Biochemistry, 4th Edition
Biochemistry is a field of enormous fascination and utility, arising, no doubt, from our own self-interest. Human welfare, particularly its medical and nutritional aspects, has been vastly improved by our rapidly growing understanding of biochemistry. Indeed, scarcely a day passes without the report of a biomedical discovery that benefits a significant portion of humanity. Further advances in this rapidly expanding field of knowledge will no doubt lead to even more spectacular gains in our ability to understand nature and to control our destinies. It is therefore essential that individuals embarking on a career in biomedical sciences be well versed in biochemistry.
This textbook is a distillation of our experiences in teaching undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College and is intended to provide such students with a thorough grounding in biochemistry.We assume that students who use this textbook have had the equivalent of one year of college chemistry and sufficient organic chemistry so that they are familiar with basic principles and nomenclature.We also assume that students have taken a one-year college course in general biology in which elementary biochemical concepts were discussed. Students who lack these prerequisites are advised to consult the appropriate introductory textbooks in those subjects.
NEW TO THIS EDITION
Since the third edition of Biochemistry was published in 2004, the field of biochemistry has continued its phenomenal and rapidly accelerating growth. This remarkable expansion of our knowledge, the work of many thousands of talented and dedicated scientists, has been characterized by numerous new paradigms, as well as an enormous enrichment of almost every aspect of the field. For example, the number of known protein and nucleic acid structures as determined by X-ray and NMR techniques has increased by over 3-fold. Moreover, the quality and complexity of these structures, which include numerous membrane proteins, has significantly improved, thereby providing enormous advances in our understanding of structural biochemistry. Bioinformatics, an only recently coined word, has come to dominate the way that many aspects of biochemistry are conceived and practiced. Since the third edition of Biochemistry was published, the number of known genome sequences has increased by over 10-fold and the goal of personalized medicine to determine the genome sequence of each individual seems to be within reach. Likewise, the state of knowledge has exploded in such subdisciplines as eukaryotic and prokaryotic molecular biology, metabolic control, protein folding, electron transport, membrane transport, immunology, signal transduction, etc. New and improved methodologies such as DNA microarrays, rapid DNA sequencing, RNAi, cryoelectron microscopy, mass spectrometry, single molecule techniques, and robotic devices are now routinely used in the laboratory to answer questions that seemed entirely out of reach a decade ago. Indeed, these advances have affected our everyday lives in that they have changed the way that medicine is practiced, the way that we protect our own health, and the way in which food is produced.
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