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Bioinformatics For Dummies Paperback – December 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0470089859 ISBN-10: 0470089857 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 456 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (December 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470089857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470089859
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“…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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

You need a significant background in biology and chemistry in order to understand most of it.
Charles Ashbacher
I was particularly pleased by the colloquial tone of the writing: in addition to being informative, it was fun to read!
TV
The content of the book is fine, it is an easy to read beginners introduction to the basic tools of the trade.
GroovyGeek

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By "ndrewtan" on June 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
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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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful By TV on January 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
"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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93 of 119 people found the following review helpful By me on March 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
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 By Solanum on February 15, 2007
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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