Biology Introduction For A Computer Scientist
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11.1 years ago
TitoPullo ▴ 180

Hi, I've just started a PhD in BioInformatics. I'd like to know if there are some books/tutorial which can introduce me into the field of Biology. I need something "simple" because I've never faced with biological topics. I've found Biology for Dummies but I don't know if it's really worthy. What do you suggest for me?

biology • 4.6k views
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This is not a tutorial, it is a standard question about tutorials :) I changed the category back to question.

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Which technical area of biology will you focus on? Deep-Sequencing? Genetic association studies? Protein structures? Mass-spec?
What biological question might you be trying to answer?

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I'll basically work about genes/proteins interactions

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"Biology" is pretty broad. You could argue that EVERYTHING is biology :P

If you're getting into genes and proteins specifically then you should probably start with something like molecular biology. Like mentioned above, it will be developing and changing frequently but things like DNA replication, the central dogma etc, are vital for your understanding of the subject.

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I will be surprised if reading a simple one book will make you get away with biology. In computer sciences the codes are standard languages are different which keep on refining. Similarly, biology keep on developing. The only way you can get little comfortable with biology +computer/ bioinformatics is start working with biologist get the questions from him/ her and try to solve with your computer skills that will be best way to learn mutually. I am not sure how much reading without any basics may help.

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11.1 years ago
matted 7.8k

"Molecular Biology for Computer Scientists" by Lawrence Hunter. It's less than 50 pages and a nice basic introduction, written for the computationally-minded.

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11.1 years ago

I'm surprised Molecular Biology of the Cell hasn't been mentioned yet. It's a great book, and relatively recently a new edition was released.

It's not a "short tutorial" by any means, but then again, I've always been confused by folks who just want a "cursory understanding" of biology -- especially if bioinformatics is your intended career, and not just a hobby, of sorts.

Being that you have the luxury of being in an academic institution to learn bioinformatics, I'd encourage you to take introductory biology classes along side your computational and statistical ones that are required by your program.

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+1, I second Steve Lianoglou's suggestion -- it's a dense book -- and I still go back to my decade old version for reference.

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this also a simple book for biology beginners Biology Demystified

Genetics Demystified

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11.1 years ago
mithrado ▴ 10

http://www.physics.upenn.edu/~biophys/ I like this one

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11.1 years ago
Leandro Lima ▴ 970

I think Rosalind is good to programmers because we have the opportunity of solving Biology problems learning the main concepts behind the problems. It's good to those who already have a background in programming and want to be more motivated with Biology.

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Hi Leandro. Your answer would be more interesting if you turned it into a full sentence or two describing this resource and why you are suggesting it.

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Sorry, Eric.

I think Rosalind is good to programmers because we have the opportunity of solving Biology problems learning the main concepts behind the problems. It's good to those who already have a background in programming and want to be more motivated with Biology.

=)

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11.1 years ago
sentausa ▴ 650

How 'simple' do you want it to be? These are very, very simple: Cartoon Guide to Genetics and The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology. Or you can try some "popular science" books like Matt Ridley's Genome or Carl Zimmer's; it worked for me. Unfortunately, I don't know any such books dealing with gene/protein interaction.

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