Basin and Range by John McPhee

By John McPhee

This can be a ebook approximately journeysthrough acient terrains, regularly in juxtaposition with travels within the sleek wrold - a background of vanished landscapes, greater by means of the histories of people that convey them to mild.

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The enzyme monamine exidase may not be concerned with pumping sodium and its substrate, the nerve 37 stimulant serotonin, is as yet unproven as a chemical transmitter within the brain. But monamine oxidase is still part of the highly inter-dependen^ enzymology of the nervous system. It is no quirk of Nature, therefore, than an effective way of treating psychological depression is the administration of drugs, such as hydrazine derivatives, which inhibit monamine oxidase so as to change the state of mind of the patient by increasing serotonin activity throughout the body.

The electrical changes in nerve cells are all too easily comparable by analogy with the flow of electricity in a wire. With the aid of suitably placed electrodes and electronic amplification they can be recorded and measured in these terms by electroencephalography (EEG). But the comparison is only an analogy and the electrical-wiring model of the brain has probably led to much confusion in our thoughts on 'thought* and the meaning of mind. 36 In 1962, Grey Walter and I used computer averaging of E E G records to demonstrate electrical responses to very shortterm memory in man.

A significantly common factor in the chemistry of living things is the transmission and recording of information as improbabilities in the three-dimensional shapes of the molecules involved. Beyond the limits of the molecular structure of D N A , molecular shape, or 'steric conformation* as the chemists call it, is in fact the basis of selection which maintains the flow of information in the chemistry of life—as it is in the synthesis of D N A itself and the transcription of genetic information into the structure of R N A .

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