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Essential Cell Biology, Second Edition [Hardcover]

Bruce Alberts , Dennis Bray , Karen Hopkin , Alexander Johnson , Julian Lewis , Martin Raff , Keith Roberts , Peter Walter
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Essential Cell Biology, 4th Edition Essential Cell Biology, 4th Edition 4.1 out of 5 stars (9)
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Book Description

September 25, 2003 081533480X 978-0815334804 2

Essential Cell Biology, Second Edition contains basic, core knowledge about how cells work. It has a proven track record in providing students with a conceptual and accessible grounding in cell biology. The text and figures have been prepared to be easy-to-follow, accurate, clear and engaging for the introductory student. Each section follows logically from the previous one, telling a story, rather than being a collection of facts. Questions integrated throughout each chapter encourage the reader to pause, think about what they have read, and attempt to apply the new knowledge in ways that test their understanding. Based on user feedback, the Second Edition now offers increased coverage of genetics and more experimental background. It is completely up-to-date.

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Essential Cell Biology, Second Edition + Organic Chemistry
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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

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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Does Not Make the Grade December 26, 2004
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essentials grounded!! October 11, 2005
I feel this is a very good textbook for molecular biology rookies as well as for pros wanting to revive their concepts ... Molecular Biology of the Cell could serve as an excellent companion book or rather reference book for this textbook ... the cd provided along with the Essential Cell Biology book is a great tool to understand the way things work ... in short, it is a must book for mol bio students to know what they are doing and to do things better:) It could also serve as a great book for biomedical engineers to grasp more of biology and engineer the concepts better. The book is definitely more simplified (kinda an abridged version) and easier to understand than "Molecular Biology of the Cell". Although, the size of the latter makes it look more formidable for beginners, I must add it is indeed a great reference book for researchers!
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Usefull illustrations, but it didn't help much for class December 27, 2004
After taking my first course in cell biology I discovered a number of things about the subject. 1) Cell Biology is a HARD CLASS! In my class, we covered about 18 or so chapters of material. Tests were based mostly on memorization of both relevant and obscure facts as well as many, many molecular processes. For someone that is pressed for time and tries to cram before tests, there will be problems. 2) It is difficult to understand many of the processes in cell biology without some chemistry background. When I took the class, I was also in organic chemistry 2, but that didn't help much. If I could have done it over again, I would actually take Biochemistry before Cell because processes in Cell Biology are explained briefly and mostly independent of the chemistry involved, which forces the student to memorize information without really understand why these processes occur. 3) In general, Biology is becoming more problem based and in order to understand cell, you need to have solve useful questions.

Based on the inherent difficulties of Cell Biology that I have mentioned, I don't think that this book did much to bridge any of these learning gaps. The molecular processes were explained briefly which was ok, but since there was so many of them, it was still hard to manage. The chemistry of cell biology in this book is poorly explained. Chemical structures are largely discarded in favor of acronyms. Obvisously, acronyms are favored for the long run, but a firm understanding of the chemical structures needs to be understand first. In my opinion, this book relied too much on acroynms.

Finally, the questions in this book were terrible. Some were just inane (Compare signs of life for a rock and a plant) while others were just pointless (Calculate something or the other).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the Same as the Newer Edition January 2, 2011
By Eric C
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want to save money - the 2nd edition is almost 100% the same as the 3rd. It is easy to find the differences.
It is an okay book for cell Biology. Some books provide better info on certain subjects. Good luck with the class!
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22 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST!! September 30, 2004
By John
If u are a layman and want to know about the fascinating world of

cell biology, this is THE book to get!! It teaches u nearly everything from scratch (it starts from an atom's structure!!)and

very gently and lucidly leads you through the awesome workings of

the cell. Get through this book and u can easily & painlessly tackle ANY other magnum opus book like Lehninger, MBoC by Alberts or Lodish etc. ITS SIMPLY WONDERFUL!! THE BEST THAT IS OUT THERE!! You get to know all the important fundamental things about cells and more!! The new How We Know sections explain how

molecular biologists performed experiments and came to the conclusions they came. JUST GET THIS BOOK. YOU PROBABLY WON'T FIND A BETTER INTRODUCTORY BOOK ON CELL BIOLOGY!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Essential" only December 31, 2008
By Branden
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was a bit disappointed by this book which was recommended for my medical school course. It's written at a very introductory level; the over simplification doesn't always provide more clarity.

Alberts has a different book called "The Cell", which is 3 times as long, and I believe has greater clarity. I have taken to skimming this more detailed book, which I find to be a better resource and will surely be a better reference in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Information Dense, but Readable September 7, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is jam pack full of information from cover to cover. However, it is quite readalbe for the capable biology student. My biggest complaint is that the vocabulary words are not listed off to the side or defined clearly in the text. Essentially, the vocab is used and bolded in the text. It is then expected that you will look it up later, which takes a fair amount of time. Other than that, this book does a fair job covering a dry subject to most biology students and makes it bearable. The diagrams are helpful, but could be slightly more ergonomic. Overall though, I am pleased with it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware
Ordered a biology book from the seller that was described as "like new". The book arrived in shocking condition. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Mlove
5.0 out of 5 stars A my MD agrees, it's time for a re-write of Basic life Systems.
It was compiled and written to update Cell & DNA Biochemistry.
IF you can get one w/ the CD, or DVD,, Do so.. Read more
Published 13 months ago by W. E. Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars I <3 Biology
Great book. Saved me tons! The pictures are good and the reading is easy. I want to finish this review... so I would recommend.
Published 17 months ago by Yessenia Pena
5.0 out of 5 stars Just What I Needed
The product was exactly what I was looking for and came just as described. I needed this book was for a class. Arrived in a timely manner.
Published 19 months ago by Stardust
4.0 out of 5 stars Ah, cell bio. We love to hate you.
Cell bio is a dense and difficult subject. Most universities (and authors) assume you have the necessary background knowledge to understand this basic text. Read more
Published on May 18, 2012 by Cam Davis
3.0 out of 5 stars Cell Biology for Middle Schoolers
This book is written with one column, 12point Times New Roman font. I don't think it was intended to be given to post-college graduates, but I am using it for a graduate-type... Read more
Published on September 25, 2011 by Katherine Barkley
4.0 out of 5 stars Its a text book...
This is a standard text book. Thankfully it's not riddled with errors like many other text books. It's got a ton of information that's well laid out. Read more
Published on March 26, 2011 by EatKabab
5.0 out of 5 stars Intro to Cell Biology
There is not a better introductory book. I do not have a background in Biology except what I had in High School and I can follow this.
Published on April 1, 2010 by V. Tirumalai
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok
The book came in the condition that was described. Unfortunately it did not arrive until two weeks later even though I paid expedited shipping costs. Read more
Published on September 24, 2009 by R. Mims
4.0 out of 5 stars Good textbook.
This edition and the next one don't seem to have that many differences (i.e. page numbering, some graphical content). It's a useful tool in learning cell biology. Read more
Published on September 19, 2009 by E. Cho
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