Conditions of Use
The topics covered in this book are useful for a first semester survey of biochemistry course. It covers the basic topics found in most biochemistry courses. This includes the major macromolecules (proteins, nucleic acids and lipids) and the major... read more
The topics covered in this book are useful for a first semester survey of biochemistry course. It covers the basic topics found in most biochemistry courses. This includes the major macromolecules (proteins, nucleic acids and lipids) and the major metabolic pathways. Details are lacking for teaching these topics at a more advanced level, so the book is less useful for a two semester sequence.
Although there is a glossary at the end, it appears to be information collected from a variety of sources. Format varies greatly for each entry, as does depth of content. The glossary can be searched only using the search feature of the program used to open the PDF (eg. Acrobat Reader). The table of contents is very general, and so not useful for finding subtopics within the text. No index is provided. There is also no outline of the contents at the start of each chapter, so it is hard to identify where to find information. Steady state is discussed only within the context of Michaelis-Menten kinetics, and the topic of flux through pathways is not directly discussed (other than in the glossary). There is no organized discussion of diabetes, metabolic syndrome or inborn errors of metabolism. Individual instructors should evaluate the content and assess if it is thorough enough for their specific needs (for some it will be, for others it likely will not).
The textbook does provide "point by point" sections for most topics (later in the text), which students can use as study guides or as a set of brief notes.
For the most part the content is accurate. There are some specific issues, for example the graphs about enzyme catalyzed reactions
are missing the enzyme-substrate complex formation step. Thermodynamics information is provided for many topics and appears to be accurate. Information about a single topic is sometimes spread across multiple (physically unconnected) sections of the textbook, but the information is there. Details are provided about a variety of biochemical examples, and those details appear to be accurate as well.
Content is mostly up to date (last updated in 2018 based on information provided), but is missing more recent topics other than a glossary entry (a few examples include polyketides, nonribosomal peptides, lipid droplets). Images of structures generally do not provide a PDB ID, preventing students from using the many excellent visualization tools now available online that enable independent exploration and learning. Old exams are provided (with keys), which are a useful tool for students--note that they are focused on the author's course format (as would be expected).
The text as a whole is written in accessible language, and is fairly good about avoiding jargon. Technical terms are generally defined, and examples provided for many of those terms. Metabolic pathways are described in detail, but often as individual steps rather than a complete pathway, making it hard to see the big picture of a pathway. In addition, enzyme names are not provided on the individual inset boxes for the various steps in a pathway, and instead must be found in the accompanying text. Image resolution and format also lowers the clarity, especially for users with vision issues.
There is a consistent layout of each section of the book. The specific order of topics is different than some textbooks, but the order of topics is still useful. The terminology is consistent, although some terms are defined only in the glossary and not in the main text.
The glossary is quite large (more than half the pages of the PDF download), but the formatting is very inconsistent across entries. Entry length, font size, depth of coverage and layout is different for each entry.
The modularity could be improved. There is not a detailed table of contents or an index, nor are there chapter/section outlines provided for the different chapters/sections. In addition, although section headings are provided they are not numbered or otherwise labeled, making it more difficult to assign specific sections for reading. Content is sometimes distributed across multiple sections, which could pose a challenge for some topics. This could be a more challenging textbook to use if a course utilizes a different flow of information that what is laid out.
The textbook has a different flow of information than some books, although there is no one consistent pattern across textbooks in biochemistry. I prefer the order of this book in terms of discussing ETC and oxidative phosphorylation before discussing metabolic pathways, but others will not. Metabolic pathways are presented in very large blended chunks. For example the sugar metabolism section covers glycolysis, PPP, gluconeogenesis, the Cori cycle, fermentation, the glucose alanine cycle, glycogenesis, glycogenolysis, and the Calvin cycle. This is a lot of information for students to digest in one section, although some will prefer this overview approach rather than exploring each topic separately.
The book really needs a detailed table of contents or an index to allow users to fully maximize the information. There are many links in the textbook, and quite a few do not work properly (either listed as content coming or do not work anymore). This is distracting to the user, as the links are very prominent within the textbook.
Image and table resolution varies, so some are pixelated when viewed. Many images and tables have a "drop shadow" behind the text, making them difficult to read (a concern for users with vision issues). The read aloud feature is erratic with this text, and it was hard to follow the flow of information. I was unable to access alt text for any images, nor did the read aloud feature read any alt text. This textbook may not meet accessibility requirements for your campus.
The text is generally free of grammatical errors and typing mistakes.
The examples provided are not culturally offensive or insensitive. They are not particularly diverse either, and do not make use of various races, ethnicities and backgrounds. As a whole the PDF does not appear to have accessibility features designed into it.
There are quite a few "extras" provided with this textbook. The author provides links to PowerPoints as well as some video recordings of class lectures. There are also some interactive online tools provided. Old exams and brief notes are provided for students.
The material covered is fairly similar to other biochemistry textbooks, but does lack some of the details of a more comprehensive biochemistry text (i.e. Lehninger's text). This isn't a negative, just an observation. The order in which the... read more
The material covered is fairly similar to other biochemistry textbooks, but does lack some of the details of a more comprehensive biochemistry text (i.e. Lehninger's text). This isn't a negative, just an observation. The order in which the concepts are presented is different, but again still fairly complete.
From what I could tell, the information is accurate. Examples appear to be unbiased and give good everyday correlations to biochemistry ideas.
The material for the basics and background for biochemistry are unlikely to change, so in that sense they are relevant. The way in which the material is presented, i.e. the formatting, does make it difficult to follow at times. The tables and figures are not always near the relevant text and often there are figures/tables that appear before the section in the text. Again, this could be a formatting issue.
The text is easy to follow, avoids jargon for the most part (until it needs defining). As mentioned above, references to tables/figures are hard to follow and some tables/figures seem "stuck in" at random points. This hurts the clarity of the text while reading.
Each chapter sticks to a familiar layout and walks the student through the various topics in a coherent manner.
Overall the text could be broken up, but again, possibly due to formatting, many of the links do not work, interrupting the flow, On all the end of chapter sections, I couldn't get any of the links to work, with a message about "to be developed" or "coming soon". This is unfortunate as these links could be great for further exploration and follow up assignments.
Yes, the organization is pretty good, although I think the introduction of electron transport and electrochemistry should come after an understanding of WHERE these molecules are coming from, i.e. metabolism, breakdown of sugars, fats, amino acids, etc. This doesn't make it "bad", just no my personal preference. And as mentioned previously, the plethora of tables/figures can be overwhelming when they don't always line up with the discussion of them in the text.
Couldn't get the links to work--although it appears many of the links are "printed" after the end of entire book. So the material might be there, but as it is currently put together, it would be difficult for instructors or students to use these links effectively.
From what I can tell, the grammar is fine throughout the text.
Again, from what I read, I didn't notice any insensitive or offensive parts. Examples were clear and highlighted the biochemical aspects without a need address social or other issues. (which could actually be good depending on the nature of the class and student's interest in how science touch many aspects of our lives)
I have hope for this book, but I couldn't readily tell if this book is being maintained or updated on a regular basis, or if it is just a framework for others to build upon. The organization isn't ideal, and there are problems with links and such, but the overall material and coverage looks pretty good.
The foundational concepts, as identified and defined by ASBMB, within Energy & Metabolism, Structure & Function, Information Storage & Transfer, homeostasis, and evolution are all covered sufficiently for an undergraduate survey course... read more
The foundational concepts, as identified and defined by ASBMB, within Energy & Metabolism, Structure & Function, Information Storage & Transfer, homeostasis, and evolution are all covered sufficiently for an undergraduate survey course in biochemistry. Overall there is a good balance between breadth and depth, but there are a couple topics that are oversimplified or lacking some key points. For example, the chapter on enzyme mechanisms has several good examples of enzymes and their mechanisms, but no overall concepts or general themes observed in enzyme mechanisms. The glossary contains more than 2400 entries, many of which are illustrated and/or have a link to an additional online resource. However, the “Find Term” button to hyperlink to the term in the text is not functional in the downloaded PDF version of the text.
The majority of the content is accurate, but a few descriptions lack some detail that would make the explanation clearer and more complete.
This is a fairly recent edition of the text that has been updated to include our current understanding the biochemical processes and systems as we understand them today.
The writing is appropriate for an undergraduate audience and has a sufficient number of graphics to complement the text. Terms are clearly defined when introduced, but the comprehensive glossary is a good resource for those students who may need further reinforcement.
Terminology used and the organization of the text is consistent throughout, but there is less consistency for the images and graphics due to the variety of sources and artists used for the visual content. Labeling within graphics is also not consistent throughout and some of the figures have blurry text.
The text is organized with the biological macromolecules introduced first then more complex structures, processes and pathways. The chapters could be easily assigned in a different order to align with an instructor’s preferred course order.
Each chapter is organized logically with the introduction of the ideas necessary for comprehension presented in an appropriate order. Chapters are arranged to introduce similar and related topics in a logical sequence, as well as content coming earlier in the text than where it is applied in later chapter.
This book is essentially a PDF file of over 3600 pages. When the file is downloaded onto a student's computer, the hyperlinks in the table of contents do not link to bookmarks in the file, which means that this book is harder to navigate offline. If you want to read the text as you would a hard copy, then finding the chapter by page number and reading through the chapter is simple enough, but if you want the benefit of an electronic textbook, this text is more limited than other electronic books in that regard. The hyperlinks to the online resources (videos, images, etc) will take students to the appropriate web resource.
As a revised edition that has been used for several years by many students, it is free of grammatical errors.
Although the examples provided are not culturally insensitive or offensive, the examples are not inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities and backgrounds.
The authors have provided a thorough coverage of core concepts with key information of a first-semester college course in biochemistry. Descriptions are kept brief and to the point. With over 30 years of classroom experience and their three... read more
The authors have provided a thorough coverage of core concepts with key information of a first-semester college course in biochemistry. Descriptions are kept brief and to the point. With over 30 years of classroom experience and their three popular textbooks, the authors tour the readers with intensive pictures and keep them always on track, even when explaining the complex pathways of glycolysis and the Krebs citric acid cycle—two of the major stages leading from food to energy. One highlight of the book is the “metabolic melodies”—clever poems and songs composed by the authors to help students in memorizing material.
The authors organized the information of the book with the Foundational Concepts defined by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB). The content is accurate and unbiased.
This book current version (1.3) is published in 2018 and thoroughly up to date, reflecting the subject as it is taught in the classroom today. For example, 3-D structures of the proteins were once conventionally thought to have relatively fixed based on the crystal structure. However, with the recent progress of the Cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM) techniques, people found that many proteins have intrinsically disordered region that allows them to flexibly interact to a wider variety of partners. This book is suitable for one semester biochemistry introduction class.
The seven “point by point” parts are the summaries of the chapter and section in the same theme that can be used as the study guides for students.
The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
The book accompanies 26 teaching PowerPoint files for different topics as well as links to Youtube lectures given by Professor Kevin Ahern.
It is amazing that biochemistry deals chiefly with just six bonding elements (out of the more than 100 in the periodic table of elements). The book started with water that is by far the most abundant component of every cell with simple chemical bonds. Then the authors expanded these themes and the nature of chemical bonds to twenty amino acids that form the building blocks of proteins, which are the basis of all living tissues. And the instructions for building proteins are in the genes that comprise DNA and its related molecule, RNA. As you proceed through the course, complexity mounts in intriguing ways, but there are always surprising links to an astonishing array of questions.
Beside the written content, the E-book also provides access to videotaped lectures, interactive learning modules and rotatable 3-D molecules. The book is best used (currently) on iBooks (available for Macs and iPads), which allows readers to click on figures to enlarge them, watch video lectures relevant to each topic, listen to the selected songs, and link out to the internet to find more information simply by clicking on any term. Other formats, such as PDF and Kindle, allow access to all of the hyperlinks, but not all of the multimedia. If you are using the PDF version, you can download the Metabolic Melody songs at http:www.davincipress.com.
With extensive use of this book in the authors’ classroom and proofread by hundreds of students since the book was first published in 2016, no grammatical error was found in current version (1.3).
This book is about the chemical reactions in the cells and real world examples were carefully chosen to avoid being culturally insensitive or offensive.
The associated PPT slides and related Youtube lectures given by Professor Kevin Ahern are generous resources for both the teachers and students using this book. In 2019, Prof. Kevin Ahern, the lead author of this book has released an online course "Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: How Life Works" at the Great courses website with below link: https://www.thegreatcourses.com/fb9572?ai=180339&cmp=Social_Facebook_Advertising_2019BioChemistry&fbclid=IwAR0AOo9CUYm0ZsXKSCfG9ct5NmoFSSZZ245C50aWbNDY56tSnrGDuv8Rw64
This is a comprehensive text which can be used for a one-semester introduction to biochemistry, or for a two-semester sequence. The glossary is thorough and illustrated read more
This is a comprehensive text which can be used for a one-semester introduction to biochemistry, or for a two-semester sequence. The glossary is thorough and illustrated
The content is accurate and free from error.
Published in 2018, the content of the book is up to date. The focus of this text is on an introduction to material in which the basics will likely not change. This leaves room for the material to be updated easily.
The text is easy to read and abbreviations and terminology are explained.
The text is internally consistent.
The chapters consist of many topics under smaller headings, making each chapter customizable with regard to reading assignments. The “Point by Point” sections will also be extremely helpful for students for quick review.
The flow of the book is a logical progression, but not laid out in such a way that customizing material order will be difficult.
All images are clear and undistorted. However, as a pdf the navigation is a little more difficult due to the navigation links not working. Students will not have this problem if used on an iPad or similar device.
The book is free of grammatical errors
This is not only a comprehensive book, the available power points are well crafted. The many topics in the text have summary sections that enable students to quickly review, as well as catchy songs that many will find helpful as a memorization resource. The combination of materials makes this an excellent open-access resource that I will be using in my class.
Table of Contents
- Basic Biology
- Basic Chemistry
- Water and Buffers
- Amino Acids
- Protein Structure
- Structure and Function of Nucleic Acids
- Structure and Function of Carbohydrates
- Structure and Function of Lipids
- Membranes: Basic Concepts
- Membranes: Transport
- Membranes: Other Considerations
- Catalysis: Basic Principles
- Catalysis: Control of Activity
- Catalysis: Mechanisms
- Blood Clotting
- Energy: Basics
- Electron Transport and Oxidative Phosphorylation
- Metabolism of Sugars
- Metabolism of Polysaccharides
- Citric Acid Cycle
- Metabolism of Fats and Fatty Acids
- Metabolism of Other Lipids
- Metabolis of Amino Acids and the Urea Cycle
- Metabolism of Nucleotides
- Genes and Genomes
- DNA Replication
- DNA Repair
- RNA Processing
- Regulation of Gene Expression
- Cell Signaling
- Basic Techniques
- Point by Point: In the Beginning
- Point by Point: Structure and Function
- Point by Point: Membranes
- Point by Point: Catalysis
- Point by Point: Energy
- Point by Point: Metabolism
- Point by Point: Information Processing
- Point by Point: Techniques
About the Book
We are happy to welcome you to our second Open Educational Resource (OER) textbook, Biochemistry Free For All. Biochemistry is a relatively young science, but its rate of growth has been truly impressive. The rapid pace of discoveries, which shows no sign of slowing, is reflected in the steady increase in the size of biochemistry textbooks. Growing faster than the size of biochemistry books have been the skyrocketing costs of higher education and the even faster rising costs of college textbooks. These unfortunate realities have created a situation where the costs of going to college are beyond the means of increasing numbers of students.
About the Contributors