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Essential Cell Biology, Second Edition 2nd Edition

59 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0815334804
ISBN-10: 081533480X
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Editorial Reviews

Review excellent example of designing a textbook for undergraduates and non-biology majors. It is clear, well illustrated, conversational in tone and enjoyable to read and browse through...
–E-Streams, October 2004

The second edition retains all the beauty of the first, and it serves as an editorial model -- a guide that shows us how serious authors prepare a new version of a serious book. ...What makes for a great science education is not the amassing of facts but the understanding of concepts, processes and syntheses, and the realization that all our information about nature must be subject to testing and revision. That is the kind of educational experience that students can acquire from the second edition of Essential Cell Biology.

–The Textbook Letter, Volume 12, Number 2, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 740 pages
  • Publisher: Garland Science/Taylor & Francis Group; 2 edition (September 25, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081533480X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815334804
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 8.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I recently bought the book "Essential Cell Biology: An Introduction to the Molecular Biology of the Cell" and studied it from cover to cover, including all the questions and answers. It was one of the greatest and most well-organized textbooks I have ever encountered. The language was very fluent, and especially some of the example questions were quite entertaining and witty. I haven't had any education neither in biology nor in molecular biology nor in biochemistry (my major is chemical engineering), still I didn't have any difficulties in understanding all the concepts presented in the book. The knowledge I gained from the book was a great help to me during the "GRE Subject Test in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology" which I took just yesterday. I am applying to graduate schools in the US for a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology or Bioengineering, and the test I took yesterday was crucial for my applications, in which (thanks to Essential Cell Biology) I believe I did quite well for a person without a background in the subject except a two-months-long self-study. This is a great and concise introductory textbook to the molecular biology of the cell, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in this subject with no or little background.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tim P Morken on November 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is the "Baby Alberts," a condensed version of "Molecular Biology of the Cell by the same authors. It covers the basic premises well and the reader will not get bogged down in details that will only be useful to a senior student or graduate student. The CD that comes with it has some very nice videos and a few good animations of cell processes but it is not anywhere near as useful as the HyperCell 1998 CD, which has animations and explanations of all cell processes (Also from Garland Publishing). If you plan to make cell and molecular biology your major or career, however, you will be much better off buying the more comprehensive book; it has everything that is in this book and way beyond. It may save you money because you will probably buy it in the future anyway!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Conrad Shultz on May 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I read this book during the summer prior to me senior year in high school, and literally could not put it down. I read the whole work cover-to-cover in a week.
Going in, my background in biology was an introductory cell biology course and my background in chemistry was an introductory chemistry class. That I had little formal training in the sciences was irrelevant when reading this; it explains all the concepts so clearly that I think even a person with no background in science at all could understand it. The diagrams and photos are well-done and highly pertinent.
This is not to say that this book is only for non-scientists. Indeed, I even used knowledge gleaned from this fantastic book to teach my teachers a thing or two. Perhaps the section on muscle contraction is the best written of all - no other book I have ever seen comes close to this in clarity, and this section was one that I recommended to my Anatomy and Physiology teacher for clarification about a few concepts.
I am soon to be a sophomore in college, and this book continues to inspire me on my path to be a professor (I study chemistry with an emphasis on chemical biology). This book was invaluable even in a rigorous microbiology course, not to mention other introductory courses.
In summary, I rarely leave home for extended periods without this text (literally). If there is ONE BOOK that you should buy for studying cellular and molecular biology, let it be this one (or, if you are so inclined, its larger brother, Molecular Biology of the Cell).
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By HumDrummer on December 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have read a good number of science texts, and this one just doesn't seem to be as good as the others. The explanations are adequate, though not to the level that Marieb's Anatomy and Physiology was or to the extent of Biology by Campbell and Reese. In class, the professor told us to refer to Campbell and to "Molecular Biology of the Cell" for better explanations.

The glossary is incomplete, and often key terms are just nt there. The index suffers from the same trouble, even when the chapters address the topic. Lastly the graphics, just don't seem to be as well planned as those in the texts mentioned above.

I understand that many do not have a choice given that most buy the book as an assigned text. My recommendation, therefore, is to save your old textbooks and to ask that your professor place a copy of Molecular Biology of the Cell on reserve at your school library.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Marcelo Sierra on September 30, 1998
Format: Hardcover
A gem of a book. It puts at the hands of lay people the wonders of molecular biology. The best way of spending $65 I can think of.
The text is a most refined product distilled by an all-star team of leading scientists. Oriented towards the lay person or the would be specialist, it is simple, unpretentious, sometimes even funny, but always powerfully explanatory. The diagrams are exceptionally clear (a must for explaining such complex subjects) and the photographs are astounding. Love for their subject and passion for teaching are present all along. And mysticism is always around the corner...
If you have ever wondered things like "What are exactly chromosomes?", "How do exactly enzymes work in the cell?", or "How the hell does all this machinery work at a purely chemical level ?" and you are not quite satisfied with popular science books, this one is for you. It will answer these questions and much, much more.
An enjoyable, deeply satisfying tour the force through the molecular level of all living organisms.
Don't miss it!
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Essential Cell Biology, Second Edition
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