Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
The fifth edition of Stryer's classic textbook Biochemistry has two new authors, who have updated the content and added many new
features that recommend the text for advanced undergraduate, graduate, and
medical students of biochemistry.
Since its first edition, Biochemistry has emphasized conformation, the relation between molecular structure
and function. Berg has rendered hundreds of protein and nucleic acid structures
as colorful ribbon diagrams, which readers can also view in three dimensions
on the book's Web site. This feature brings the molecules alive better than
any 2-dimensional drawing. The text is built around these ribbon diagrams,
emphasizing throughout how structure determines function. Much of the new
content is built on key structures, such as the ribosome, that have been elucidated
since the fourth edition in 1995. This emphasis on structure works well. One
can generally find a molecule of interest in the index or table of contents,
view its structure, and learn about its functions in a few paragraphs of associated
Pollard TD. Biochemistry. JAMA. 2003;290(12):1648. doi:10.1001/jama.290.12.1648
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