912 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour illustrations, colou & b/w tables
The biological world operates on a multitude of scales – from molecules to cells to tissues to organisms to ecosystems. Throughout all these levels runs a common thread: the communication and onward passage of information – from cell to cell, from organism to organism and, ultimately, from generation to generation. But how does this information – no more than a static repository of data – come alive to govern the processes that constitute life?
The answer lies in the concerted action of molecular components which cooperate through a series of carefully-regulated processes to bring the information in our genome to life. These components and processes lie at the heart of one of the most fascinating subjects to engage the minds of scientists today: molecular biology.
Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function offers a fresh, distinctive approach to the teaching of molecular biology. It is an approach that reflects the challenge of teaching a subject that is in many ways unrecognizable from the molecular biology of the 20th century – a discipline in which our understanding has advanced immeasurably, but about which many questions remain to be answered.
It is written with several guiding themes in mind:
- A focus on key principles provides a robust conceptual framework on which students can build a solid understanding of the discipline
- An emphasis on the commonalities that exist between the three kingdoms of life, and the discussion of differences between the three kingdoms where such differences offer instructive insights into molecular processes and components, gives students an accurate depiction of our current understanding of the conserved nature of molecular biology, and the differences that underpin biological diversity
- An integrated approach demonstrates how certain molecular phenomena have diverse impacts on genome function by presenting them as themes that recur throughout Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function, rather than as artificially separated topics
At heart, molecular biology is an experimental science, and a central element to the understanding of molecular biology is an appreciation of the approaches taken to yield the information from which concepts and principles are deduced. Yet there is also the challenge of introducing the experimental evidence in a way that students can readily comprehend.
Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function responds to this challenge with Experimental Approach panels, which branch off from the text in a clearly-signposted way. These panels describe pieces of research that have been undertaken, and which have been particularly valuable in elucidating difference aspects of molecular biology. Each panel is carefully cross-referenced to the discussion of key molecular biology tools and techniques, which are presented in a dedicated chapter at the end of Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function.
New to this edition:
- A new chapter on regulatory RNAs provides a broad survey of an area of molecular biology whose centrality to fully understanding genome function has come to the fore in recent years.
- Individual chapters on the regulation of transcription and translation now immediately follow those covering the core processes themselves.
- End of chapter questions are now provided for each chapter, including a range of Challenge Questions to stretch students by encouraging critical thinking and data analysis.
- Additional Experimental Approach panels bring the total number throughout the book to 44, and a refined format - with new sub-headings to improve digestibility, and links to explanations of relevant techniques in Chapter 19, Tools and Techniques in Molecular Biology - make them more student-friendly.
- Video animations illustrate some of the central processes in molecular biology, including those that are particularly challenging to visualize.
Reviews from the first edition:
"While I rarely make textbooks the core of my teaching material, the general presentation of material and interleaving of research results and methods is very similar to my preferred teaching strategy. That is what led me to adopt this remarkable textbook for use in my class."
– Richard S. Myers, University of Miami
"I believe the strengths of the text are the organization and layout, with simple diagrams & headings that make mental organization easier for the students."
– Julia Frugoli, Clemson University
"I am delighted with Molecular Biology: Principles of Genome Function. It explains material extremely well. It has a nice balance of detail and focus on understanding the overall process. It is fantastically up to date."
– Barbara C. Hoopes, Colgate University – Hamilton, NY
"I would highly recommend this book to any colleague who was considering instituting a basic class in molecular biology."
– Andrew J. Andres, University of Nevada – Las Vegas
1: Genomes and the flow of biological information
2: Biological molecules
3: The chemical basis of life
4: Chromosome structure and function
5: The cell cycle
6: DNA replication
7: Chromosome segregation
9: Regulation of transcription
10: RNA processing
12: Regulation of translation
13: Regulatory RNAs
14: Protein modification and targeting
15: Cellular responses to DNA damage
16: Repair of DNA double-strand breaks and homologous recombination
17: Mobile DNA
18: Genomics and genetic variation
19: Tools and techniques in molecular biology
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Nancy L Craig received an A.B. in Biology and Chemistry from Bryn Mawr College in 1973 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1980 at Cornell University, where she worked on DNA repair with Jeff Roberts. She then worked on phage lambda recombination as a postdoctoral fellow with Howard Nash at the National Institutes of Health. She joined the faculty of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco in 1984 and began her work on transposable elements. She joined the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1991, where she is currently a Professor and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, as well as the recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Orna Cohen-Fix received a B.A. from the Tel Aviv University in 1987 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry with Zvi Livneh at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1994. She did a post-doctoral fellowship with Doug Koshland at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Baltimore, studying the regulation of chromosome segregation. In 1998, she moved to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, where she is now a Senior Investigator. Her research focuses on cell cycle regulation and nuclear architecture, using budding yeast and C. elegans as model organisms. She is also an Adjunct Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Co-Director of the NIH/Johns Hopkins University Graduate Partnership Program. She is a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and an Association of Women in Science Mentoring Award for her work on promoting the retention of women in science.
Rachel Green received a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Harvard University in 1992, where she worked with Jack Szostak studying catalytic RNA. She then did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Harry Noller at the University of California, Santa Cruz, studying the role played by the ribosomal RNAs in the function of the ribosome. She is currently a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Her work continues to focus on the mechanism and regulation of translation in bacteria and eukaryotes. She is the recipient of a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Graduate Teaching Award.
Carol Greider received a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1983. In 1987, she received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, where she and her advisor, Elizabeth Blackburn, discovered telomerase. From 1988-1997, she worked in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, before moving to The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is currently a Professor and Director of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics and her work focuses on telomerase and the role of telomeres in cell senescence, age-related disease, and cancer. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, and the Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. In 2009, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine together with Elizabeth Blackburn and Jack Szostak for the discovery of telomerase.
Gisela Storz graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1984 with a B.A. in Biochemistry and received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1988 from the University of California at Berkeley, where she worked for Bruce Ames. After postdoctoral fellowships with Sankar Adhya at the National Cancer Institute and Fred Ausubel at Harvard Medical School, she moved to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, where she is now a Senior Investigator. Her research is focused on understanding gene regulation in response to environmental stress as well as elucidating the functions of small regulatory RNAs and very small proteins. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and National Academy of Sciences, and received the American Society for Microbiology Eli Lilly Award.
Cynthia Wolberger received her A.B. in Physics from Cornell University in 1979 and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University in 1987, where she worked with Stephen Harrison and Mark Ptashne on the structure of a phage repressor bound to DNA. She did postdoctoral work on eukaryotic protein-DNA complexes in the laboratory of Robert Stroud and the University of California, San Francisco and then in the laboratory of Carl Pabo at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She joined the faculty of the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry in 1991, where she is now a Professor. Her research focuses on the structural and biochemical mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation and ubiquitin-mediated signalling. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin Award of the Protein Society.