The Quest for Food

The Quest for Food




When you go into a scientific library or look through the catalogues of scientific publishers, you will quickly find books from food scientists, food technologists, food chemists, food microbiologists, and food toxicologists. Agronomists, nut- tionists, and physicians have written on food, and last but not least cooks. What I missed was a book on food written from the perspective of a biologist. When Susan Safren, the food science editor from Springer Science + Business Media, LLC, invited me to write a book, I decided that I would write this book on food biology. What I had in mind was a survey on eating through space and time in a very fundamental way, but not in the format of a systematic textbook. The present book is more of an ordered collection of scientific essays. Contents.In Chapter 1, I start with a prehistoric Venus to explore the relationship between sex and food. Then I use another lady—Europe—to inv- tigate the strong links between food and culture. I then ask what is eating in a very basic but simple physicochemical sense. In Chapters 2 and 3, I embark on a biochemistry-oriented travel following the path of a food molecule through the central carbon pathway until it is decomposed into CO and H O and a lot 2 2 of ATP. My account does not intend to teach biochemistry, but to use recent research articles from major scientific journals to look behind food biochemistry.



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Publié le 01 juin 2007
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Chapter 1: A NutritionalConditio Humana A Few Glimpses on Biological Anthropology An Early Venus and Breastfeeding: The Quest for Food and Sex as Driving Forces in Biology Lady Europe’s Liaison with a Bull: The Spread of Agriculture and Dairy Cultures Basic Concepts on Eating Raw Food for Thought Thermodynamics Made Simple Different Ways of Life The Central Metabolic Pathway A Few Words About ATP
Chapter 2: Some Aspects of Nutritional Biochemistry The Central Carbon Pathway Why is Glucose the Central Fuel Molecule? Glycolysis Variations on a Theme Variant Glycolytic Intermediates Lactate and Ethanol Fermentation: A Bit of Biotechnology A Short Running Exercise Liaison Dangereuse: Lactate, Cancer, and the Warburg Effect Glucokinase at the Crossroad of Cellular Life and Death Metabolic Networks De Revolutionibus Orbium Metabolicorum Revolutionary Histories Mitochondria as Bacterial Endosymbionts
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Pyruvate Dehydrogenase: The Linker Between Pathways On the Value of Mutants Why is the Citric Acid Cycle so Complicated? The Horseshoe TCA Pathway History Might Matter: An Argument on Chance and Necessity Metabolic Crossroads in Ancient Landscapes: NAD or NADP—That’s the Question The Logic and Adaptive Value of Metabolic Cycles
Chapter 3: Bioenergetics Oxygen The Origin of the Electrons and Biochemical Cycles: Anatomy of Complex II Fumarate Reductase: The Dangers with Oxygen The Handling of Molecular Oxygen Social Feeding in Worms Explained by Oxygen Avoidance Electrons The Chemiosmotic Hypothesis Anatomy of the Respiratory Chain Cytochromes bc1and b6f: The Linkers in and between Respiration and Photosynthesis Protons and ATP Proton Pumping and O2Reduction Purposeful Wastefulness Fiat Lux The Smallest Motor of the World
Chapter 4: The Evolution of Eating Systems The Beginning of Biochemistry A Soup as a Starter? The Origin of Biochemical Cycles On Timescales in Biology The RNA World The Ribosome is a Ribozyme Demise of the RNA World Metabolic Control by Riboswitches Let Others do the Job: Viral Relics of the RNA Worlds Messengers from a Precellular DNA World? The Importance of Being Lipid Enveloped Early Eaters What is at the Root? Hydrogen and Bioenergetics Methanogenesis Methanotrophs Sulfur Worlds
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Metagenomics and the Strange Appetite of Bacteria Nutritional Interactions Hydrothermal Vents as a Cradle of Life? A Photosynthetic Beginning of Cellular Life? Photosynthesis One Cell for all Seasons: The Nutritional Flexibility of Purple Nonsulfur Bacteria Cyanobacteria and the Invention of Oxygenic Photosynthesis Getting Closer to the Water-Splitting Center: Photosystem II Evolutionary Patchwork: Photosystem I Speculations on the Origin of Photosynthesis The Impact of Oxygen on the Evolution of Metabolisms on Earth The Acquisition of the Atoms of Life The Easy Acquisitions: HOP A Demanding Step: Photosynthetic CO2Fixation Recycling in Biochemistry: Rubisco and the Calvin Cycle Alternative CO2Pathways in Autotrophic Prokaryotes A Few Numbers on the History of CO2Concentrations A Tricky Business: N2Fixation Nitrification Closing of the Nitrogen Cycle by Anammox Bacteria Plant Symbiosis for Nitrogen Fixation Sulfur Uptake by Plants Nutritional Interactions in the Ocean: The Microbial Perspective Stromatolites and Biomats Read my Lips: Cyanobacteria at the Ocean Surface Problems with Nitrogen Fixation for Cyanobacteria A World of Iron Iron Age in Mythology Another Problem in Cyanobacteria: Iron Limitation Sowing the Sea with an Iron Plow: Where Feeding Impacts on Global Climate Photosynthesis Versus Respiration in the Ocean: The Closing of the Carbon Cycle The Most Abundant Cells on Earth are on a Small Diet Depth Profile Sediments Early Steps in Predation The Phage Way of Life: Bacterium Eaters
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Phages in the Microbial Loop of the Food Chain On Starvation, Sporulation, Cannibalism, and Antibiotics: Near Death Experiences Increasing Complexity The Birth of the Eukaryotic Cell The Story of O and the Malnourished Ocean Vita Minima: The Reductionist Lifestyle of Protist Parasites Primary Endosymbiosis: The Origin of Chloroplasts Predator Protozoa     And How Bacteria Get off the Hook Algal Slaves Diatoms and the Marine Food Chain, on Toxins and Armors, Art, and Purpose Diatom Nutrition Dinoflagellates The First Animals The Origins and the Sponges The Ediacaran Fauna Cnidarians: From Sea Pens and Different Feeding Habits     To Reef Bleaching as Expression of Their Dynamic Symbiotic Relationships The Cambrian Revolution Vertebrates Toward Vertebrates: An Inconspicuous Beginning as Filter Feeders The Middle Paleozoic Marine Revolution: A Story of Jaws and Teeth Putting Four Feet on the Ground Mesozoic Gigantism: The Crown of the Terrestrial Carnivores? The Invention of the Egg, Brooding and Parental Care Mammals: Not so Modest Beginnings? Mammals: Seamless Nutrition
Chapter 5: The Ecology of Eating Systems Eat or be Eaten: Anatomy of the Marine Food Chain Overview Algae and the Story of DMS Copepods and Krill Planktivorous Fish Piscivorous Fish Piscivorous Mammals
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Killer Whales: Effect of a Top Predator Down the Food Chain The Fall of the Whales Life Histories Between the Land and the Sea Nutritional Ecology Trophic Cascades Across Ecosystems The War of the Senses: The Example of Echolocation Antipredation Strategies Mimicry Predator–Prey Cycles: From Chaos in the Food Web to Infectious Diseases Toxic Predator–Prey Arms Races Herbivory Terra Firma—Bacteria and Plants Conquer the Land Lignin Synthesis and Degradation Taking to the Air: Early Insects Early Herbivorous Vertebrates A Bite of Plant Material by an Omnivore Like us A Bioreactor Fueled by Grass Plant Defense Against Herbivory The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend Herbivores: Patterns of Predation
Chapter 6: Eating Cultures Choosing Food To Eat or Not to Eat Food Separating Species Behavior Sharing Food and Other Goods: On Cheating and Altruism Communicating on Food Animal Technology The Invention of Agriculture: Fungal Gardens of Ants Tool Use and Caches in Crows On Stone Tools and Culture in Apes Human’s Progress? The Diet of Australopithecus From Hominid Stone Tools to the Control of Fire Hunters and Gatherers: The Origin of Grandmother’s Recipe On Neanderthals and Cannibalism The Hobbit: Wanderer Between the Worlds Late Pleistocene Megafauna Extinction: An Early Blitzkrieg? The Spread of Early Agriculture
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Domestication The Garden of Eden: Domestication of Crops Taming the Beast Domestication of Moulds: Aspergillus Fishery Contemporary Fishery Problems In Cod We Trust History of Fishing Aquaculture The Lesson of the Lake Victoria On Fishery, Bushmeat, and SARS
Chapter 7: We as Food and Feeders Prey of Microbes A Lion’s Share? The Haunted Hunter     And the Risks of Animal Farming Problems of Food Safety: BSE Going for our Blood Real-life Draculas Hitchhiking the Blood Sucker Going for our Gut The Land Where Milk and Honey Flows The Thin Line Between Symbiont and Pathogen Janus Faces: The Case of Vibrio cholerae From Gut to Blood: The Battle for Iron Viruses Going for Gut or Genome Portrait of a Killer Virus A Glimpse into the World of Retroelements The Sense of Life
Chapter 8: An Agro(Eco)nomical Outlook: Feeding the Billions Malthus: Doomsday Versus Science and Technology? From the Green Revolution to Organic Farming From Biodiversity to the Wood Wide Web: On Rice and Grassland Productivity The Rice Blast Fungus: A Threat to World Food Security? Sowing Golden Rice in the Field? A Story Without End?
Biochemical Back-ups
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