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The Manga Guide to Biochemistry Paperback – November 11, 2011

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The Manga Guide to Biochemistry + The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology + The Manga Guide to Physics
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press (November 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272760
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Kumi loves to eat, but she's worried that her passion for junk food is affecting her health. Determined to unlock the secrets of dieting, she enlists the help of her brainy friend Nemoto and his beautiful biochemistry professor, Dr. Kurosaka. And so it begins...

Follow along in The Manga Guide to Biochemistry as Kumi explores the mysteries of her body's inner workings. With the help of RoboCat, the professor's friendly endoscopic robot, you'll soar through the incredible chemical machinery that keeps us alive and get an up-close look at biopolymers like DNA and proteins, the metabolic processes that turn our food into energy, and the enzymes that fuel our bodies' chemical reactions.

As you dive into the depths of plant and animal cells, you'll learn about:

  • The metabolism of substances like carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and alcohol
  • How the energy powerhouses known as mitochondria produce ATP
  • DNA transcription and the different types of RNA that work together to translate the genetic code into proteins
  • Enzyme kinetics, how they're measured, and how enzyme inhibition works

Whether you're a medical student, an amateur scientist, or just curious about how your body turns cupcakes into energy, The Manga Guide to Biochemistry is your key to understanding the science of life.

About the Author

Masaharu Takemura is an Associate Professor at the Tokyo University of Science who specializes in molecular biology and life science. A Doctor of Medical Science, he has written several book about biology.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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It was so enjoyable and fun to read.
If you enjoy manga or comics and have to have biochemistry get this book before you take the class!
chandler hamilton
The manga aspects of teaching biochemistry do so in a way that is both fun and easy to understand.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Larsen on February 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a tester, I used to tell people that I could go into any field and I'd be able to test their software, and for a long time I believed it. that is, until I went to work for a company with a product that was heavily dependent on physics and physical phenomena, which was not my strong suit.

I learned from that experience that domain knowledge is vital, and while you can fake knowing some things, there's some stuff you just can't fake. Physics is one of them. Biochemistry is definitely another. It's just not something you can casually pick up on the job, you really have to spend some time with it and come to grips with the world of biological interactions and the cross section of biology and chemistry. For a minimal pain related approach, The Manga Guide to Biochemistry is a wonderful way to get that fundamental domain knowledge.

NoStarch has gamely taken on publishing "The Manga Guide to..." series of books in English, and for those of us who are proudly Otaku in our general interests, to have Manga volumes dedicated to some of the headiest technical topics in the sciences is pretty awesome.

Make no mistake, these books do not dumb down the topics, but they do use the conventions of Manga to illustrate topics in the classic ways that have endeared generations of Otaku to Manga. The silly drawings, the subtle fan service, the inside jokes, the goofy drawing styles to show stress, pain, embarrassment and joy help keep the reader engaged and entertained as they go through what is, seriously, a challenging topic to digest. It's a true testament to the effectiveness of the Manga Guide series that they Are able to tackle these subjects so effectively time after time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. Stewart on September 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a senior biochemistry undergrad who likes Japanese culture, I was immediately interested in this book. It mostly met my expectations for a cute presentation of a complex scientific subject.

I could say that it presents a simplistic view of the subject, but that's through the eyes of a student about to earn his bachelor's in this science. From the standpoint of a high school student or beginning college student, this book provides an excellent overview of the subject. The student will retain foundational concepts after reading this, i.e. the four classes of macromolecules and the concept of metabolic chemical reactions. The immediate application of each concept to a real-life example will aid retention, as will the little bit of cute humor and low-key romance :)

The story itself isn't super-dramatic or risque, but that's certainly a good thing; such would be distracting from the educational value of the comic.

I highly recommend this book to any high school students or undergrads who haven't learned biochemistry in any depth yet. For an educated student and above, it'll be a fun review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
What combines lipids, carbs, proteins, and cartoons? Why, it's the . . . Manga Guide to Biochemistry. This book is another in the series of Manga books that tackle serious science such as cosmology, physics, and calculus (among many others).

Biochemistry is the chemistry of our bodies, but not just our bodies. It is the chemistry of all living creatures, both plants and animals. This book teaches the basic concepts of biochemistry through an engaging story about a young girl who is concerned about her weight. In the process of learning about metabolic concepts, she also learns the science behind weight control.

The story starts out with the chemistry of basic nutrition, the cell, and how the cell creates energy from the nutrients we eat. Some emphasis is given to plants and how plants differ from animals in how they generate energy. The three basic nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, are covered in the most detail. There are a number of "asides" discussed in no particular order, including storage of fat, what happens to excess carbs (they turn into fat!), the meaning of blood types, and why are Mochi rice cakes spongy? Another 40 pages are devoted to enzymes and 30 pages to molecular biology, the "building blocks" of life. The book closes with a description of some of the basic tools used by scientists in their study of biochemistry.

I didn't find the story as engaging in this book as it is in some of the other Manga Guides. Others may differ. There are some puzzling omissions in the science of nutrition, including the role of vitamins, and the effect of excessive amounts of insulin on metabolism. Weight control is given as a simple balancing of caloric intake and energy output, which is a great theory but doesn't work too well for most people.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By activeAnime on February 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
From activeAnime

Biochemistry is a tough subject to wrap one's head around, but luckily the Manga Guide series from No Starch Press has again come through with a guide that makes the material easy to access and fun to digest by way of a manga styled comic book format. It makes the subject matter easily accessible through large diagrams and the characters in the manga as they dial down the concepts by first introducing them by way of the girl tackling a diet.

The stories of the characters are the gateway to biochemistry. It starts with the fundamentals such as what is a cell, breaking it down into its various components and emplaning each of them. From there it builds the readers knowledge, moving into subjects of chemical bonds, metabolism, photosynthesis, enzymes and biopolymers.

All of these names may sound daunting, but the comic book format makes it easy to read, see and comprehend. It literally builds your knowledge from the ground up giving the basics of biochemistry knowledge and gradually building on it as the book progresses. Readers learn about inhibitors, what different blood types are and what they mean, learn about lipids and cholesterol, molecular biology and the biochemistry of nucleic acids, and ends with an easy to use epilogue, blank pages for notes, and an easy to access and detailed index.

Another manga guide that helps make the complex subject matter, in this case biochemistry, accessible and easy to learn thanks to its easy to digest format.
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