Molecular & Cell Biology For Dummies, 2nd Edition
Molecular and cell biology isn’t just something that happens in a lab; it reaches out and touches your life in many ways, seen and unseen. Genetically modified organisms, designer cancer drugs, forensic science, and even home pregnancy tests are all applications of the science and techniques of molecular and cell biology. Gaining an understanding of molecular and cell biology can help you make informed decisions about your lifestyle and health.
Understanding cells and how they function is fundamental to all other fields of biology, including medicine. All living things are made of cells, and scientists can trace every response, every function of larger organisms back to the structure and function of cells. Genetic diseases are a dramatic example of how important one cell type, one protein, and one gene can be to an organism. Exploring this connec-tion between genes, proteins, and cellular function is at the heart of molecular and cell biology.
As you take your own journey into the inner space of the cell, I hope this book will act as your guidebook, pointing out landmarks and signposts, and translating the sometimes complicated language of the local inhabitants!
About This Book
Molecular & Cell Biology For Dummies, 2nd Edition is an overview of the fundamen-tals of molecular and cell biology that’s been updated with recent advances in the science. My goal is to explain each topic in a clear and straightforward fashion, keeping scientific jargon to a minimum. I want this book to be understandable by anyone who picks it up, even if they don’t have a science background. To help you understand what is sometimes a complex science, I share every analogy, funny story, and memory trick that I’ve gathered in my 20 years of teaching this subject. These types of gimmicks help my students wrap their brains around the funda-mental principles of molecular and cell biology, and I hope these strategies will help you, too.
Molecular & Cell Biology For Dummies, 2nd Edition emphasizes the main concepts and fundamental processes that are at the heart of molecular and cell biology. When I had to make a choice between getting the main idea across or including every molecular detail of a process, I chose the main idea. I think that once you understand the main concept or the big events of a process, you can later add in details fairly easily. However, if you try to tackle a complicated process and every little detail at the same time, you can hit information overload and not really understand anything at all. My emphasis on main ideas and events will make the subject of molecular and cell biology easier, but that doesn’t mean the topic will be easy. The world of the cell is complex and busy with detailed processes, so understanding molecular and cell biology is a challenge for most people. I hope that this book will help you succeed in that challenge.
As I wrote this book, I tried to imagine who you might be and what you may need in order to understand molecular and cellular biology. Here’s who I pictured:
» You’re a student in a molecular and cell biology class who is having trouble understanding everything and keeping up with the pace of the class. For you, I present the topics in a straightforward way with an emphasis on the most important concepts and processes. By reading this book before you go to lecture, you may have an easier time understanding what your professor is talking about.
» You’re a student in a molecular and cellular biology class who is determined to get an A, and you want to gather all possible resources to help you in your goal. For you, I make studying more efficient by presenting the core concepts of molecular and cellular biology in straightforward bulleted lists. These lists can supplement your own notes, making sure that you’ve nailed the big ideas.
» You’re someone who wants to know more about the science behind the stories you hear in the news and see on TV. Maybe you’re interested in forensic science and want a better understanding of what they’re talking about on CSI and the Discovery Channel. Or maybe you’re worried about the potential impacts of gene editing, genetically modified organisms, or genetic screening on our society, and you want to know more about the science behind these topics. For you, I try to keep terminology to a minimum and include lots of analogies to help you relate the science to your everyday life.
Icons Used in This Book
All For Dummies books use icons to help identify particular types of information. Here’s the list of icons I use in this book and what they all mean:
I use this icon to emphasize main ideas that you should definitely keep in mind.
I use this icon to present study tips or other information that can help you navi-gate through difficult material.
I use this icon to flag detailed information that isn’t essential to the main concept or process being presented. If you’re not a student in a molecular and cellular biology class, you can definitely skip this material.
I use this icon to flag potentially confusing ideas or common wrong ideas that people typically have about how something works. I know about these danger spots from my years of teaching, and I’ve flagged them to help you avoid these pitfalls.
Beyond the Book
In addition to what you’re reading right now, this product also comes with a free access-anywhere Cheat Sheet that tells you about plate tectonics and the geologic timescale. To get this Cheat Sheet, simply go to www.dummies.com and type Molec-ular & Cell Biology For Dummies Cheat Sheet in the Search box.
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|May 24, 2022|
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