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Introduction to Bioinformatics [Paperback]

Arthur Lesk
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 2, 2008 0199208042 978-0199208043 3
An Introduction to Bioinformatics introduces students to the immense power of bioinformatics as a set of scientific tools. The book explains how to access the data archives of genomes and proteins, and the kinds of questions these data and tools can answer, such as how to make inferences from data archives and how to make connections among them to derive useful and interesting predictions.

Blending factual content with many opportunities for active learning, An Introduction to Bioinformatics offers a truly reader-friendly way to get to grips with this subject, making it the ideal resource for anyone new to the field.

- Strikes a careful balance between biology and computer science, introducing those aspects of computer science which underpin the subject without demanding detailed prior knowledge.
- Contains numerous learning features, including exercises, problems, and WebLems.
- Retains the eloquent style and clarity of explanation for which the author is renowned.
- An Online Resource Centre includes figures from the book available to download to facilitate lecture preparation, as well as a variety of interactive resources, including web links, 3D structures, and data sets.
ew to this Edition
- New chapter on biological organization in space and reflects recent advances in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics.
- New chapter on scientific publications and archives provides a state of the art inventory on sourcing scientific literature.
- Expanded coverage of structural bioinformatics.
- Enhanced Online Resource Centre, with new guided tours of key websites, and lab assignments to support the in-depth exploration of concepts and themes covered in the book.

Editorial Reviews


`Review from previous edition I have a very favourable opinion of this book. It covers the basics of all aspects of bioinformatics at a level that is very compatible with how I teach. The amount of material presented is appropriate for a one semester class. The problems are excellent: well thought out and plentiful.' Dr Mitrick A. Johns, Northern Illinois University, USA

`I like Lesk's conceptual style. It is close to how I provides a little bit of web sites, a little bit of algorithms, a little bit of theory, and much casual exposure to a range of bioinformatics topics. It is easy to use as a text. ' Dr Lorraine Marsh, Long Island University, USA

`This is a very good introductory textbook in bioinformatics. It is well-structured and nicely laid out. There are numerous examples and problems attached to each chapter, including the novel Weblems.' Dr Karen Page, University College London, UK

`Overall the book is well laid out. There is a good mixture between information text and case studies. There is a good selection of recommended reading and problems at the end of each chapter. I like the learning goals at the beginning of each chapter and the plan of the book before chapter 1.' Dr Dawn Louise Arnold, University of the West of England, UK

About the Author

Arthur M. Lesk is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at The Pennsylvania State University, USA.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (June 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199208042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199208043
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.3 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #490,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction, but a bit light September 11, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lesk's introduction is an excellent guide for the newcomer to the world of large-scale genomic data. It is my opinion that you can end your search here for an entry point to the modern field of bioinformatics. It's organized around tools of the trade rather than grandiose theory (systems biology discussions left off till the last chapter), and will serve better as a introduction for undergraduates or researchers new to the field than a reference book for experts. It's biggest perk is the lucidness of discussion and readability.

As best I can tell, the target audience is undergraduate biology students who have basic familiarity with computer programming. Virtually no mathematical sophistication is required -- there is not a proof in sight, and complex mathematical topics like Hidden Markov Models and Monte Carlo algorithms are explained in an unintimidating, intuitive manner. Computer science knowledge such as graph theory, dynamic programming, and computational complexity are introduced minimally and only when they are needed.

Biological concepts are also sufficiently explained, except for perhaps a term here and there, and as a computer scientist I found the book a cinch to read.

Lesk's writing style is lucid and motivated. You know not only what you're learning, but why you're learning it and what you can do with it. Therefore, the book is self-contained and is excellent for self-study.

The first half of the book (Chapter 1-4) are a high-level overview, and a practical summary of existing databases of genetic and proteomic data. This serves an excellent guide for those who A) need to become familiar with the websites that "everybody" in the field knows about, or B) are eager to get their paws on sequence data and start playing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still up to date and Best for Computer Science April 3, 2013
As an Engineer and patent reviewer with only undergrad in biochem, my focus is more on the computational aspects than the biology, which made this an ideal text for me. The author doesn't use buzzwords without taking the time to explain them, with explanations at undergrad level-- couldn't be better for my needs,

I actually got this because we use Lesk's other very fine text on proteins (Introduction to Protein Science: Architecture, Function, and Genomics) to review the bioinformatics aspects of more detailed genomic, amino acid, etc. structures.

Some reviews around the web ding this a little for lack of detailed technical depth (pchem, etc.), but don't get the idea that this is a "For Dummies" type intro-- there are plenty of technical details on both the computing and bio sides, even for a graduate COMBINATION of circuits and bio. For a "next step" I love, and we frequently use and recommend, Alon's wonderfully deep but also intelligible: An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits (Chapman & Hall/CRC Mathematical & Computational Biology).

To be brutally honest, if you ARE in a very advanced course, and find yourself a little lost, get this and you'll figure out what you're missing in the advanced material! I'd of course also recommend it highly for both Undergrad and AP High School courses. The algorithms and mining applications are FAR from elementary, and it will challenge even the brightest undergrads.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bioinformatics lite December 27, 2013
By JoeT
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want a really good intro to bioinformatics and don't want to (or don't know) the necessary math, then this is book for you.
Very easy read, and you will not be hit over the head with complex math.
In fact, most of the math principles are explained in a "for dummies" way, so the topic is readily accessible to everyone.
Highly recommended!
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