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The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology

There’s a lot of fascinating things about molecular biology (I should know, I have a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology) – but a lot of students get discouraged from learning it because it is taught poorly in school. To be fair, the topic is rather complex – if you don’t get the basics right, it’s easy to get confused and lost later on – and many of the textbooks of biochemistry, cell biology and molecular bio are b-o-r-i-n-g. Heck, I’ve read phone books more interesting than some of ‘em.

Enter The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology. Written by Dr. Masaharu Takemura, a lecturer of biology, molecular biology, and life sciences at the Tokyo University of Science, the book uses manga-style cartoons drawn by Sakura and produced by Becom Co., Ltd. It is released in the United States by No Starch Press (a publishing company that aims to be “the finest in geek entertainment”).

The book is ostensibly about the adventures of Rin and Ami, two students that have been skipping their molecular biology class. They were summoned by Professor Moro for a special summer school on his private island (complete with a virtual reality machine, a hunky TA … and a terrible secret. What is it? Oh, I’m not going to tell you). But amidst all that fun, there’s actual learning.

Take, for instance, the explanation about how the liver enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase works in breaking down alcohol:

Read more after the jump:

So, if you’re in class and need a little help or inspiration in learning a particularly dry molecular biology subject, or if you know someone who do, check out the Manga Guide to Molecular Biology over at Amazon: Link

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Date
September 30th, 2009

Author
Stranger to the World

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