What books or online materials have you found to be most helpful to teach the basics of modern molecular biology to people with a pure computer science, or an applied math / statistics background?
These resources would be for people who want to start to make a transition to computational and systems biology but who stopped taking biology in high school or first year. I'm interested in resources that cover both the biology and common experimental techniques.
It would be great to be able to just hand them Molecular Biology of the Cell but that almost never works. Typically, I start them on The Cartoon Guide to Genetics. It's a good start but not comprehensive enough. Neither book is good for learning about high-throughput assays.
I've looked at related questions like: How to get started in bioinformatics but they don't cover resources for learning biology in a computer scientist friendly way.
There are two books that I use:
An earlier edition is available on the web at NCBI, but the sections on experimental techniques will not be current (i.e. no discussion of next-gen sequencing).
A Primer on Genome Sciences 3rd ed. by Gibson and Muse explicitly targets bringing non-biologists up to speed on genome biology and experimental techniques, but I prefer the book by Brown.
Try the NCBI science primer. Some of it is older, but the foundations are solid.
A basic introduction to the science and technology that underlies many of the NCBI resources. A great starting place for students and the general public, the Science Primer provides a basis for understanding the NCBI web site and mission, and provides direct links to many NCBI databases and tools. Topics include genome mapping, molecular modeling, mutations, microarrays (gene expression), genetics, pharmacogenomics (personalized medicine) and phylogenetics (evolutionary relationships).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/guide/training-tutorials/ and scroll down to the bottom.
EDITING I remember other good items:
There are some short articles on wikipedia:
videos/courses on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=search_videos&search_query=molecular+biology+introduction&search_sort=relevance&search_category=0&page=
presentations on slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=introduction+to+molecular+biology e.g Biology for Computer Engineers, Part 2: The Cell http://www.slideshare.net/bishorvi/tutorial-on-cells-and-cell-biology
Khan Academy offers a growing number of freely available video lessons in fundamental biology and biochemistry. They do not include information about experimental techniques, as you stated as one of your criteria, but they are still engaging and likely useful to a person with limited background in biology.