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Modern Thermodynamics for Chemists and Biochemists$
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Dennis Sherwood and Paul Dalby

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198782957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198782957.001.0001

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The bioenergetics of living cells

The bioenergetics of living cells

(p.711) 24 The bioenergetics of living cells
Modern Thermodynamics for Chemists and Biochemists

Dennis Sherwood

Paul Dalby

Oxford University Press

Living systems create order, and appear to break the Second Law. This chapter explains, and resolves, this apparent paradox, drawing on the concept of coupled reactions (as introduced in Chapters 13 and 16), as mediated by ‘energy currencies’ such as ATP and NADH. The chapter then examines the key energy-capturing systems in biological systems – glycolysis and the citric acid cycle, and also photosynthesis. Topics covered include how energy is captured in the conversion of glucose to pyruvate, the mitochondrial membrane, respiration, electron transport, ATP synthase, chloroplasts and thylakoids, photosystems I and II, and the light-independent reactions of photosynthesis.

Keywords:   living systems, creating order, energy capture, energy storage, coupled reaction, Second Law of Thermodynamics, metabolic pathway, pseudo-equilibrium, energy currency, ATP, ADP, NADH, NAD+, glycolysis, substrate level phosphorylation, TCA cycle, Krebs cycle, respiration, mitochondrion, mitochondrial membrane, electron transport, ATP synthase, chemi-osmotic potential, proton motive force, efficiency, photosynthesis, light, light reaction, light-independent reaction, chloroplast, thylakoid, chlorophyll, light-harvesting complex, photosystem I, photosystem II, reaction centre, non-cyclic phosphorylation, cyclic phosphorylation, CBB cycle, Calvin cycle, carbon dioxide fixation, RuBisCO

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