by Jonathon M. Sullivan, MD, PhD


Program Synopsis

In this issue, your old Quantum Butcher’s going to start something new—a series on frontiers in biology. We’ll talk about the latest revelations in cell structure and physiology, recombinant DNA and genetic engineering, cell suicide, what’s new in neurobiology, cell signaling and other groovy stuff. I won’t throw it all at you sequentially—along the way I’ll be sticking in a few articles on physics, computer science, astronomy and any other topics that jump up in my face. But for the next year or so we’re going to take a journey through the frontiers of living matter—or as I like to call it, the Quantum Meat.

Some of you, I’m sure, could dig into the Quantum Meat and feel right at home munchin’ down on phospholipid bilayers, synaptic vesicles, mitochondrial membranes and retrotransposons. Let’s face it: people like you aren’t normal. Most decent, regular folk last saw a biology text in high school or college, which means, of course, that they’ve never had a proper introduction to the life sciences. So we’re going to start with fundamentals. The first three articles in this series will cover the basics, cooking up the Quantum Meat from scratch, as it were. We’re going to start with atoms and work our way up to cells. But even in these introductory articles we’re going to cover some material you bionerds may find interesting, so don’t run off to play with your PCR just yet.

Let’s wipe down the older particle cleaver and dissecting tray and get started, shall we?




Bohr'd with Atoms?

The Ties that Bind

Polar Molecules--What's So Great About Water?

The Elements of Life

Organic Chemistry Ain't Biochemistry--But it Helps

Why Carbon?