Cell and Molecular Biology 2e: What We Know & How We Found Out

(4 reviews)


Gerald Bergtrom, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13: 978-0-9961502-1-7

Publisher: Independent

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Reviewed by Ângela Katsuyama, Postdoc, previously instructor, University of Washington, on 8/22/2016.

Overall, without looking into details of every chapter, the book seems to cover properly the subject. The main index is ok. The book has a list of … read more



Reviewed by Brendan Mattingly, Academic Program Associate, University of Kansas, on 8/22/2016.

The text provides coverage of a very broad range of topics, starting with biochemistry, moving into molecular biology, and ending with cell biology. … read more



Reviewed by Alan Schenkel, Associate Professor, Colorado State University, on 12/6/2016.

This book is a very comprehensive text for understanding cell biology. Aimed at a biology majors in an introductory class, the book and associated … read more



Reviewed by Aimee Hollander, Assistant Professor , Nicholls State University , on 2/9/2017.

This book covers the basics of cell and molecular biology and would be useful in an introductory class (100-200 level). I expected more molecular … read more


Table of Contents


  • Chapter 1: Cell Tour, Life’s Properties and Evolution, Studying Cells
  • Chapter 2: Basic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Chapter 3: Details of Protein Structure
  • Chapter 4: Bioenergetics
  • Chapter 5: Enzyme Catalysis and Kinetics
  • Chapter 6: Glycolysis, the Krebs Cycle and the Atkins Diet
  • Chapter 7: Electron Transport, Oxidative Phosphorylation and Photosynthesis
  • Chapter 8: DNA Structure, Chromosomes, Chromatin and Replication & DNA Repair
  • Chapter 9: Repetitive DNA, A Eukaryotic Genomic Phenomenon
  • Chapter 10: Transcription and RNA Processing
  • Chapter 11: The Genetic Code and Translation
  • Chapter 12: Gene Regulation and Epigenetic Inheritance
  • Chapter 13: DNA Technologies
  • Chapter 14: Membrane Structure
  • Chapter 15: Membrane Function
  • Chapter 16: The Cytoskeleton and Cell Motility
  • Chapter 17: Cell Division and the Cell Cycle
  • Chapter 18: The Origins of Life

List of Videos on YouTube

About the Book

Most introductory science courses start with a discussion of scientific method. The 2nd edition of this interactive Cell & Molecular Biology electronic textbook, or iText is no exception. A key feature of CMB 2e is still a focus on experimental support for what we know about cell and molecular biology. A sense of how science is practiced and how investigators think about experimental results is essential to understanding the relationship of cell structure and function, not to mention the rest of the world around us. Rather than trying to be a comprehensive reference book, CMB 2e selectively details essential methods and experiments that are the basis of our current understanding of the biochemical and molecular basis of cell structure and function. This focus is nowhere more obvious than in the list of learning objectives and in the Voice-Over PowerPoint (VOP) presentations provided for each chapter. Learning objectives align with chapter content and serve as an aid and guide to learning. They ask students to use new-found knowledge to make connections and demonstrate deeper concept understanding and critical thinking skills. The VOPs are freely available on Youtubetm (with optional closed captioning), as are most of the videos linked elsewhere in the iText.

There are two versions of CMB 2e iText (all versions of the first edition are still available). The Annotated CMB-2e iText, contains many embedded just-in-time links to external resources including links to animations of cell process, relevant current research summaries, etc. Challenge text boxes raise provocative questions about the iText content, and may be used to provoke class or online discussion (assessed or not!). A CMB-2e iText For Instructors (available on request) includes these features and adds writing assessments that the author has actually assigned for course credit. These appear in the right margin of the text and are 25 Words or Less writing assignments that aim to strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Some of these features are modeled in the CMB 2e Sample Chapter, such as online discussions and low-stakes formative objective quizzes (note that hyperlinks to assessments in the Sample and Instructor iText versions require student/instructor login to a course management system and are therefore inactive).

While not comprehensive, this iText was written with the goal of creating content that is engaging, free and comparable in quality to very expensive commercial textbooks. To that end, illustrations created especially for the iText are supplemented by online open sources (with appropriate attribution). So, whichever CMB 2e version you use, we encourage instructors to use the interactive features in this iText to challenge students. For their part, we encourage students to think about how great experiments were inspired and designed, how alternative experimental results were predicted, how actual data was interpreted, and finally, and what questions the investigators (and we!) might want to ask next. Although the online iText is the most efficient way to access links and complete online assignments, students are free to download, read, study, and add your own annotations off-line... or print it out and write in the margins the old fashioned way! Your instructor will undoubtedly provide more detailed instructions for using your iText.

About the Contributors


Gerald Bergtrom is a Professor (Emeritus) of Biological Sciences and a learning technology consultant in the Learning Technology Center (LTC) at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). His research interests are in the field of molecular biology and evolution as well as in the area of learning technologies in the service of good pedagogy. He has taught required introductory courses and elective course for biology majors as well as advanced and graduate courses. With more than 33 years experience in instruction, he has frequently tested and incorporated pedagogically proven teaching technologies into his courses.