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Molecular Biology of the Cell Hardcover – 21 Mar 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1616 pages
  • Publisher: Garland Science; 4 edition (21 Mar. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815332181
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815332183
  • Product Dimensions: 27.6 x 22.1 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 865,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"In an era when we are drowning in information, the job of a textbook such as Molecular Biology of the Cell is to help teach its readers how to swim. This it does admirably, and the punctilious attention to detail and effort devoted by the authors to covering this huge field in a lucid and easy-to-read style shines though on every page... the fourth edition of Molecular Biology of the Cell is an outstanding textbook... The clear and concise style and copious informative diagrams and illustrations set an impressive standard, and the comprehensive coverage of the field that has been achieved is quite remarkable." - Nature


"The book is extremely well written... The hundreds of schematic/explanatory diagrams and light and electron micrographs and the way they are integrated into the text are superb... This 4th edition will be warmly welcomed by college and university teachers, researchers and students alike. It maintains and improves upon the quality and excellence of previous editions." - Doody's Reviews


"The 4th edition of the Molecular Biology of the Cell does an excellent job of reporting our progress, and the next generation of purchasers should not regret the presence of this text on their bookshelves." - Cell


"... what is to be said about the fourth edition of Molecular Biology of the Cell? The most casual glance confirms that standards have not slipped: short subsections with informative headings, highlighted key words, italicised chapter summaries and diagrams of great clarity... it should be remembered that Molecular Biology of the Cell set the precedent of providing a substantial problems book, and Tim Hunt and John Wilson have contributed a revised version of this supplement for the fourth edition... the sheer scale of coverage by the fourth edition of Molecular Biology of the Cell means it will be the first thing most of us will reach for in pursuit of the facts of life." - Journal of Cell Science


"... a new kind of encyclopedia is taking shape, and for a new kind of audience. They don't just make an up-to-date alphabetical tour of some circumscribed area of human knowledge; They also try to put all that knowledge in context. The best I've yet encountered is a Molecular Biology of the Cell... It's essentially a single 1,500-plus-page essay on the microcosm that lurks invisibly at the very roots of the tree of life... the authors digest their material so brilliantly one can--with patience and a decent high-school science education--actually read the damn thing... [the] authors have with each edition improved every aspect of the book, polishing its plain, transparent prose, clarifying descriptions, enhancing illustrations... It's an easy book to like, too..." - Seattle Weekly


"Molecular Biology of the Cell, a hefty tome written for a wide range of students, as well as scientists wishing to follow the rapid progress in their specialized fields, delivers on its promise to give readers the most comprehensive text possible. At first glance, it doesn't seem possible that the authors had to decide what details to leave out. It looks as if they'd covered it all. From a basic discussion of cells, genomes, and cell chemistry to DNA, cellular organization, function and cell immunity, the authors have incorporated facts, specific examples, and essential concepts in a way that makes this new edition a landmark work in the field of molecular cell biology. As genomics expands more rapidly than anyone thought possible, and complete sequencing of genomes from bacteria to humans has revolutionized our understanding of living things, new information is critical. Included in this amazing text are discussions of new discoveries in biotechnology, cellular mechanisms, infection and immunity. Without sacrificing content, the authors have put together a remarkable book that can be used for courses in cell biology or molecular biology (chapters 1 through 8). Outstanding drawings, photographs, and diagrams fill the chapters to enhance the excellent writing. Every instructor will want to keep a reference copy on his or her shelf, whether they use the book for their classes or not. As a textbook, there's not one better. Highly recommended for academic libraries, as well as undergraduate, and graduate courses." - Life Science Book Review


Praise for the previous editions:

"The epitome of what a current upper level textbook in cell biology should be."

Quarterly Review of Cell Biology

"Accessible and relatively easy to read... timely and accurate... profusely and beautifully illustrated."

American Society for Microbiology News

"A reliable, accurate and up-to-date textbook for which students and researchers must be grateful."

Trends in Biochemical Sciences

"A big, beautiful (now in color), up-to-date survey of cell biology."

Sci Tech Book News

"The authors and their publisher have once again led the way and set the standard against which other scientific textbooks will be measured."

Biochemical Education

From the Publisher

I found both the writing and the illustrations to be excellent - clear, up-to-date and accurate."
Harry Noller, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
Commenting on Chapter 6

"[The] chapter on gene expression was terrific - I was amazed at how I would write down a comment and then a page or so later see that it was covered."
Mike Carey, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Commenting on Chapter 7

"It is thrilling to think that medical students in the future may arrive with some grasp of this complex material. I think the overall layout of the chapter is excellent."
Clay Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Commenting on Chapter 11

"I enjoyed reading the chapter very much. It's comprehensive, clear and easy to read."
Lily Jan, University of California, San Francisco, USA
Commenting on Chapter 11

"I think this chapter is excellent and represents a lot of work!"
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA
Commenting on Chapter 11

"What I read was excellent: easy to read, and an appropriate and judicious balance of concepts, generalizations, and facts that provide a fundamental understanding without getting bogged down in too many details and vocabulary. The illustrations were also excellent and appropriate."
Arthur E. Johnson, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, USA
Commenting on Chapter 12

"I found the chapter quite excellent and right up-to-date, covering the main recent developments, in particular the relevant membrane protein structures, in sufficient detail to explain all important concepts in molecular bioenergetics."
Werner Kühlbrandt, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysik, Germany
Commenting on Chapter 14

"I think [the chapter] reads very well, and makes a complex subject readily accessible."
Tony Pawson, Samuel Lunefeld Research Institute, Canada
Commenting on Chapter 15

"I have read the section carefully several times and I think it is very good. This chapter is very well written and covers many aspects of this complex problem."
Frank Gertler, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
Commenting on Chapter 16

"This is a very well-written, clear and fun piece to read. I found the explanations helpful and insightful."
Laura Machesky, University of Birmingham, UK
Commenting on Chapter 16

"Overall I liked it. It reads well and I think covering mitosis and cytokinesis in the same chapter is a great way to present the material."
Bill Sullivan, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
Commenting on Chapter 18

"I think the chapter is clear and accessible."
Mike Levine, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Commenting on Chapter 21

"Keep up the good work - it makes teaching so much easier."
Jane Langdale, University of Oxford, UK
Commenting on Chapter 21

"I think that it is an excellent summary of the present state of art in this area."
Richard Gardner, University of Oxford, UK
Commenting on Chapter 22

Praise for the previous editions:
"The epitome of what a current upper level textbook in cell biology should be."
Quarterly Review of Cell Biology

"Accessible and relatively easy to read....timely and accurate....profusely and beautifully illustrated."
American Society for Microbiology News

"A reliable, accurate and up-to-date textbook for which students and researchers must be grateful."
Trends in Biochemical Sciences

"A big, beautiful (now in color), up-to-date survey of cell biology."
Sci Tech Book News

"The authors and their publisher have once again led the way and set the standard against which other scientific textbooks will be measured."
Biochemical Education

Cell Biology Interactive a CD-ROM is packaged with every copy of the book.
Contains over 1,600 illustrations, electron micrographs and photographs, of which over 1,000 are originally conceived by the authors.
Guides the reader through, as well as makes sense of, the burgeoning and often complex current scientific literature.
Omits unecessary facts that burden the reader - the storyline remains as clear as in previous editions.
Molecular Biology of the Cell, Fourth Edition: A Problems Approach by John Wilson and Tim Hunt is a comprehensive book that provides research-oriented problems derived from the scientific literature, now covering Chapters 1-8 and 10-18 of the main text.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The surface of our planet is populated by living things-curious, intricately organized chemical factories that take in matter from their surroundings and use these raw materials to generate copies of themselves. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Sharky on 5 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
I like the problem approach but the book is too heavily focused towards genetics rather than a wider scope of cell biology. I bought it to supplements Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al. If you are looking for help with developmental biology problems, this is probably not the best book to buy! If, however, you need help with recombinant genetics problems it is brilliant. The examples given certainly help you to think on your feet.
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By Pam on 8 Jan. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this second hand version not the new one with DVD for my 15 year old. His face lit up when I gave it to him! Should see him through for quite a long time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 258 reviews
212 of 217 people found the following review helpful
CD contents are worth hundreds of dollars 2 Jun. 2002
By Mel Beckman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm an amateur biologist, and a professional computer software engineer and product reviewer. A keen interest in the mechanics of genetic expression has drawn me to the beautiful details of cellular mechanics. While this book is everything the other reviewers say (and are qualified to say) it is, let me weigh in on the accompanying CD, which is an area in which I can claim some expertise.
The vast majority of CDs bundled with textbooks are afterthoughts -- either an electronic copy of the text, or some lightly related adjunct materials, usually pulled from the public domain. MBotC is different. The CD is nothing short of breathtaking. A technical tour de force, this CD runs on both Mac and Windows, which is no mean feat. It leverages time-tested technologies such as Netscape, Java, and Quicktime to produce stunningly vivid presentations. It performs well, and is rock-solid stable.

Beyond flawless delivery, the content itself is brilliantly executed. This is largely original content developed for this book, and tied directly into the text chapter by chapter. You get narrated animations that show dozens of cellular processes in a way that catalyzes learning. Videos capture live microscopy showing ATP synthase rotors spinning, microtubules self-assembling, actin crawling, and mitosis mitoting. An image magnifier lets you browse photomicrographs in detail.
Most astounding of all is the seamless incorporation of a molecular viewer, the Chime Java browser plugin, which directly reads and interprets Protein Data Base (PDB) files and displays the models in interactive 3D. The CD includes hundreds of PDB models, including a wonderful reference library of amino acids, nucleotimes, lipids, and sugars.
The CD alone is worth hundreds of dollars, just in the labor expended to assemble material from labs around the world and organize it to fit the chapters of the text. I've used numerous of CDs promising to teach molecular biology, and nothing else comes remotely close to the quality and depth of this volume.
That you can buy the CD -- with a ten-pound book attached -- for [the price] is simply a miracle. It's a no-brainer for anybody remotely interested in cell biology. If you're one of them, you must buy this!
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Great, but Last 5 Chapters are Electronic 12 Jan. 2008
By A. LUJAN - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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.
69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensible by Non-Specialist 16 Sept. 2009
By Bob Carpenter - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
[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.
74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
They keep getting better 24 Aug. 2003
By Dr. Lee D. Carlson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the past few years quite a few books on molecular biology and genetics have appeared, and all of these have been exceptionally well-written. Most have been updates of previous editions, and if compared with these, the most recent editions have displayed an enthusiasm and excitement that dwarfs their earlier editions. This book, now in its fourth edition, is an example of one of these, and I believe the reason for their increasing quality is the excitement that biologists are now feeling. This is due no doubt to the incredible strides that have been taken in biology in the last few years. Biologists are with complete justification very excited that they understand in greater detail what life is all about, and are looking forward to an even deeper understanding in the decades ahead.
As a non-biologist but one deeply embedded in bioinformatics and certain areas of computational biology, this book served my need to understand in greater detail the underlying biology behind these fields. It is a beautiful book, both from an aesthetic viewpoint and because of its content. The book reads more like a story than a textbook, but the information gain when reading it is considerable, with less entropy than what might be expected from such a deep subject with myriads of terms that must be understood before moving on to others. The author's approach to the book is well-organized, with many accompanying diagrams that illustrate the complicated processes and structures that can occur in the molecular realm. In addition, helpful summaries are put at several places in the book. There are no exercises in this book but there is a workbook that one can purchase separately.
Space prohibits a detailed review of such a large book, but some of the more interesting discussions in the book include: 1. The paragraph on the role of sex in bringing about horizontal genetic exchanges within a species. The thinking is that the genomes of modern eubacteria, archaea, and eucaryotes originated in three different "anthologies" of genes that survived from an ancestral pool in which genes were frequently exchanged. This hypothesis is tempting, argue the authors, since it would explain the fact that eucaryotes are similar to archaea in terms of genetic "information-handling" but more similar to eubacteria from a metabolic standpoint. Horizontal gene transfer has become a very important topic of late, due in part to the uproar on bioengineered foods. 2. The suggestion that eucaryotic cells originated as predators, pointing to the presence of mitochondria as one piece of evidence. 3. The entire chapter on proteins, but especially the discussion on protein folding, allosteric enzymes and allosteric transitions. The discussion on protein folding is qualitative but the authors give interesting insights on this topic. In answering the question as to why only a few of the 20^300 different polypeptide chains will be useful to a living organism, they point to natural selection, and the resulting conformations being stable due to its fine tuning. The extreme sensitivity of protein function to small changes in their structure has recently fueled speculation by religionists as being evidence of "intelligent design", but such speculations, even if true, will not improve the understanding of proteins, and can therefore be safely ignored from a scientific viewpoint. The authors do devote a short paragraph to the discussion of computational methods in the protein folding problem, and also discuss briefly the experimental difficulties in determining the conformations of proteins. They also give some of the mathematical details of steady state enzyme kinetics. 4. The discussion on the need for low mutation rates in order to have life. 5. The section on abnormally folded proteins and their relation to diseases, such as prion diseases. Prions have been a contentious issue of late, due to the issues with "mad cow disease" in Great Britain. 6. The section on the "RNA world" and the origins of life. The authors discuss the need in early cells for molecules to perform reactions that lead to the production of more molecules like themselves. From the standpoint of modern cells, polypeptides, they point out, can serve to be catalysts, but they emphasize that there is no known way in which this type of molecule can copy itself by the specification of another of precisely the same sequence. The talk about one theory, the "pre-RNA" world, as justification for the need for simpler compounds to act as template and catalyst for the synthesis of complementary RNA. 7. The section on heterodimerization and its use in "combinatorial control", the latter being a process in which combinations of different proteins control a cellular process. Although not discussed in this book, the mathematical modeling of combinatorial control and its role in signal transduction systems has taken on more importance in recent years. 8. The section on how genetic switches work and the role of operons thereof. 9. The phenomenon of "transcriptional synergy" in gene activator proteins. Here the transcription rate is higher when several activator proteins are working together than when any of the activators are working alone. 10. The discussion on how circadian clocks can be created using feedback loops in gene regulation. The authors describe an interesting experiment that produced a simple gene clock using techniques from genetic engineering. 11. The section discussing RNA interference, a topic that has taken on enormous importance lately, since using it allows researchers the ability to turn off the expression of individual cellular genes. Indeed pharmaceutical bioinformatics and the role of "in silico" molecular target identification makes use of the ability to "tune" phenotypes by using RNA interference for laboratory validation of the bioinformatic algorithms.
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Amazing book, especially for the self-taught 2 April 2006
By Jesse Liberty - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is beautifully written and illustrated. It is everything a text book should be, especially for someone like me who wants to learn this on his own.

A typical problem with a book like this is that the first n pages will be very readable and then suddenly there will be an elbow in the learning curve and off the author goes into the esoterica that only the initiated can follow. Not here; the author takes you into very advanced material, but one step at a time, never pandering, never simplifying, but always sure to bring you along. It is like having your head peeled open and a picture of this incredible micro-universe poured in. It is like being programmed by the Matrix.

Further, and of course, the subject matter itself is incredible and awesome (both words used in their traditional sense) one is left with a helpless sense of wonder and enjoyment.

Highly recommended
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