Biochemistry a Short Course 4th Edition

Biochemistry a Short Course 4th Edition

Book Preface

As humans, we are adept learning machines. Long before a baby learns that she can change a sheet of paper by crumpling it, she is absorbing vast amounts of information. This learning continues throughout life in myriad ways: learning to ride a bike and to take social cues from friends; learning to drive a car and balance a checkbook; learning to solve a quadratic equation and to interpret a work of art.
Of course, much of learning is necessary for survival, and even the simplest organisms learn to avoid danger and recognize food. However, humans are especially gifted in that we also acquire skills and knowledge to make our lives richer and more meaningful. Many students would agree that reading novels and watching movies enhances the quality of our lives because we can expand our horizons by vicariously being in situations we would never actually experience, reacting sympathetically or unsympathetically to characters who remind us of ourselves or are very different from anyone we have ever known. Strangely, at least it seems to us as science professors, science courses are rarely thought of as being enriching or insightful into the human condition. Larry Gould, a former president of Carleton College, was also a geologist and an Arctic explorer. As a scientist, teacher, and administrator, he was very interested in science education, especially as it related to other disciplines. In his inaugural address he said, “Science is a part of the same whole as philosophy and the other fields of learning. They are not mutually exclusive disciplines but they are independent and overlapping.” Our goal was to write a book that encourages students to appreciate biochemistry in this broader sense, as a way to enrich their understanding of the world.
The Fourth Edition continues a tradition of teaching conceptual understanding with a focus on relevance and application. The first edition of Biochemistry: A Short Course was intended to introduce biochemistry to a broad range of students in an unintimidating—even fun—way. One of our goals in writing Biochemistry: A Short Course was to make biochemistry more accessible by presenting shorter chapters and organizing these chapters into fresh and welcoming layouts. This was accomplished by paring down advanced topics; using accessible writing; including clean, informative figures; adding lots of photographs; and citing numerous examples that show biochemistry in action. We continue to work toward this goal in the fourth edition, presenting up-to-date biochemistry in an inviting, engaging manner. Marginal features have also been modernized so they are easily identifiable, engage students, and emphasize the relevance of biochemistry to their lives.

Read:   What Are the Values That Underpin This Course

Additionally, we highlight recent discoveries and advances that have changed how we think about some fundamental concepts in biochemistry and human health. From microbes to mammals, living organisms have a common biochemistry. All cellular organisms encode their blueprints as DNA and decode those instructions via transcription and translation. Many signaling pathways and regulatory mechanisms found in yeast are also used by humans. This extraordinary truth has led to a deep understanding of the complex biochemical pathways that keep all organisms alive. With this understanding, we can present biochemistry in a way that allows students to master concepts, providing a scaffold for them to learn the biochemical pathways and processes.

Physiological Relevance
Biochemistry: A Short Course takes a physiological perspective on biochemical processes and integrates clinical examples throughout the chapters to reinforce concepts for students. In the fourth edition we feature:

Eight new or revised Clinical Insights, which highlight the critical role that biochemistry plays in human health and disease.
Biological Insights to bolster students’ understanding of biochemical concepts as they learn how simple changes in biochemical processes can have dramatic effects on the physiology of living creatures.
NEW! Thirty-eight Biochemistry in Focus features give a deeper look at human health, medicine, and disease. Nutrition Facts boxes illuminate the underlying relationship between nutrition and biochemistry, with a focus on the essential roles of vitamins.

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Biochemistry a Short Course 4th Edition


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