The molecules of life give you the ability to be you and make the body housing your consciousness work. Their chemistry works largely because of the shapes they form. Those shapes have a remarkable beauty that often evokes memories of shapes like those maybe seen on a hike in Tucson’s mountains. They also mix form with function. That such precise structures are allowed by the laws of nature and also chaos is not immediately intuitive but this reality is demonstrated by the human body trillions of times every second. On the other hand, life’s molecules solve some problems by allowing some chaos and disorder. The most pressing questions about these processes challenge the thinking of scientists as much as they can a non-scientist. The latest discoveries in human diseases, such as neurodegenerative disease and cancer, have proven that we can no longer hide from these questions that don’t fit nicely with the stories we tell students in their textbooks. That’s what makes these secrets so exciting!
Presenter: Jacob Schwartz. Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Arizona