The Machinery of Life

You do not have a body. You are a functioning body. And that body is made up of billions of cells. These living cells are made up of an extraordinary collection of tiny molecular machines, which orchestrate the millions of tasks needed for life. Cells build these machines for a variety of purposes: to digest food, to propel them to fertile feeding grounds or away from predators, to store the genetic blueprint, and to fight disease-causing invaders.


The Machinery of Life is a journey into the sub-microscopic world of molecular machines. The reader is first introduced to the types of molecules built by cells: proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and polysaccharides. In a series of distinctive illustrations, the reader is then guided through the interior world of cells, exploring the ways in which molecules work in concert to perform the processes of living.


Finally, the book shows how vitamins, viruses, poisons, and drugs each have their effects on the molecules in our bodies. The author and illustrator, David Goodsell (, has prepared a fascinating introduction to biochemistry for the nonspecialist. This book combines a clear text with an abundance of drawings and computer graphics that present the world of cells and their components in a new and unique way. Own it.


Check if this introduction to molecular biology is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at


167 pages in Copernicus Press

2nd ed. published  2009

ISBN  978-0387849249


David S. Goodsell

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