Encyclopedia of Biophysics

Living Edition
| Editors: Gordon Roberts, Anthony Watts, European Biophysical Societies

Reaction Paths and Rates

  • Ron ElberEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35943-9_728-1


Processes in molecular biology are selected by kinetics, namely, the rate in which one type of molecule is converted to another. Processes that happen in a cell are the quickest possible and are not necessarily the route that leads to the most stable products. Hence, understanding kinetics in biophysics is essential for consideration of function. Kinetic control keeps the cell far from equilibrium, as it should be, and allows for a timely response to environmental changes.

Quantification of kinetics is done with measurements of rate, the change in concentration or number of molecules per unit time. In this entry, different approaches are considered for the computation of rates and the mechanisms that determine them. The complete collection of cell processes and their rates makes it possible to generate models of cells and their behavior and is studied in the field of System Biology (Alon 2006). Collecting all the kinetic information is, however, tedious and difficult due...

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Copyright information

© European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, Department of ChemistryUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA