Our goal is to present the key observations and unifying concepts upon which modern biology is based; it is not a survey of all biology! Once understood, these foundational observations and concepts should enable you to approach any biological process, from disease to kindness, from a scientific perspective. To understand biological systems we need to consider them from two complementary perspectives; how they came to be (the historic, that is, evolutionary) and how their structures, traits, and behaviors are produced (the mechanistic, that is, the physicochemical)
This text is intended to provide an in-depth introduction to the key ideas in chemistry. We have designed the book to show how these ideas are developed from simple to complex systems and how they relate to each other. We consider three ideas central to an understanding of chemistry: the structure of matter, the properties of matter, and the energy changes involved in the reorganization of matter; all are connected by the interactions or forces that cause matter to interact. We aim to provide compelling reasons why you will find yourself wanting to learn chemistry and to illustrate what you will be able to do with this knowledge once you have learned it.
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon and carbon-containing compounds. Since the core structural, catalytic, information storage, and retrieval systems of organisms are carbon-based macromolecules, organic chemistry is of direct relevance to the life sciences. Just as importantly, the properties of carbon make possible an amazing range of molecules with unique properties, from small molecules to complex plastics and even more complex biomolecules.