Chapter 1

Introduction

Robert E. Smith

Abstract

A new paradigm has emerged for drug development and patient care. It is a fusion of traditional and modern medicine, or systems and reductionist thinking. In the 21<sup>st</sup> century, mathematics, the foundation of modern science, is being used to analyze biological networks to help discover and improve new drugs. In both traditional and modern medicine, it is important to know about the individual components of cells: DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, have therefore been described. DNA can code for proteins and different types of RNAs. The former dogmas that DNA codes for mRNA, which codes for proteins and one gene codes for one protein, are only partly right. This does occur, but also pieces of DNA from different chromosomes can be mixed and matched to make millions of different proteins. There are also epigenetic mechanisms and special types of RNA (such as miRNA) that can affect the ability of a gene to be transcribed. There are also mobile genetic elements that can also affect the phenotype. Sugars and carbohydrates can provide fuel and energy through glycolysis and the citric acid cycle, as well as bind to proteins, to affect their properties. Lipids make up the cell membrane and intracellular membranes of internal organelles. Lipids can interact with proteins and carbohydrates. Specific lipids can bind to important proteins, affecting their function. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fats are especially healthy and can help prevent inflammation and resolve its quick appearance.

Total Pages: 3-86 (84)

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