Selected topics in molecular biology, in need of “hard” science

  • C. Reiss
Part of the Centre de Physique des Houches book series (LHWINTER, volume 2)


The almost exclusive repository of the Information needed by all beings we know of, for birth, development, living, reproduction, and (most probably) setting their life-span, is DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Before reviewing how this information is organized, derived and expressed, we will first sketch the basic features of DNA: its chemical composition, its structures and structural flexibility, and the cooperativities which exist inside this macromolecule. In the second part, the salient basic features of the first two steps in gene expression, the transcription of the genetic message and the translation of the transcription product, will be summarized. These two parts are intended as an introduction to the two last parts of this contribution: control and regulation of gene expression, and protein folding, the third major step in gene expression. These two problems remain to date the major challenges in biology in general, and are badly in need of “hard” science.


Promoter Sequence Double Helix Base Sequence Helix Axis Elongation Complex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Reiss
    • 1
  1. 1.Group “Structure and Dynamics of the Genome”, Institut Jacques MonodUniversité Paris VII and CNRSParisFrance

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