7 Readings for Biochemistry Students

Biochemistry is a challenging subject that combines a diverse variety of concepts and ideas, primarily from General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Biology. Moreover, Biochemistry comprises many concepts found in Analytical Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus. It is of enormous importance to have a strong educational background in the courses mentioned above to better understand various aspects of Biochemistry. For that reason, here is the list of books which might be helpful for present or future Biochemistry students to deepen knowledge in supplementary courses to Biochemistry.

Introduction to General Chemistry” by Ira Blei and George Odian

Introduction to General Chemistry”, an eBook written by Ira Blei and George Odian, is accessible through RedShelf platform which offers various features including access from all around the world, ability to make digital notes within the textbook, 100% offline access, and permission for printing 25% of the eBook through which students can print out essential readings, illustrations, charts, or other materials.

The eBook comprises 10 distinct chapters through which various aspects of General Chemistry are examined. The information provided within the book is not complicated; instead it is very reader-friendly, especially for the students who do not have much knowledge in but are willing to learn Chemistry. The first 4 chapters, which are The Language of Chemistry, Atomic Structure, Compounds, and Chemical Bonds, and Chemical Calculations, promote a better understanding of the most fundamental concepts of Chemistry. By reading these chapters, students gain knowledge of general terms and calculation methods.

The remaining 6 chapters (The Physical Properties of Gases, Interactions between Molecules, Solutions, Chemical Kinetics, and Chemical Equilibrium, Acids, Bases, and Buffers, and Chemical and Biological Effects of Radiation) further examine the concepts of General Chemistry.

The book is written in a manner that the material is easily understandable for beginners and also is an excellent tool for preparation for Biochemistry courses.

“Introductory Chemistry Online” by Paul R. Young

Introductory Chemistry Online” is an open-source textbook/workbook written by Paul R. Young, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The book covers college-level General Chemistry course, and in contrast with most of the books, it is designed to be comprehensive, simple, and accessible for students.

The book is composed of 11 chapters within which there are identified even more sub-chapters through which individuals can either review or study general concepts of Chemistry. The first 4 chapters give a general overview of the ideas that will be implemented throughout the whole book. These chapters are Measurements and Atomic Structure, The Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter, Chemical Bonding and Nomenclature, The Mole and Measurement in Chemistry. By reading and analyzing the mentioned chapters, one can gain an overall insight of what is vital for learning further concepts of Chemistry; For instance, readers will be able to perform conversions utilizing the metric system, understand the idea of atomic structure or electron configuration, learn about chemical and physical properties of a matter. Along with that, readers will be able to understand the impact of chemical bonding on diverse molecules and make calculations regarding the mole concept.

Remaining 7 chapters are further examination of general concepts of Chemistry. These chapters include Chemical Reactions, Quantitative Relationships in Chemistry, Aqueous Solutions, Acids, Bases and pH, The Gaseous State, Principles of Chemical Equilibrium, and Nuclear Chemistry. By analyzing the content of the whole textbook, students will be able to implement the principles and ideas of General Chemistry for a more in-depth understanding of Biochemistry.

General Chemistry” by Paul Flowers, Klaus Theopold, Richard Langley, and William R. Robinson with Contributing Authors.

OpenStax Chemistry textbook, written by Senior contributing authors including Paul Flowers, Klaus Theopold, Richard Langley, and William R. Robinson, along with other contributing authors, is designed for a two-semester course in General Chemistry. OpenStax College is a non-profit organization which promotes the improvement of student access to high-quality course materials. The organization grants students an opportunity to open the textbook online or download a PDF version for free. In addition to financial advantages, OpenStax Chemistry textbook offers more features regarding educational aspects.

The textbook consists of 21 chapters throughout which basic concepts, along with more complicated aspects of General Chemistry, are discussed in great detail. The first 11 chapters give a general overview of central concepts which are implemented later in the textbook. These chapters include the following: Essential Ideas, Atoms, Molecules, and Ions, Composition of Substances and Solutions, Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions, Thermochemistry, Electronic Structure and Periodic Properties of Elements, Chemical Bonding and Molecular Geometry, Advanced Theories of Covalent Bonding, Gases, Liquids and Solids, and Solutions and Colloids.

After reading and analyzing the chapters mentioned above, students can better understand more complicated and challenging ideas provided throughout the rest of the textbook. The last 10 chapters examine the concepts of Kinetics, Fundamental Equilibrium Concepts, Acid-Base Equilibria, Electrochemistry, Representative Metals, Metalloids, and Nonmetals, Transition Metals and Coordination Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Nuclear Chemistry.

Gaining an impression of how all these principles work is essential for a proper understanding of ideas of Biochemistry. For that reason, it is recommended for Biochemistry students to learn or review the concepts of General Chemistry before taking any Biochemistry course.

Organic Chemistry” by T.W. Graham Solomons, Craig B. Fryhle, and Scott A. Snyder

Biochemistry is closely related to Organic Chemistry since an important part of the compounds or even reactions studied within Biochemistry are organic. Due to this, it of immense importance to a strong educational background in Organic Chemistry. It is evident that even if students have studied Organic Chemistry before, they usually do not remember every piece of information. For that reason, it is essential to either study or review Organic Chemistry concepts to learn Biochemistry efficiently.

“Organic Chemistry” is a textbook written by T.W. Graham Solomons, Craig B. Fryhle, and Scott A. Snyder. The book can be purchased through the Wiley platform, which offers several options: eBook lifetime access or rental, loose-leaf or hardcover printed version, textbook rental, or WileyPlus access. The book consists of 25 chapters which aim to emphasize the relationship between structures and reactivity of various organic compounds.

The first several chapters examine the general concepts such as Bonding and Molecular Structure, Families of Carbon Compounds, General Acids and Bases, Nomenclature and Stereochemistry, and Nucleophilic Reactions. After providing all the necessary information that is needed for an understanding of further concepts of Organic Chemistry, the authors continue with a detailed examination of a diverse variety of organic compounds including but not limited to Hydrocarbons, Alcohols, Ethers, Aldehydes, and Ketones.

Most importantly, the last part of the book highlights the structure along with physical and chemical properties of Carbohydrates, Lipids, Amino Acids, Proteins, and Nucleic Acids which is extensively studied throughout the Biochemistry courses.

Campbell Biology” by Jane B. Reece, Lisa A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven A. Wasserman, Peter V. Minorsky, and Robert B. Jackson

Biochemistry is perceived as a sub-discipline of Biology and Chemistry, which means that strong academic background in both subjects is essential for successful development of skills and knowledge for Biochemistry. “Campbell Biology,” written by Jane B. Reece, Liza A. Urry, Michael L. Cain, Steven A. Wasserman, Peter V. Minorsky, and Robert B. Jackson, is a textbook for courses in General Biology. The authors provide clear and engaging narrative utilizing art, photos, and media recourses for enhancement of both teaching and learning processes.

Through 8 chapters and 56 sub-chapters, the authors have managed to provide detailed information about a wide variety of concepts in Biology. The first chapter consists of 5 sub-chapters which provide necessary information about the chemistry of life. Starting from the second chapter, each chapter provides thorough explanation of various concepts including but not limited to Membrane Structure and Function, Metabolism, Cellular Respiration and Fermentation, Photosynthesis, Cell communication, The Cell Cycle, Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles, Mendel and Gene Idea, The Chromosomal and Molecular Basis of Inheritance, Gene Expression, Viruses, DNA Tools and Biotechnology, Bacteria and Archaea, Protists, Plant Diversity, Structure, Growth, and Development, Animal Nutrition, Immune System, Animal Reproduction and Development, and Ecological Aspects.

Because there are several areas identified within the study of Biochemistry, the concepts that are discussed in the book are very helpful for individuals who are willing to study Biochemistry. Students can either study or review material to better understand more challenging concepts and ideas of Biochemistry.

Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level” by Donald Voet, Judith G. Voet, and Charlotte W. Pratt

It is always helpful for Biochemistry students to have a textbook which incorporates all necessary concepts for them to review if needed. One of such books is “Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level” written by Donald Voet, Judith G. Voet, and Charlotte W. Pratt. Through the textbook, the authors aim to prepare students interested in Biochemistry for further scientific challenges. To achieve the goal, the authors have utilized aspects of mainly Structural Biology and Bioinformatics.

The textbook is divided into 5 parts, which are the following: Introduction, Biomolecules, Enzymes, Metabolism, and Gene Expression and Replication. Within these headings, the authors have identified 28 chapters which provide an in-depth examination of concepts of Biochemistry. The first 2 chapters emphasize the importance of Chemistry in Life and examine the physical and chemical properties of water.

From the 3rd to the 10th chapter, the authors discuss structures, functions, and properties of biomolecules (Nucleotides, Nucleic Acids, Amino Acids, Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids) in details.  After that, the book provides information about Enzymatic Catalysis, Kinetics, Inhibition, Control, and Signaling.

One of the essential parts of the book is concentrated on Intermediary Metabolism. Chapters 14 through 22 examine the metabolism of different compounds, including Glucose, Glycogen, Lipids, and Amino Acids. Furthermore, Citric Acid Cycle, Electron Transport, Oxidative Phosphorylation, and Photosynthesis are also discussed in detail.

The last part of the book underlines the concepts regarding Nucleotide Metabolism, Nucleic Acid Structure, DNA and RNA, and Protein Synthesis in much more details than it was discussed at the beginning of the textbook.

The book written by Voet, Voet, and Pratt is a perfect tool for not only studying but also reviewing the main ideas implemented in various areas of Biochemistry.

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