Synopses & Reviews
The physical-chemical properties of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) enable it to facilitate rapid biochemical processes in the membrane. This effect has numerous benefits, including those involved in the growth of bacteria, rapid energy generation, human vision, brain impulse, and photosynthesis, to name a few. Yet DHA also carries risks that can lead to cellular death and disease. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and the DHA Principle explores the roles of omega-3 fatty acids in cellular membranes ranging from human neurons and swimming sperm to deep sea bacteria, and develops a principle by which to assess their benefits and risks.
The DHA Principle states that the blending of lipids to form cellular membranes is evolutionarily-honed to maximize benefit while minimizing risk, and that a complex blending code involving conformational dynamics, energy stress, energy yield, and chemical stability underlies all cellular membranes.
This book lays the groundwork to understanding this code. It examines the evolution of DHA and the membrane and explores the general properties of omega-3s and other membrane lipids. It then focuses on cellular biology before shifting to a practical discussion on applications. The authors discuss the DHA Principle as applied to petroleum degradation, winemaking, global warming, molecular farming, aging, neurodegenerative diseases, and the prevention of colon cancer.
Reflecting the increased public interest that has emerged over the years, this volume uses an integrative approach to explain the complex roles of omega-3s in the membrane. Incorporating principles from chemistry, cellular biology, evolution, and ecology, this work gives researchers in a variety of fields the building blocks to stimulate further study.
Offering material on the contributions of membrane lipids to cellular/organism function, this book begins with simple cells and ends with a most complex organism: humans. Omega-3 fatty acids serve both as a focus and as a tool for investigating the membrane. Specific topics include co-evolution of lipids and membrane-associated proteins, convergent evolution of biosynthetic pathways to produce omega-3's, and evolution of an omega-3 rich marine bacterium, and the impact of omega-3's on membrane properties. The book addresses key biological issues including bioremediation, winemaking, genetic engineering of oil crops, impacts of global warming, fertility, and neurodegenerative disease and cancer research.