple physics, that of elec- (Aristotle, 1961), and so has been the richness of what trodiffusion. they can do. For more than two millennia scientists have Understanding the function of any biological sys- followed Aristotle’s path, trying to understand how tems means understanding how biological systems use structure produces function in biological systems, con- physical laws to perform that function. When the bio- tinually looking at smaller and smaller
The Journal of Membrane Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1999
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