The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology Paperback – Sep 7 2009
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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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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.
This is a fascinating and illustrative guide to a field which has implications to all of us biologists and laymen alike.
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.
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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