Biochemistry Demystified (by Sharon Walker, 2006)

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0071495991″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”proteinsynth-20″ width=”127″] The book covers basic biochemical concepts as well as cellular structures and components.  “Biology Demystified” explains the structure and biological significance of the major classes of biology macro molecules, like proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates and lipids. Chapters cover main biochemical processes like glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, oxidative phosphorylationas well as the control mechanisms used for the overall regulation. The book material is well supported with of examples and illustrations, but most of them seems to be copied from online learning resources like Wikipedia. The book could be used for rapid rehash of college level biology/chemistry knowledge, but it is not enough comprehensive and accurate (reported multiple errors in the content!) to dig deeper in the biochemistry matter. The only advantage is the low price. For more information about Biochemistry Demystified (by Sharon Walker, 2006) visit


Biochemistry (by Mary K. Campbell, 2011)

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0840068581″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”proteinsynth-20″ width=”126″] This Biochemistry book reflects the most recent developments in molecular cloning, stem cell research, virology and immunology. The latest book edition is ideal for those studying biochemistry for the first time as it balances scientific detail with readability. A unique magazine insert, “Hot Topics in Biochemistry,” introduces the latest advances in the field. The learning text are supported with state-of-the art visuals that help clarify the biochemistry concepts. The book introduce “Biochemical Connections” pages that aims to demonstrate how biochemistry affects other scientific and practical fields, such as health and sports medicine. I found that these “special” pages brought up some very interesting and thought-provoking issues. In-text questions provides an early check up of what you have learned and thus help you master key concepts of biochemistry. In addition each chapter has sets questions grouped by problem types that can really help you master problem-solving skills. The book is a true contender of Lehninger’s Biochemistry! For more information about Biochemistry (by Mary K. Campbell, 2011) visit

Molecular Biology: Principles and Practice (by Michael Cox, 2011)

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0716779986″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”proteinsynth-20″ width=”124″] “Molecular Biology: Principles and Practice” is not the standard textbook you have used to read while preparing for your biology classes. The book tries to combine the science of molecular biology with the historical facts about the science discoveries and the involved researchers. The mixing of science and scientists makes it fun to read. The illustrations are just great and the book contains plenty of them which simplify the learning of the complicated biological processes – many beautiful molecular structures and lots of hand-drawn informative diagrams. The book can even entertain and inspire you with the anecdotes of scientific discoveries and pictures of scientists. However the binding of the loose leaf edition is not good enough and under certain conditions the book can falls apart, which makes it a bad selection if you intend to rent the book from Amazon. Highly recommend buying the hardcover edition instead. For more information about Molecular Biology: Principles and Practice (by Michael Cox, 2011) visit

DNA Science: A First Course (by David Micklos, 2003)

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0879696362″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”proteinsynth-20″ width=”118″] This is probably the best single source of information on Genetic Science published in the last decade or so! The book is quite comprehensive and covers bot genetics research history, cold theory and lab practice methods and techniques. This book goes into great details about DNA and links to the actual experiments and how the resulting discoveries were made – the book delivers an up to date collection of 12 rigorously tested and reliable lab experiments in molecular biology. All of the material is supported by great illustrations and the topics are very clearly written. However the book is not suitable for “For Dummies” audience, but more towards people with a serious interest in the field, who are ready to memorize a lot of information and have a mature and analytical/reasoning skills. The reader also much have a basic understanding of chemistry and biology to understand the informations. As a prerequisites for better understanding of the informations in the books is that the reader was taking Honor/AP biology in advance. Highly recommended book for readers in high school! For more information about DNA Science: A First Course (by David Micklos, 2003) visit

Schaum’s Outline of Biochemistry, Third Edition (Kuchel et al., 2011)

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”left” asin=”0071472274″ cloaking=”default” height=”160″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”” tag=”proteinsynth-20″ width=”119″] The book is highly recommended as a supplemental material to undergraduate biochemistry courses. Schaum’s Outline of Biochemistry supply comprehensive material to get prepared for quizzes, midterms and even final exams. Schaum’s Outline of Biochemistry covers a wide range of biology related topics including all types of biology molecules like amino acids and proteins; important biological processes like DNA replication and protein synthesis. Each book chapter illustrate the material with multiple images and diagrams and has hundreds of examples at the end. Having in mind that these “outline series” are more or less supplements and cannot replace a proper textbook, the Schaum’s outlines are an excellent guide and can be used to organize your studying. This book provides a concise reference for brushing up or rehash before an exam. The kindle edition of [easyazon_link asin=”0071472274″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”no” tag=”proteinsynth-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Schaum’s Outline of Biochemistry[/easyazon_link] is $13.69 and is a real deal! For more information about Schaum’s Outline of Biochemistry, Third Edition (Kuchel et al., 2011) visit

Protein Synthesis Animation Collection

Below I have tried to gather almost a complete collection of protein synthesis animation videos and slide-shares. The aim was to find as many as possible protein synthesis animations that cover all the protein synthesis steps, but also to include animations that describe specific steps of the protein synthesis process. The majority of the videos are taken from YouTube and Vimeo – you can watch them directly as embedded in the post. There are also other protein synthesis animations which are impossible to be embedded in the post – to watch them, just click the video thumbnail and you will be guided to the original source. For each protein synthesis animation I will try to provide a short summary and detailed information for the source of the animation – all the CREDITS go to the original publisher/author, because preparing such an animation is really very-very time and resource consuming!

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What Is Homeostasis

The term homeostasis originates from two Greek words – homeo, which means “similar” or “identical” and stasis, which means “standing” or “stable”. The closest translation of the term is “staying the same”. Homeostasis identifies a state when a living system reaches internal equilibrium. All systems aim to reach a balanced state, but the term “homeostasis” is used only to explain how biological systems alter their internal processes in respond to changes in the environment and to ensure the proper functions of the system components. Homeostasis is not a static state, but a dynamic one – ever-changing state. It is important to state that it differs from other similar phenomena (like dynamic equilibrium) because it is a regulated process.


What Is Homeostasis On Biological Level – Living organisms

What Is Homeostasis

Source: Robert Snache –

Based on the selected approach for maintaining homeostasis, the organisms could be classified into conformers and regulators. The first group accepts the environment to define their system parameters, while the second group tries to maintain their system parameters to a certain range. One of the classical examples of homeostasis conformer’s approach is the ectothermic animals, whose body temperature is dependent on the environmental temperature. The endothermic animals could be used as an example of homeostasis regulators, because they are able to maintain their body temperature in a certain range.


Homeostasis Control Mechanisms

The whole body balance is maintained by the interactions between components of multiple systems and primarily by the nervous and endocrine systems taking. One of the common examples of human homeostasis is the regulation of the body temperature – when the temperature is high, a center within the brain recognize this change and induce the excretion of the sweat glands to decrease the temperature; when the temperature is low, then the muscles shiver to generate heat.

From the example above, it could be inferred that the homeostatic regulation of body condition variables requires three mandatory components:

  • Receptor brings the external signals to the system that responds to external changes. If the receptor captures a signal above a defined threshold, it “transmits” the information to a control center.
  • The control center determines an appropriate corrective response to the external stimulus. For vertebrate animals, in most homeostatic mechanisms, the control center is the brain.
  • Effectors receive the “instructions” from the control center. The effectors involved in homeostasis are usually muscles, organs, glands or other formations with specific functions.

Based on the specific process and the received signal, the biological system (in this case, the organism as a whole) makes appropriate changes to correct the deviation by either amplifying it (positive feedback) or suppressing it (negative feedback).


Positive Feedback of Homeostasis

Positive feedback mechanisms aim to increase or speed up the system respond created by an external stimulus.  The result of a positive feedback mechanism is to push the body parameter levels out of normal ranges. This can be achieved by initiation of a cascading process that leads to increase the effect of the stimulus. This cascading amplification not used frequently by the body because does not allow fine tuned control mechanism. An example of homeostasis positive feedback mechanism is the release of hormone oxytocin during childbirth, which intensifies the muscle contractions and facilitates the birth of the baby.


Negative Feedback of Homeostasis

Negative feedback homeostasis mechanisms aim to put the functioning of any organ or system back to its normal range. A classical example of negative feedback of homeostasis is blood pressure regulation. Blood vessels a rigid and can register the increased pressure of blood flow towards the walls. So, they acts as receptors and transfer this signal to the control center – the brain. Then the control center sends a message to effectors – the heart and blood vessels. The blood vessels increase their diameter (known as vasodilation) and as a result the heart rate slows down. The overall effect is that the blood pressure will go back to its normal range. In case of low blood pressure, happens just the opposite – when blood pressure decreases this would cause decreasing the blood vessel diameter (known as vasoconstriction).


Homeostatic Imbalance and Disease Conditions

A deviation observed for any of the body’s homeostatic processes (body temperature, blood pressure, levels of blood sugar), can be used as a sign of a potential medical condition and is usually used for the diagnosis in the medical practice. Heat shocks, dehydration, bacterial and viral infections, dehydration, and hormonal diseases are common examples cases when the body alone cannot fix a specific imbalance. Imbalance could be also caused by introducing external agents into the organism, although intending a medical benefit – for example, antibiotics treatment has toxic effect over the normal bacterial gut flora and could lead to digestive system disturbance and overall organism discomfort.


What Is Environmental Homeostasis Or Homeostasis In Ecosystems

Homeostatic mechanisms exist and in larger biological systems, like ecosystems. Homeostasis help achieve balance in ecosystems – a phenomenon known as environmental homeostasis. In grasslands ecosystems, the population of rodents remains fairly constant from year to year. The maintenance of the rodents population within a certain boundaries is a net effect of the environmental factors (like climate, other natural systems, food supplies, water, etc) but also results from the effect of the predators (canine, hawks, and other predators) over the studied population of rodents.

In such ecosystems, the maintenance of the equilibrium can be quite complex. Abundant rain may lead to increased amount of seeds, with which rodents feed. In turn, this will cause an increase in the rodent population. Finally the different populations of predators may also increase because of the increased food supply provided by the expanded rodent population.

However, the over-increased predator population or accidental drought in succeeding years, may lead to decrease of the rodent populations, which in turn will result to a decline in predator populations. Such environmental homeostasis maintain a balance between food in the ecosystem and different populations of species.

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