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AuthorLancker, Julien L. Van. author
TitleMolecules, Cells, and Disease [electronic resource] : An Introduction to the Biology of Disease / by Julien L. Van Lancker
ImprintNew York, NY : Springer New York, 1977
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Descript 311 p. 28 illus. online resource


In tracing their origin and their fate, the beginning and the end of their environment, humans have often been guided by curiosity. Such concern has helped man to discover, among other things, the structure of the universe from star to atom and the evolution of life from unicellular organism to human being. The study of disease is unique. Although it may have been inยญ spired by the curiosity of a few, it has always been the concern of all, because preventing or curing disease has meant survival not only of individuals, but of entire nations, not only of humans, but of fellow living creatures. If greed, force, religion, and language have been major causes of wars, diseases, more than arms, have often decided the outcome of battles and thereby have woven the pattern of history. For millennia, a large fraction of the human race believed that disease expressed the wrath of God(s) against individuals or societies. Therefore, only priests or priestesses, kings, and queens were endowed with the power of healing. In the West, Hippocrates is credited for exorcising this concept of disease and for objectively describing and cataloguing them. The contributions of Greek physicians to Western medicine made possible more accurate diagnoses and prognoses


1 The Concept of Disease and Its History -- Prehistoric Times -- Egypt, Greece, and Rome -- Medieval Times -- The Foundation of Modern Pathology -- Cellular Pathology -- The Origins of Chemical Pathology -- 2 Development of Existing Knowledge -- Gene Expression -- Cell Structure -- Intercellular Integration -- Conclusion -- 3 Defense Mechanisms -- First Line of Defense -- Blood Coagulation, Inflammation, and Immunity -- Restoration of Lost Tissues -- 4 Causes of Disease -- Hereditary Diseases -- Congenital Anomalies -- Conflict with the Environment -- Nutritional Deficiencies -- Hormonal Imbalances -- Body Fluids and Electrolyte Imbalances -- Defective Defense Mechanisms -- Excessive Response to Injury -- Conclusion -- 5 Injuries to Units of Specificity -- Primary Injury to DNA -- DNA Repair -- Consequences of Injuries to DNA -- Inherited Mutations -- Somatic Mutations -- Interference with DNA Synthesis -- Injuries to Transcription -- Pathology of Translation -- Conclusion -- 6 Injuries to Catalytic Units -- About Atoms and Molecules -- About Chemical Reactions -- About Enzyme Reactions -- Life Cycle of Enzymes -- Pathology of the Catalytic Unit -- Disease and Substrate Alteration -- Conclusion -- 7 Hormone Imbalance -- Endocrine Glands -- Mode of Action of Hormones -- Regulation of Hormone Secretion -- Second Messengers -- Hormone Degradation -- Hormonal Diseases -- 8 Pathology of Cell Membranes -- Function of the Plasma Membrane -- Structure of Cell Membranes -- Molecular Organization of the Cell Membrane -- Biosynthesis of the Cell Membrane -- The Cytocavitary Network -- Pathology of Cell Membranes -- Conclusion -- 9 Reflections on Cellular Death -- Primary, Secondary, and Critical Injuries -- Programmed Death -- Provoked Death -- Conclusion -- 10 The Great Killers, Atherosclerosis and Cancer -- Atherosclerosis -- Cancer -- 11 Aging -- Manifestations of Aging -- Possible Cellular Mechanisms in Aging -- Biological Causes of Aging -- Conclusion

Medicine Medical biochemistry Pathology Cell biology Medicine & Public Health Pathology Cell Biology Medical Biochemistry


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