This chapter will deal with the assembly of macromolecular complexes, in particular the assembly and dynamics of simple viruses. At first glance this may seem an unusual topic for inclusion in a discussion of morphogenesis and development. As Monod described in his book Chance and Necessity, however, living things can be viewed as having two essential properties that separate them from the inorganic world. These are “reproduction invariance” and “structural teleonomy”, or, more simply, the essentially faithful copying of genetic information in the form of nucleic acid sequences and the production of structures possessing specific functions. The interplay between these two properties is the essence of developmental studies and is illustrated elegantly by simple viral systems.
KeywordsCrystallization Magnesium Codon Sedimentation Hexagonal
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