October 23, 1954

The Kinetic Basis of Molecular Biology

JAMA. 1954;156(8):801. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950080049033

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The authors set forth the logical consequences of the hypothesis that two molecules in reacting chemically first form an "activated complex" or intermediate molecule with an average lifetime of the order of one ten-trillionth of a second. An opening chapter traces the history of experimentation and speculation, beginning with the work of Arrhenius in 1889. The remaining chapters explain the implications of the hypothesis in the biochemistry of lun[ill]inescence, temperature effects, pressure effects, membrane potentials, transmission of nerve fibers, narcosis by anesthetics, and muscular contraction. The discussion is exhaustive and scholarly, and a reader who wishes to follow all of the text will find he needs a command of mathematics well beyond differential and integral calculus. An accurate bibliography, alphabetically arranged by authors' names, also serves as an author index, covers 85 pages, and is followed by a subject index. This book will be a necessary reference work for anyone

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