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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful.
Great, but Last 5 Chapters are Electronic
By A. LUJAN
GREAT book, but the only problem is that the last 5 chapters are in PDF format on an attached CD rather than in print (they did this to make the book more portable). If you want the full print version, buy the Reference edition.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful.
Comprehensible by Non-Specialist
By Bob Carpenter
[Reviewing 5th Edition, Chapters 1-7] I'm a Ph.D. computer scientist working on an NIH grant in text mining biomedical literature, so I thought I should bone up on the underlying science. The first seven chapters of this book are just what I needed. The first overview chapter is an excellent standalone introduction to the cell and genomics/proteomics and their ilk. After a two-chapter very comprehensible introduction to biochemistry (strong emphasis on thermodynamics/energy and bonding/structure) and protein structures, the next chapters lay out the entire process from DNA to protein, including expression control.
It's slow reading (it takes me an hour or more to read 10 pages), but very clearly written, and very thorough. The diagrams and accompanying text are amazingly clear and helpful. (There are also animations, but I've never looked at the DVD.) The diagrams and their long captions are often supplementary in that they add details that are not in the body of the text.
I had read the same sections of the 4th Edition a few years ago. The 5th edition adds substantial new material starting with the chapter on proteins. Ironically, the 5th edition is more speculative, because the more we find out about gene expression, the further away full understanding seems to be. The book does a nice job of balancing what's known fairly certainly with speculative guesses about things like chromatin structure.
This time, I think I'll keep going. The sections of the rest of the book I've browsed when they've been cross-referenced are also excellent.
85 of 105 people found the following review helpful.
another part of the problem with academic book publishing
By Doc Dave
The publishers have made the standard edition (ISBN-10: 0815341059) of MBOTC more "portable" by not printing the final 5 chapters of the book, but including them as electronic files on the DVD. While these chapters are included, in print, in this reference edition (0815341113), take a look at the price differential between the two. If, as publishers might like us to believe, portability is such a great feature for a textbook, then why should students be expected to pay a premium for this less than portable reference edition?
The chapters in question are:
21-Sexual Reproduction: Meiosis, Germ Cells, and Fertilization
22-Development of Multicellular Organisms
23-Specialized Tissues, Stem Cells, and Tissue Renewal
24-Pathogens, Infection, and Innate Immunity
25-The Adaptive Immune System
With the 4th edition there were 25 printed chapters and 1616 pages: $5.68/printed chapter, or ~8.8 cents/page based on my calculations using list price info. With the regular 5th edition, 20 printed chapters, 1268 pages: $7.10/printed chapter, or ~11.2 cents/page. And with the reference edtition, 25 printed chapters and 1728 pages: $8.36/printed chapter, or ~12.1 cents/page. So the page cost for this reference edition has increased by over 1/3 as compared to the last edition, and is about 8% higher than for the regular 5th edition. Admittedly, I am a major geek for actually doing these calculations.
I am giving the book 2 stars for content, because it really is a solid resource for learning molecular biology. However, with so many students carrying a heavy burden of debt upon graduation, it's a shame to see the continuing trend of exorbitant prices for the best texts, making them just another contributor to the problems with education today.