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The Geospiza Beginner’s Guide to Molecular Structures

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted May 20, 2007 in DNA Fun, DNA Products, DNA in General

guide molecular structuresWhile Dr. Steve Murphy is busy hosting Gene Genie and educating people about the genome revolution over at Gene Sherpas, I’ve been looking over Dr. Sandra Porter’s new book – A Beginner’s Guide to Molecular Structures. The thought of studying molecular structures would intimidate anyone, including me! But this book is definitely the way to go.

Sandy starts off the book with some very basic, clear explanations about the how’s, where’s, and why’s of molecular structures. She intersperses her explanations with wacky humor (I like!) such as a one-upmanship exchange between X-ray and NMR, followed by word searches, crossword puzzles, review questions, and exercises that give readers a chance to practice their newly learned skills of using online databases.

Here are the chapters in the book:

  1. Molecular Structure Models
  2. Searching with Entrez
  3. Using the Structure Resources at NCBI
  4. Using Cn3D
  5. Comparing Structures and Using VAST

Back cover blurb:

Molecular structures are lovely, but how do you get started working with them? Where do you begin?

This book covers:
1. How to find structures
2. How to determine if the structure you found is the structure that you want
3. How to work with structures once you’ve found them
4. How to compare one structure with another

Written for biology students and biology teachers, this text contains brain-engaging activities to help you put the concepts you learn immediately into practice.

Step-by-step instructions and labeled screenshots help guide readers through confusing territory from downloading the software to actually manipulating molecular structures. My only concern is that the interfaces might change significantly in the future after upgrades thus making the book obsolete. But perhaps because it’s published via Cafepress, edits can be made quickly and easily.

Continue reading…

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