To prepare for our discussion reviewing basic cell biology, please read The Machinery of Life (MoL) chapters 1-3, 5-6. As you read, pay particular attention to author David Goodsell’s description of the molecular world and the environment inside cells. Then try to answer these questions:

  • About how large is a protein in relation to the rest of the cell?
  • Is the inside of a cell relatively empty or crowded?
  • Do things tend to move slowly or quickly inside the cell?
  • What are the organelles that (almost) all eukaryotic cells have? What function does each perform?
  • How are DNA, RNA and proteins related to each other? How might this relate to what you heard about receptors in the TED Radio Hour episode on the senses?

You might also find it helpful to take a look at Essential Cell Biology chapter 1 or EO Wilson’s Life on Earth chapter 5