Cover: Symmorphosis: On Form and Function in Shaping Life, from Harvard University PressCover: Symmorphosis in HARDCOVER


On Form and Function in Shaping Life

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$96.00 • £83.95 • €87.95

ISBN 9780674000681

Publication Date: 03/15/2000


280 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

32 halftones, 42 line illustrations, 8 tables


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  • Preface
  • 1. Form and Function
    • The Relation of Form and Function
    • Adaptation of Function as a Design Principle
    • Integration of Function as a Design Principle
    • Economy as a Design Principle
    • The Principle of Symmorphosis
  • 2. Cells and Tissues: Oxidative Metabolism in Muscle
    • Energy Supply and Mitochondria
    • Is Mitochondrial Structure Matched to the Demand for Oxidative Energy?
    • Testing for a Quantitative Match of Form and Function in Muscle Mitochondria
    • Is 6VO2 Related to V(mi) in Exercising Muscle Cells?
    • Natural Variation in Energy Demand and Mitochondria
    • Are Muscle Capillaries Adjusted to Mitochondrial Oxygen Needs?
    • Symmorphosis in the O2 Pathway in Muscle
  • 3. Muscle: Supplying Fuel and Oxygen to Mitochondria
    • Differences between Oxygen and Fuel Supply
    • Variations in Fuel Supply to Mitochondria in Working Muscle Cells
    • Partitioning of Fuel Consumption between Glucose and Fatty Acids
    • Estimating the Capillary Supply of Substrates
    • Revising the Model for Capillary Oxygen and Substrate Supply
    • Fuel Supply from Capillaries versus Intracellular Stores
    • Conclusions on Form and Function in Muscle Cells and Tissue
  • 4. Organ Design: Building the Lung as a Gas Exchanger
    • Modeling Gas Exchange in the Lung
    • A Large Surface and a Thin Barrier Determine the Gas Exchange Capacity of the Lung
    • The Diffusing Capacity of the Human Lung
    • How Much Lung Diffusing Capacity Do We Really Need?
    • The Gas Exchanger of the Most Athletic Animal
    • The Effect of Reducing the Gas Exchanger
    • Conclusion
  • 5. Problems with Lung Design: Keeping the Surface Large and the Barrier Thin
    • A Fiber Continuum Supports Parenchymal Structures
    • Controlled Surface Tension Determines Parenchymal Mechanics
    • Keeping the Barrier Dry and Thin
    • Conclusion
  • 6. Airways and Blood Vessels: Ventilating and Perfusing a Large Surface
    • Morphogenesis of Airways, Vessels, and Gas Exchanger
    • Designing the Airway Tree for Efficient Ventilation
    • Are Airways Designed as Fractal Trees?
    • Conclusion
  • 7. The Pathway for Oxygen: From Lung to Mitochondria
    • Testing the Hypothesis of Symmorphosis
    • The Strategy: Exploiting Comparative Physiology
    • The Model and Predictions
    • Testing the Respiratory System for Symmorphosis
    • Does Symmorphosis Prevail in the Respiratory System?
  • 8. Adding Complexity in Form and Function: The Combined Pathways for Oxygen and Fuels
    • Strategies for Oxygen and Fuel Supply
    • Design of the Fuel Supply Pathway
    • Design of Nutrient Uptake Systems
    • The Substrate Pathways for Fueling Muscle Work
    • The Test of Symmorphosis
    • On Symmorphosis in Complex Pathways
  • 9. Symmorphosis in Form and Function: Concepts, Facts, and Open Questions
    • How to Perform a Test of Symmorphosis: Future Prospects
    • Conclusions
  • References and Further Reading
  • Credits
  • Index

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