Ch. 2 of Biological Physics by Nelson reviews a myriad of exquisite biological structures and processes. It is easy to get lost in the detail. But, he ends nicely, emphasizing the need to focus on the question:
How can all these "miraculous" processes occur?
Is there some common underlying physics?
The key physical phenomena we will need to understand are
-the hierarchy of length scales
-the hierarchy of energy scales associated with different types of bonding
-water with its unique properties is crucial, the hydrophobic interaction which drives many processes
-structure determines property which determines function