The book is divided into seven parts, with the opening part introducing the basics of nucleic acids, proteins and databases. Subsequent parts are divided into ‘Applications’ and ‘Theory’ Chapters, allowing readers to focus their attention effectively. In each section, the Applications Chapter provides a fast and straightforward route to understanding the main concepts and ‘getting started’. Each of these is then followed by Theory Chapters which give greater detail and present the underlying mathematics. In Part 2, Sequence Alignments, the Applications Chapter shows the reader how to get started on producing and analyzing sequence alignments, and using sequences for database searching, while the next two chapters look closely at the more advanced techniques and the mathematical algorithms involved. Part 3 covers evolutionary processes and shows how bioinformatics can be used to help build phylogenetic trees. Part 4 looks at the characteristics of whole genomes. In Parts 5 and 6 the focus turns to secondary and tertiary structure – predicting structural conformation and analysing structure-function relationships. The last part surveys methods of analyzing data from a set of genes or proteins of an organism and is rounded off with an overview of systems biology.
The writing style of Understanding Bioinformatics is notable for its clarity, while the extensive, full-color artwork has been designed to present the key concepts with simplicity and consistency. Each chapter uses mind-maps and flow diagrams to give an overview of the conceptual links within each topic.
‘Congratulations on a fine book! I do not think I have seen such a comprehensive text on bioinformatics algorithms and techniques before. I think this will be an invaluable resource for the bioinformatics community and researchers of neighbouring disciplines.’ – Jaap Heringa, Free University, Amsterdam
‘This is very well done. Compared to other competing textbooks, your book will be probably the first one that explains gene finding in detail.’ – Sun Kim, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
‘…provides an outstanding introduction to the main bioinformatics problems and tools, well-balanced between applications to biological problems and theory behind data processing methods… an excellent and updated book for students of Bioinformatics’ Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine
About the Author
Marketa Zvelebil is the team leader of cancer informatics at The Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre.
Jeremy O. Baum is an Honorary Teaching Fellow in the School of Crystallography, Birkbeck College.