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The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology Paperback – September 7, 2009

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593272029 ISBN-10: 1593272022 Edition: 1st

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The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology + The Manga Guide to Biochemistry + The Manga Guide to Physics
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Masaharu Takemura is a Lecturer at the Tokyo University of Science in biology, molecular biology, and life sciences. A Doctor of Medical Science, Takemura has written several books about biology.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Manga Guide To...
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (September 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272022
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272029
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John Jacobson on September 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
This manga is an excellent introduction to the subject. In contrast to some other manga guides that deal with subjects that are more difficult to explore graphically (e.g. calculus, statistics), molecular biology lends itself well to visual treatment.

Manga usually uses human subjects in a story to try to maintain interest. The story in this book is contrived, but that doesn't detract from the value of the biology presentation.

The book starts with some basic definitions, and proceeds to explain the workings of the cell. Sections include:

What is a Cell?
Proteins and DNA: Deciphering the Genetic Code
DNA Replication and Cell Division
How is a Protein Made?
Genetic Technology and Research.

The diagrams, pictures, and accompanying text do an excellent job of explaining the complicated process by which genes are expressed, RNA templates are produced, and via the ribosome, protein is made, amino acid by amino acid. Many texts don't do justice to the subject in double the pages.

Some of the controversial aspects of biotechnology are also addressed, including embryonic stem cell research and cloning.

As an introduction to the subject, as an accessory guide to accompany a more complete text, or just as a refresher for those of us who took biology classes before many of these subjects were well understood, this is an excellent book.

Highly recommended
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ira Laefsky VINE VOICE on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback
All of the Manga Guides from No Starch Press provide excellent teaching of Complex University-Level Subjects in an entertaining visual form. This Molecular Biology text is particularly outstanding, even in this innovative instructional series. Because the subject matter being covered is primarily visual in nature, as opposed to other guides which cover Relational Databases, Calculus and Electricity the talented author and illustrators are able to explain what one would see under the microscope, what processes are being enacted by the genetic and molecular components, and thus superbly explain what this vital field covers, even to one ignorant of college-level biology such as myself.

This is a fascinating and illustrative guide to a field which has implications to all of us biologists and laymen alike.

--Ira Laefsky
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James Holmes on November 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book follows the same great approach as the other Manga Guides: Break a complex idea down in to small pieces, clearly explain it with practical examples, and use the fun Manga comic style to wrap the entire concept in a great story.

I never took molecular biology in high school or college, yet I was able to get through the Guide and come out at the end with a pretty fair understanding of it. Moreover, I actually enjoyed the learning journey!

My nine year-old daughter loves these books and always reads through them after I'm done. She's not coming away from the books with great knowledge of the concepts, but she's finding them interesting, fun, and is less intimidated with the subjects. I think that's a big win because these guides are laying some good ground work for her to come back to later.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Williams on December 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this book in my high school introductory biology course. So far I've just used the Introduction and Chapter 1, but the students really liked it. Most of them like cartoons and comics, and they were excited to be able to read something that was visually stimulating.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Helmke on September 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology follows the actions of a two students who failed their molecular biology class and have to take a special summer course. The story line is enjoyable and eases the reader's entry into the topic rather than being a distraction.

The book covers all the main questions and topics you would expect: what is a cell, what are the common parts of a cell, how do cells combine to make various organisms, what are proteins and how do they function within a cell, what is DNA and what are genes and how do they work to express the information coded in them? My favorite part was chapter 5 which focuses on potential applications for everything discussed earlier and theorizes what the future may hold in the field.

I work in a software project that is helping biologists do research, including helping process the vast amounts of data that comes from genetic sequencing. As a result, I have become familiar with most of the content this book presents. I believe the book is accurate and it is clear. The story created to assist with that presentation is enjoyable as well. I have a seven year old daughter that is reading the book with great interest. Some of the science is above her grade level, but her attention remains fixed on the art and the story and she is absorbing some of it as she reads.

Overall, I would say the book is a success and recommend it without reservation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology joins others in the 'Manga' series and is a fine collection explaining key scientific and technical subjects using Japanese-style comics. These comics make it easy for students who are slow to absorb science: they offer characters who 'journey' inside the body's cells to learn about core topics in molecular biology, enhancing the learning process with fiction and fact blends. Any school library strong in molecular biology facts needs this.
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