The human body is made up of quadrillions of individual cells, and each cell contains over a billion proteins. Some of these
are long-lived and some are manufactured and degraded daily. In order to pack so many proteins into one cell, they are folded
into intricate, complex shapes. The folded, three-dimensional shapes of proteins are absolutely necessary, not only for packing
into small cells, but also for their function. The shape or form of proteins dictates their various, multitudinous functions.
Anything that disrupts the shape of the protein disrupts its specific function. If sufficient disruption occurs, disease or
disability may follow. Many of the infinite number of organic pollutants that poison our environment are derived from petroleum,
organic-based precursors. These compounds are lipid-soluble and can be stored in fatty deposits in the human body. Moreover,
they can dissolve into a folded protein: proteins have small, lipid-soluble pockets within their folded structure. Lipid-soluble
compounds can find these pockets and attach to the protein. In some cases, these pollutants can change the shape-and the function-of
the protein. Although these disruptions may never rise to the level of producing disease or death, the damping of the protein's
functions could result in a decrease in quality of life.This book provides an explanation of how proteins are made, folded,
and function. It also discusses how pollutants can muddle protein shape and, therefore, protein function.