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Structural View of Biology >> Health and Disease

Structural View of Biology


Biomolecular structures allow us to understand the molecular nature of healthy cells and treat the underlying molecular causes of disease. Our cells contain thousands of molecules that must all work in concert to keep us healthy. When any of these molecules fails, or when a poison or pathogenic organism attacks these molecules, it may cause disease. Our bodies have many defenses against disease, and medical science has developed powerful drugs to assist these defenses. Click on any of the sub-categories below to explore further.

Drug Action

Drugs are artificial molecules that we use to modify the function of molecules in cells.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are molecules that are essential for good health, and must be obtained in our diet.

Immune System

The immune system protects us from infection by pathogenic organisms.

Toxins and Poisons

Toxins and poisons bind to critical molecules in cells, blocking their action and killing the cell.

Molecular Basis of Disease

Many diseases are caused by malfunctions of cellular molecules.

Blood Clotting

Blood contains a complex collection of molecules to protect against injury.

Viruses

Viruses infect cells, hijacking them and forcing them to create many new copies of the virus.

Please see our usage polices for citation and reprint information. Copies of the illustrations used in these features are available for download as high resolution TIFF images. Please note that the structures used to illustrate each installment are chosen at the discretion of the authors; the features are not intended to represent a historical record. The process behind the creation of this feature is described by the author.