Genomes 5

Terry A Brown
CRC Press, £64.99

I was pleasantly surprised when I initially thumbed through the 500-plus pages of this book. The layout is clear and concise, and is a single-author textbook, which means you are not faced with differing writing styles.

Another plus point is the book didn’t include numerous chapters on genetics-adjacent things such as statistics or cell structure. It does exactly what it is supposed to do, describing the current and ever-expanding field of genomics.

It starts with the basic structure of genes and genomes, covering standard molecular biology techniques and modern sequencing techniques, followed by comprehensive chapters on genome annotation and the investigation of gene function for those yet uncatalogued.

The structure of the various genomes, eukaryotic, prokaryotic, viral and organelle, is covered, with useful diagrams to describe the complexities of the subject. Transcriptomics, the transcriptome, and proteomics are covered in great detail, before the author moves on to gene mutation and repair, then ending with the interesting area of gene evolution.

I really liked this book and learned so much from reading it thoroughly. It has certainly updated my own knowledge and I would highly recommend it to all undergraduates and postgraduates that are taking courses in molecular biology, along with those moving on to areas such as bioinformatics. While a wonderful tour de force, it is no replacement for other popular molecular or biochemical textbooks, but would sit well alongside them on student bookshelves. I’m only disappointed I didn’t have a book as informative as this when I did my undergraduate study many years ago.

Tony Reynolds