Molecular Biology of the Gene, Fifth Edition
The long-awaited new edition of James D. Watson’s classic text, Molecular Biology of the Gene, has been thoroughly revised and is published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick’s paper on the structure of the DNA double-helix. Twenty-one concise chapters, co-authored by five highly respected molecular biologists, provide current, authoritative coverage of a fast-changing discipline, giving both historical and basic chemical context. Divided into four parts: Genetics and Chemistry, Central Dogma, Regulation, and Methods. For college instructors, students, and anyone interested in molecular biology and genetics.
(Pearson Education) Textbook covers an overview of molecular biology and introduces the basic chemical concepts applicable. Discuss DNA replication, transcription, and translation. Also describes how gene expression is regulated and how changes in gene regulation account for different animals made up of the same genes. Abundant color illustrations. Previous edition: c1987.
From the Back Cover
Introduction to BotanyThe long-awaited new edition of James D. Watson’s classic text, Molecular Biology of the Gene, has been thoroughly revised and is published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Watson and Crick’s paper on the structure of the DNA double-helix. Twenty-one concise chapters, co-authored by five highly respected molecular biologists, provide current, authoritative coverage of a fast-changing discipline, giving both historical and basic chemical context. Divided into four parts: Genetics and Chemistry, Central Dogma, Regulation, and Methods. For college instructors, students, and anyone interested in molecular biology and genetics.
About the Author(s)
James D. Watson was Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory from 1968 to 1993 and is now its President. He spent his undergraduate years at the University of Chicago and received his Ph.D. in 1950 from Indiana University. Between 1950 and 1953, he did postdoctoral research in Copenhagen and Cambridge, England. While at Cambridge, he began the collaboration that resulted in the elucidation of the double-helical structure of DNA in 1953. (For this discovery, Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1962.) Later in1953, he went to the California Institute of Technology. He moved to Harvard in 1955, where he taught and did research on RNA synthesis and protein synthesis until 1976. He was the first Director of the National Center for Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health from 1989 to 1992. Dr. Watson was sole author of the first, second, and third editions of Molecular Biology of the Gene, and a co-author of the fourth edition. These were published in 1965, 1970, 1976, and 1987 respectively. Watson has also been involved in two other textbooks: he was one of the original authors of Molecular Biology of the Cell and is also an author of Recombinant DNA: a short course.
Readable and Thorough, An Excellent Reference, July 12, 2005
I am a layman with a serious interest in biology. I read science news, especially in Nature and Scientific American, and I often find that I don’t have enough background to understand articles at the level at which I want to understand them. I bought this book hoping to get that background, and I wasn’t disappointed.
For example, once the human genome was sequenced, it appeared that there were far too few genes for an organism as complex as ourselves. But investigation shows that most genes occur in segments and that the messenger RNA must be cut and spliced before the protein can be formed. Often there are two or more ways the RNA may be spliced. So that one gene can specify more than one protein. Another problem is that the genome seemed to consist mostly of sections that don’t code for proteins; these were called "junk". But it turns out that some RNA sequences have catalytic and regulatory roles, roles which used to be considered the bailiwick of proteins alone. Articles about topics such as these used to confuse me thoroughly, but after reading this book I find them much clearer.
This book benefits from a great many illustrations and I recommend that you go through each one as you would a worked problem in a math text. Observe how the pieces fit together, how a particular group of atoms enhances or inhibits a reaction. The practice will help you to understand other things you will read later.
I called this a "reference" for good reason: I assume that I will come across many future articles which will send me back to it to fill in some background.
[Added 4 July 2006] As I assumed when I first wrote this review, I have used it for reference. I have read several books about what I call "enhanced evolution", where mechanisms that go beyond simple point mutations speed up evolution by providing more variation. For example, gene regulation, alternate splicing, and gene duplication all play important roles. I have surprised myself by remembering more than I expected to (thanks to the clarity of this book) but I have still used it for clarification.
Tania A. Baker is the Whitehead Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She received a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Stanford University in 1988. Her graduate research was carried out in the laboratory of Professor Arthur Kornberg and focused on mechanisms of initiation of DNA replication. She did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Kiyoshi Mizuuchi at the National Institutes of Health, studying the mechanism and regulation of DNA transposition. Her current research explores mechanisms and regulation of genetic recombination, enzyme-catalyzed protein unfolding, and ATP-dependent protein degradation. Professor Baker received the 2001 Eli Lilly Research Award from the American Society of Microbiology and the 2000 MIT School of Science Teaching Prize for Undergraduate Education. She is co-author (with Arthur Kornberg) of the book DNA Replication, Second Edition.
Stephen P. Bell is a Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Assistant Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received B.A. degrees from the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Cell Biology and the Integrated Sciences Program at Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. His graduate research was carried out in the laboratory of Robert Tjian and focused on eukaryotic transcription. He did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Bruce Stillman at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, working on the initiation of eukaryotic DNA replication. His current research focuses on the mechanisms controlling the duplication of eukaryotic chromosomes. Professor Bell received the 2001 ASBMBÐSchering Plough Scientific Achievement Award, and the Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at MIT in 1998.
Alexander Gann is Editorial Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, and a faculty member of the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He received his B.Sc in microbiology from University College London and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from The University of Edinburgh in 1989. His graduate research was carried out in the laboratory of Noreen Murray and focused on DNA recognition by restriction enzymes. He did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Mark Ptashne at Harvard, working on transcriptional regulation, and that of Jeremy Brockes at the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research at University College London, where he wor