am 30. Januar 2008
Although I just got my copy of Understanding Bioinformatics and haven't finished reading, I dare to step forward with this enthusiastic review based on what I have seen so far.
With this new book I have finally found the one text that covers 90% of the material we teach in introductory classes. In contrast to many other books, the reader constantly feels that the text was written with the student in mind: Concepts are explained quite clearly and are backed by the required math and algorithms. The Illustrations are excellent and truly help the novice to grasp the material. Each chapter starts with a mind map of the topic to come. This small feature allows the student to get an early overview.
Teachers will appreciate the availability of the artwork from the book through the books web site.
Conclusion: Currently by far the best introductory textbook on bioinformatics. Strongly recommended!
am 17. Mai 2013
Generally "Understanding Bioinformatics" is a great book for introductory undergraduate courses in bioinformatics. Background information on biology (probably best for people with a computer science background) and important databases serves as the introduction into the field of bioinformatics, which is likely to become a central part in modern life sciences.
The following chapters are concerned with the analysis of biological sequences: Comparing sequences, finding patterns such as Genes and secondary structures and creating phylogenetic trees. The rest of the book covers Systems Biology and the various -omics techniques and their data analysis. Most topics are "doubled" as an applications chapter and a theory chapter, with the latter focussing on insight into the underlying mathematics. The content is quite up-to-date and should cover a usual undergraduate lecture. However, the book lacks any kind of implentation of the learned, e.g. some programming exercies. Very quantitative approaches, that require more indepth knowledge of mathematics, are not covered. Though the book is generally very good, i found the applications/theory division quite unnecessary and the mind-maps rather useless, thus the four stars.
In short: You want to know the basics of bioinformatics, then this is a great textbook. If you want to implement bioinformatics or like a more mathematical approach, other books might serve you better.