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Bioinformatics For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Jean-Michel Claverie Ph.D. , Cedric Notredame
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Were you always curious about biology but were afraid to sit through long hours of dense reading? Did you like the subject when you were in high school but had other plans after you graduated? Now you can explore the human genome and analyze DNA without ever leaving your desktop!

Bioinformatics For Dummies is packed with valuable information that introduces you to this exciting new discipline. This easy-to-follow guide leads you step by step through every bioinformatics task that can be done over the Internet. Forget long equations, computer-geek gibberish, and installing bulky programs that slow down your computer. You’ll be amazed at all the things you can accomplish just by logging on and following these trusty directions. You get the tools you need to:

  • Analyze all types of sequences
  • Use all types of databases
  • Work with DNA and protein sequences
  • Conduct similarity searches
  • Build a multiple sequence alignment
  • Edit and publish alignments
  • Visualize protein 3-D structures
  • Construct phylogenetic trees

This up-to-date second edition includes newly created and popular databases and Internet programs as well as multiple new genomes. It provides tips for using servers and places to seek resources to find out about what’s going on in the bioinformatics world. Bioinformatics For Dummies will show you how to get the most out of your PC and the right Web tools so you’ll be searching databases and analyzing sequences like a pro!

Editorial Reviews


“…buy soon and read fast!…” (Spixiana, July 2004)

"...will be of enormous practical assistance to anyone getting to grips with bioinformatics tools in the course of their research..." (Briefings in Bioinformatics, June 2003)

From the Back Cover

Search databases and analyze sequences like a pro

Get the most out of your PC and the Web with the right tools

Explore the human genome and analyze DNA — without leaving your desktop! All it takes is the basics of molecular biology and the wealth of information in this friendly guide. You'll discover the online tools and useful tips you need to ask the right questions, analyze sequences, and compare results. It's a plain-English introduction to the field!

Discover how to

  • Do biological research online
  • Use gene-centric databases
  • Visualize proteins in 3-D
  • Interpret and analyze sequences
  • Produce and publish results

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for teachers too! June 24, 2003
I have used databases before (mostly NCBI, TIGR and SWISS PROT) and yet, this book (presumably for dummies) has shown me so much more(which say a lot about me)! It is accurate and gives good step by step guide to how to perform many tasks - from how to find a gene to using the analysis tools and to exploring some of the newer features of these databases - and the areas like you have never looked into before.
It is a well-researched book and the authors are clearly knowledgeable in this area.
Even though I have been for a 4-day bioinformatics course (6 months ago), which I thought was pretty good, this book still had so much to offer. Using this book, I was easily able to substitute the proteins of my interest into their examples and generated meaningful hits.
The book also covers deeper and more advanced features of BLAST, discusses sequence alignments using several types of algorithm and even has a section on 3D structures. Towards the end of book - it features a section on working with mRNA and building phylogenetics trees - which again are excellent resources for teachers involved in teaching beginners molecular biology.
I am a teacher teaching at a Pre-unversity level. The way the book is structured also lends its material to be modified into lesson materials for training students.
It is really a great book! Worth every dollar I spent on it!
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
"Bioinformatics for Dummies" is an excellent resource. It is clear, easy to read, well organized and illustrated. I was particularly pleased by the colloquial tone of the writing: in addition to being informative, it was fun to read!
As a scientist who spends at least half of my time BLASTing, I also read it for accuracy and found it to almost error-free (any errors were in the figures). Additionally, most of the web pages were up-to-date, although as time passes the links will decay and web pages will change their look. In addition, the book contained enough in-depth content to teach me several new tricks of the trade.
Further, I believe the book had sufficient background material to educate the novice. To test this, I gave the manual to a material science chemist and he was able to understand the material, at least until he decided it was more than he wanted to know and quit reading.
This is a useful text for those who want to know more than an operational definition of bioinformatics and a must for the library of all bioinformatics users.
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98 of 125 people found the following review helpful
By me
I hold a masters degree in computer sciences (so in fact I am a biology dummy), but always had a strong interest for sciences. So I want to delve deeply into this fascinating area, but first wanted to read a book to quickly introduce me the basic concepts. With this background, I must say the book is a little bit disappointing. You can clearly see that this book is written with the biologist in mind, definitely not the computer scientist.

The biological concepts are not explained very well for a biology dummy, let me explain you why :

1. Some basic biological concepts are not explained. I wanted to have some more explanation on the basic concepts of how molecular and cell biology works. A lot of times, the autors tell you how to use some tool, but is not always clearly explained to me why, for what purpose they use the tool. For instance they explain how to find a list of related protein sequences, but for me it is not clear why biologists need to have such a list. And this is only one example, I could give much more simular examples...

2. Remember guys, I am a dummy, so please explain me the difference between a gene and a genome before using these terms. And also, I heard about chromosomes, but why do you not explain what is it exactly ?. Also, there are a lot of explanations on how to work with RNA, but please explain me more about the functional difference between RNA and DNA.

3. The explanations on how to use serveral internet tools are too wordy, they spent several pages explaining things that are so intuitively clear like "click this or that button", "use menu file, edit, copy to past your stuff to the computer clipboard"....

4. A lot of complex terms are or not explained the first time they use it ("phylogenic").
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good February 15, 2007
By Solanum
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a couple years into a PhD in bioinformatics, but this is the book I started with. I knew some biology and some computer science, but I still found a lot of the databases, etc. confusing and the field has a decided lack of simplified documentation (though it is getting better).

Of course, bioinformatics is a pretty broad topic and no book could possibly cover everything.

If you do not know any biology at all you probably should also get a basic text on genetics/molecular biology (or read thema at the NCBI web site books section for free). You don't need anything in depth to read the dummies book, just at the level of an introductory biology book. Hint: DNA to RNA, RNA to Protein. And you want to know why proteins are similar because proteins with similar amino acid sequences often have similar chemical properties and therefore similar functions, so if you know what one protein does you can guess what a protein like it probably does.

And despite the name of the book the authors are REAL bioinformaticists (T-Coffee rocks!)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent product.
Published 3 months ago by nkabuu
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An Ok book for anyone on basic bioinformatics, with or without basic biology knowledge.
Published 4 months ago by el dude
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good book for begginers!...
Published 7 months ago by Julio Roldan Camacho
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent !
Published 7 months ago by STACEY C JACKSON
1.0 out of 5 stars Outdated
The book is from 2007 and it is outdated in the sense that the webpages shown in the book is too different from what you receive from the websites today in 2014. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kjeld Bak
2.0 out of 5 stars Terse guide that really does a poor job focusing on one topic
I bought this for a class and the guide itself is great if you want a real short introduction to things like multi-sequence alignments and navigating around NCBI but that's about... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Nicholas
4.0 out of 5 stars Wish I had purchased last semester
Easy read. Explains the subject in easy to read terms (almost too easy). Will definitely share with my they know what I am studying!
Published 15 months ago by Shelley Graue
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for know-nothings and novices.
Good overview for nontechs who want an intro to the field. Welcome general primer for technical novices. Practitioners will find it too shallow.
Published 16 months ago by Peter J. Kent
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful and educational. Don't believe the names given to these...
If anyone would add this book to a collection including the following books for dummies--genetics & bioinformatics, I feel that they would be collage savvy.
Published 18 months ago by van
4.0 out of 5 stars it is useful!
good breakdown of the essentials of bioinformatics and an easy to read textbook. What is also good about it is that they give you tips on hw to do specific tasks.
Published 19 months ago by Natalie I.
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