Read more about Basic Cell and Molecular Biology: What We Know & How We Found Out - 4e

Basic Cell and Molecular Biology: What We Know & How We Found Out - 4e

(16 reviews)

Gerald Bergtrom, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Copyright Year: 2018

ISBN 13: 9780996150248

Publisher: University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Language: English

Formats Available

Conditions of Use

Attribution Attribution


Learn more about reviews.

Reviewed by Erica Lannan, Professor of Biology, Prairie State College on 3/13/23

The book covers all of the topics of Cellular and Molecular Biology in good detail. It even includes some topics that are not always covered in textbooks in very much detail, such as transposons (pages instead of a paragraph at most). Some... read more

Reviewed by ANJAN PRADHAN, Instructor, Virginia Commonwealth University on 8/26/22

It describes the whole content in a concise manner, which can give a whole idea about cell and molecular biology. However, for a detailed study, students should do further readings. read more

Reviewed by Meg Emori, Instructor, Virginia Tech on 4/3/22

Index links to chapters for ease of navigation in downloaded PDF. Material is generally well covered, but is broken up by links to videos and is somewhat hard to follow as paragraph style dives into deeper tangents without first clarifying the... read more

Reviewed by Zhiming Liu, Professor of Biology, Eastern New Mexico University on 1/11/22

This is a comprehensive textbook that begins with an introduction to the molecular building blocks of cells. It then moves on to bioenergetics, biochemistry, genetics, DNA biotechnology, to origins of life. Its twenty chapters cover all aspects... read more

Reviewed by Adriana LaGier, Associate Professor, Grand View University on 10/26/21

Gerald Bergtrom’s “Basic Cell and Molecular Biology: What we know and How we found out” textbook is a tour de force showcasing his passion for teaching fledgling scientists. The textbook’s comprehensiveness lays bare to the reader that this is... read more

Reviewed by Joyce Kaplan, Part-Time Instructor, Portland Community College on 6/7/21

Most topics expected in a cell biology course for both beginning students and more advanced students in majors biology are covered in a fair amount of depth. A few subjects lack the depth expected, particularly in the area of enzyme regulation,... read more

Reviewed by Philip Rock, Professor of Biology, Virginia Wesleyan University on 5/31/21

This as comprehensive and up to date as any upper-level Cell Biology text I have used. It think is suitable for both higher-level college and introductory graduate school cell biology classes. read more

Reviewed by Meltem Arikan, Adjunct Faculty, Massachusetts Maritime Academy on 6/29/20

This book is much more than a regular textbook. It covers quite a few subjects some other books generally omit. However this doesn't interfere with classroom instruction as they are clearly defined and both the instructor and the student can... read more

Reviewed by Yoshinori Tomoyasu, Associate Professor, Miami University on 2/22/20

This is a very nice and comprehensive textbook that covers most of the fundamental ideas in cell and molecular biology. The textbook also covers some new topics, albeit the coverage is somewhat limited. It provides a hyperlinked table of contents,... read more

Reviewed by Christine Terry, Assistant Professor, Lynchburg College on 6/20/17

There is a hyperlinked table of contents with fairly descriptive chapter titles. However, the text lacks an index that could be used to find specific terms and concepts by searching directly. There is a list of relevant terms at the end of each... read more

Reviewed by Tracy Haynes, Senior Lecturer, Miami University on 6/20/17

This text is thorough in the sense that it covers all pertinent topics taught in an introductory cell and molecular biology course. While some processes, such as prokaryotic transcriptional regulation and molecule techniques such as CRISPR/CAS,... read more

Reviewed by Kate Kenyon, Associate Professor, Umpqua Community College on 6/20/17

This text is a great introductory text that includes the basics of cell and molecular biology. It would be a very useful introductory text. Each chapter includes appropriate video presentations which adds to comprehension. There is a theme... read more

Reviewed by Aimee Hollander, Assistant Professor , Nicholls State University on 2/8/17

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 techniques discussed since there was an entire chapter on DNA techniques however model organisms and... read more

Reviewed by Alan Schenkel, Associate Professor, Colorado State University on 12/5/16

This book is a very comprehensive text for understanding cell biology. Aimed at a biology majors in an introductory class, the book and associated lectures cover both eukaryotic and prokaryotic molecular nucleic acid and protein structures,... read more

Reviewed by Ângela Katsuyama, Postdoc, previously instructor, University of Washington on 8/21/16

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 key words at the end of each chapter, but no glossary. The text introduces some techniques to... read more

Reviewed by Brendan Mattingly, Academic Program Associate, University of Kansas on 8/21/16

The text provides coverage of a very broad range of topics, starting with biochemistry, moving into molecular biology, and ending with cell biology. Throughout the entire text evolution is a constant theme, providing context, rationale, and... 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 and Chromatin
  • Chapter 9: Details of DNA Replication & DNA Repair
  • Chapter 10: Transcription and RNA Processing
  • Chapter 11: The Genetic Code and Translation
  • Chapter 12: Regulation of Transcription and Epigenetic Inheritance
  • Chapter 13: Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Gene Expression
  • Chapter 14: Repetitive DNA, A Eukaryotic Genomic Phenomenon
  • Chapter 15: DNA Technologies
  • Chapter 16: Membrane Structure
  • Chapter 17: Membrane Function
  • Chapter 18: The Cytoskeleton and Cell Motility
  • Chapter 19: Cell Division and the Cell Cycle
  • Chapter 20: The Origins of Life

Ancillary Material

  • Submit ancillary resource
  • About the Book

    A grasp of the logic and practice of science is essential to understand the rest of the world around us. To that end, the CMB3e iText (like earlier editions) remains focused on experimental support for what we know about cell and molecular biology, and on showing students the relationship of cell structure and function. Rather than trying to be a comprehensive reference book, CMB3e selectively details investigative questions, methods and experiments that lead to our understanding of cell biology. This focus is nowhere more obvious than in the chapter learning objectives and in external links to supplementary material. The Basic CMB3e version of the iText includes links to external web-sources as well as the author’s short, just-in-time YouTube VOPs (with edited, optional closed captions), all embedded in or near relevant text. Each video is identified with a descriptive title and video play and QR bar codes.

    The Learning objectives align with content and ask students to use new knowledge to make connections and deepen their understanding of concept and experiment. All external links are intended to expand or explain textual content and concepts and to engage student curiosity. Links to full VOP lectures are now at the back of the book. include optional edited closed captions.

    All images in the iText are by the author or are from public domain or Creative Commons (CC) licensed sources. For all externally sourced images, CC licenses are indicated with the image. Beyond the Basic CMB3e, the freely available Annotated CMB3e contains interactive links and formative assessments in the form of Challenge boxes. A CMB3e Sample Chapter and CMB3e iText for Instructors model additional interactive features, including short 25 Words or Less writing assignments that can be incorporated into almost any course management system, and all of which the author assigned as homework in his flipped, blended course. These assessments aim to reinforce writing as well as critical thinking skills. The CMB3e Sample Chapter is freely available for download; the CMB3e for Instructors version of the iText is available on request.

    My goal in writing this iText is to make the content engaging, free and comparable in accuracy and currency to commercial textbooks. I encourage instructors to use the interactive features of the iText (critical thought questions, YouTube videos, etc.) to challenge their students.

    With all of these enhancements, I encourage students to think about

    • how good and great experiments were inspired and designed,

    • how alternative experimental results were predicted,

    • how data was interpreted, and finally,

    • investigators (and we!) arrive at the most interesting “next questions”.

    The online iText is the most efficient way to access links and complete online assignments. Nevertheless, you can download, read, study, and access many links with a smart phone or tablet. And you can add your own annotations digitally, or write in the margins of a printout the old-fashioned way! Your instructor may provide additional 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. 

    Contribute to this Page

    Suggest an edit to this book record