Becker’s World of the Cell (8th Edition)
“Bcause we enjoy interacting with biology undergradsand think that they should have biology textbooks that are clearly written, make the subject matter relevant to the reader, and help them appreciate not only how much we already know about biology—cell biology, in our case—but also how much more remains to be investigated and discovered.” That’s how any of the authors of this text would likely respond if asked why we’ve invested so much time in writing and revising The World of the Cell. Each of us has an extensive history of teaching undergraduate courses in cell biology and related areas, and each of us treasures our contact with students as one of the most rewarding aspects of being a faculty member.
As we reflect on the changes we’ve seen in our courses over the years, we realize that the past several decades have seen an explosive growth in our understanding of the properties and functions of living cells. This enormous profusion of information presents us with a daunting challenge as we confront the task of keeping Becker’s World of the Cell up to date while simultaneously ensuring that it remains both manageable in length and readily comprehensible to students encountering the field of cell and molecular biology for the first time. This eighth edition represents our most recent attempt to rise to that challenge. As with the previous editions, each of us has brought our own teaching and writing experience to the venture in ways that we have found mutually beneficial—a view that we hope our readers will share.
One major objective for this edition has been to update the content of the text, especially in areas where the pace of research is especially brisk and recent findings are particularly significant. At the same time, we have remained committed to the three central goals that have characterized each preceding edition. As always, our primary goal is to introduce students to the fundamental principles that guide cellular organization and function. Second, we think it is important for students to understand some of the critical scientific evidence that has led to the formulation of these central concepts. And finally, we have sought to accomplish these goals in a book of manageable length that can be easily read and understood by beginning cell biology students—and that still fits in their backpacks! To accomplish this third goal, we have necessarily been selective both in the types of examples chosen to illustrate key concepts and in the quantity of scientific evidence included. We have, in other words, attempted to remain faithful to the overall purpose of each previous edition: to present the essential principles, processes, and methodology of molecular and cell biology as lucidly as possible. We have also given careful attention to accuracy, consistency, vocabulary, and readability to minimize confusion and maximize understanding for our readers.
What’s New in This Edition
The eighth edition retains the clear writing style from previous editions, and adds new emphasis on modern genetic/genomic/proteomic approaches to cell biology:
■ New, up-to-date information has been added on the tools that modern cell biologists use, including model organisms, bioinformatics, and genomics/proteomics. This discussion in Chapter 1 better establishes the modern, 21st century approach to cell biology while retaining the classical emphasis from previous editions.
■ Major reorganization of the cell cycle and apoptosis material, including moving apoptosis from Chapter 14 to Chapter 19 to better match conventional course syllabi.
■ New discussions of modern genetic and molecular technologies, such as nanotechnology, bioluminescence, X-ray crystallographic data, and genetic engineering of animals and transgenic plants.
■ Content updates have been added throughout the book highlighting the most recent advances in the understanding of cell biology (see Content Highlights of the Eighth Edition).
■ New, In-text media callouts that link chapter content to multimedia resources, such as learning activities, 3D molecular structure tutorials, videos, and animations, that are available on www.thecellplace.com
■ New online videos, 3D structure tutorials, animations, and activities have been added to The Cell Place (www.thecellplace.com) to enhance student learning through dynamic visualization.
■ New Pearson E-text and Pearson Custom Library
options are available.
■ New PowerPoint Lecture Tools, including pre-made lecture outlines containing all of the figures and photos and embedded animations, and 5–10 personal response system (PRS) clicker questions per chapter.
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