The Cell: A Molecular Approach 8th Edition
Learning cell biology can be a daunting task because the field is so vast and rapidly moving, characterized by a continual explosion of new information. The challenge is how to master the fundamental concepts without becoming bogged down in details. Students need to understand the principles of cell biology and be able to appreciate new advances, rather than just memorizing “the facts” as we see them today. At the same time, the material must be presented in sufficient depth to thoughtfully engage students and provide a sound basis for further studies. The Eighth Edition of The Cell emphasizes the fundamental concepts of cell biology and includes new features designed to meet the needs of today’s students and their teachers.
This edition of The Cell continues the goal of helping students understand the principles and concepts of cell biology while gaining an appreciation of the excitement and importance of ongoing research in this rapidly moving field. Our understanding of cell and molecular biology has progressed in many ways over the last three years, and these important advances have been incorporated into the current edition. Some of the most striking advances have continued to come from progress in genomics and understanding the complex mechanisms of gene regulation in higher eukaryotes. A new chapter in the current edition-—Transcriptional Regulation and Epigenetics—highlights these rapidly advancing areas. Other notable advances covered in the current edition include progress in proteomics, synthetic biology, mitochondrial replacement therapy, splicing therapy for Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, and immunotherapy of cancer.
Beyond incorporating new material, the Eighth Edition of The Cell has been extensively revised to improve its utility as a teachable text for today’s students. It has become abundantly clear that teaching in the sciences is most effective when it is done with a focus on active student engagement. To facilitate this and to avoid overwhelming students with too much information, I have minimized unnecessary detail to focus on concepts and shorten the text. In addition, recognizing that students with many different backgrounds take cell biology, additional introductory material on the nature of chemical bonds and thermodynamics has been added. Even with these additions, The Cell has been substantially shortened, ensuring that it remains an accessible and readable text for undergraduates who are taking their first course in cell and molecular biology.
The reorganization of this edition includes the division of each chapter into self-contained sections, enabling instructors to readily change the order in which material is covered. To optimize student engagement, each section begins with Learning Objectives, includes marginal notes that highlight key concepts, and concludes with a summary and expanded series of questions.
The questions in this edition span several levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, ranging from knowledge and comprehension to analysis and synthesis.
Distinguishing features of The Cell include the Molecular Medicine and Key Experiment essays, which highlight clinical applications and describe seminal research papers, respectively. Additional questions have been added to these essays, designed to focus attention on key aspects of the material and give students a sense of how progress in our field is made. A new feature of this edition is the addition of Data Analysis Problems to the end of each chapter. These problems, which present data and figures from original research papers, engage students in the analysis of experimental methods and results. They were included in the Instructor’s Resource Library of the Seventh Edition and a number of instructors found them to be a valuable resource, so a selection has been incorporated directly into the text of the current edition (with answers in the back of the book). Like the Key Experiment and Molecular Medicine essays, they provide excellent material for discussions and opportunities for student participation in active learning. An Active Learning Guide is included in the Instructor’s Resource Library of this edition of The Cell to facilitate this important approach to student engagement.
My hope is that these changes to The Cell will stimulate students and help to convey the excitement and challenges of contemporary cell and molecular biology. The opportunities in our field are greater than ever, and today’s students will be responsible for the advances of tomorrow.
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|December 22, 2019|
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