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The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology 1st Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 068-9145720228
ISBN-10: 1593272022
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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Quiet good for the breakdown of beginning molecular biology; it gives a structured breakdown and fairly strong illustrations.

As with all Manga guides, it's story line relies on a strong derogatory female caricaturization. Two girls who can't pass their regular coursework have to go to summer tutoring with an older male student, who is an automatic love interest. It is not appropriate for high school and middle school students, who are impressionable and can't yet reject the caricaturization as absurdest.

Very good for cell function on the basic biomolecular level. A great way to start a college level molecular biology or biochemistry course.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology is basically designed to get your feet wet with Biology, by pulling you in with a slightly amusing manga. The problem is that it's Biology. Every single chapter, nay, every couple of pages you are bombarded with dozens of new terms. The manga part basically breaks down every so often, where they are forced to give up drawing the panels, and begin lecturing you in Biology.
As far as the product goes, it's alright. They have some pretty good analogies to help understand some of the topics, and the Manga part makes studying Biology a little bit more appealing. Unfortunately, as Biology is a complicated subject, you only learn some of the real basics, and the manga half is kind of crummy. You'll need at least another biology book (or two) to supplement this.

Perhaps buy this if someone you know needs some motivation to start studying Biology. Or you're bored.
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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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