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Alberts Molecular Biology of the Cell 6th Edition Book review
Biology is the love of my life, so I loved the content even though I had to study for an exam from this book, which makes the reading experience a little more tedious. That takes me to my next point, as a student I found that I didn’t really like the organization and the general structure of the chapters.
That issue led to repetitive paragraphs and confusing sections which is not the best thing to happen when you’re studying for a test because the key to properly understanding biology is the link there is between one function and the other and how all that is explained by things we can see at the molecular level and I don’t think this book gave much importance to those links.
Apart from that, the explanations were clear and I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more in other circumstances.
By tagging this book as ‘read’ I am not implying that I read the whole mass of 1616 pages… :)I used it for chapters that were loosely explained in our lecture notes to enhance my understanding of the subject. The Cell is a great reference book with a surprisingly interesting narrative and super helpful pictures, diagrams, sketches etc.
As a med student I also liked the fact that the topics were explained very generally at first before the authors delved into details, which spared me loads of time and self-pity. Anyway – a great tribute to cell biology and a must read (or at least check out) for science students!
The biology professor who recommended it to me summarized it as follows: “Whenever there’s a cell biology issue where I want a ‘Scientific American’ level summary of current research, this the book I turn to.” It is gorgeous.
The only downside is that this is not a textbook necessarily suitable for an evolutionary molecular biology course. Mutations are covered well, but not as well as (say) the DNA repair mechanism. Still, a very accessible textbook that written well enough to be read cover to cover.
A great introduction to cell biology, very comprehensive and lucid. I use it to understand any aspect of cell biology and I would recommend it to anyone keen to acquire general knowledge in this very important science field.
I use it as a resource that I seek out when I am faced with some sort of problem but not as a whole-book-read.
I don’t write summaries, but this one deserves it.
It goes into just as much details as you need at a given step (which given the enormous scope is incredible).
Visual aids at every page. Summaries at each chapter. Descriptive headlines.
A textbook ideal.
As to the content itself — a magical fairyland but real in every aspect.
The complexity of the mind-boggling numbers of interactions needed for even a single cell to not die a couple hundred times a second, let alone survive many stressful times and pass the genes along, makes me appreciate the miracle of life in a more full way.
Easily one of the most important books I’ve read.
“Throughout the book, emphasis is placed not just on what ‘we know’ but also on ‘how we know’ and ‘what remains to be discovered’- important for engaging and enthusing students….A quarter of a century after the first edition revolutionized cell biology textbooks, the new edition is as fresh, comprehensive and above all, as readable as ever….Like its predecessors, this is a superb textbook for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students.”
-British Society for Developmental Biology Newsletter, Summer 2008, Vol. 29, No. 1