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Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 13th Edition

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The authoritative text for introductory microbiology, Brock Biology of Microorganisms, 12/e, continues its long tradition of impeccable scholarship, outstanding art and photos, and accuracy. It...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent Undergrad book

The pedagogy is excellent, and let me just mention that I, as an author of a text in an unrelated field, know the challenge of explaining complex issues in an understandable format. No book can be all things to all people. This is not a graduate level text. The authors know their audience and know how to present the foundational knowledge, introduce the right concepts, leave out the unneccesary details, and keep it all tied together. I only found this book after suffering through the Prescott/Harley/Klein text.

A Grad Student's Perspective

This is hands down the best general microbiology textbook on the market. Below, I'll explain why. (And I will also defend the book against some of the more ridiculous comments): 1) Let's be honest. Some students who read textbooks aren't too bright or motivated. So you should completely ignore ANYBODY who says the book was worthless. He/She was probably frustrated with the class they were in, and blamed the prof, their TA, the book, and life in general for getting a bad grade or having a bad time. Common sense tells us that a book that has gone through 11 editions is way above average. Most textbooks don't make it past the 1st or 2nd ed. 2) This book is not meant to delve into excruciating detail. While the book does contatin a LOT of detail on some topics, most aren't that detailed. The reason is because it's an introductory text. If you want more information, then buy a book that focuses on that one area. So, criticisms that say the book was "too general" are silly. 3) The book does a great job of overviewing every possible topic under the sun related to microbiology. The book covers basic cell biology, foundations of microbiology, molecular biology, diversity, metabolism, immunology, pathogenesis, disease, and even a little biotechnology. 4) It's true that the book could be organized a little better. In particular, it's frustrating to have to flip back and forth between chapters on metabolic diversity and prokaryotic diversity. However, I can't really suggest a better way to do it. 5) As an undergrad, I used this book in two different courses, and enjoyed it both times. As a grad student, I still find myself referring back to it on occasion. In summary, if you're looking for a good introductory text to microbiology, you're not going to find anything better than this.

This book is just awesome plain awesome. Excellent !

This great textbook from Michael T. Madigan and his collegues is an excellent microbiology textbook. It has great and colorful illustrations that explain the concepts such as DNA transcription, RNA synthesis, various biological tests, viruses(especially the operation of HIV virus. He did an EXCELLENT JOB on that topic), and other topics. Besides the microbiology aspects this book excellently illustrates it also gives you an EXCELLENT biochemistry aspect of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, viruses and other microorganisms as well. It is EXTREMELY well written to the point that ANYONE can understand clearly what Michael T. Madigan and his colleges are trying to explain. Heck, it even has a little bit of genetics as well. I mean lets be serious here. What more do you want? He gives everything in a high-quality manner! Overall this is a great book with great color illustrations, review questions, and is VERY CLEAR in its explanations of the concepts of microbiology, biochemistry and genetics. This is a great referance manual as well. I'm in pharmacy school and I still use this book as a handy referance to perk up any forgotten concepts in biochemistry, microbiology or genetics. Anybody who criticizes this book don't know jack-squat of what a high quality textbook this is. I'm very happy that my microbiology professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis(my former school) chose this book as our class textbook. I usually sell my school textbooks back but I'm not selling this one back due to its high quality. This book is too good. Bottom line this book has everything you want. This is a top-notch book that will make learning microbiolgy fun, fun and more fun. I take my hats off to Michael T. Madigan and his collegues for working hard in writing such an excellent textbook. I hope the publishers keep publishing this book for the next 100 years.

An exceptional microbiological resource

If you are an aspiring microbiologist or simply a student or teacher of science in general wishing to have a well-rounded, solid microbial background, then this is an absolutely essential resource. It is an unsurpassed publication in the vast field of fundamental microbiology. It is designed for the upper-level undergraduate student and thus takes a holistic and all-encompassing approach to the field. However, I have no doubt that even seasoned instructors and professionals alike will gleen invaluable information from the material presented. Its authors masterfully and lucidly convey the salient points of their respective expertises in each of the major themes presented (general microbiology, microbial diversity, immunology and epidemiology, and molecular biology and microbial genetics). The sections pertaining to microbial diversity are particularly well done and informative, as are those providing a general, basic background to microbiology.The book (ninth edition) contains 991 pages in 24 chapters, as well as a glossary, a superb index, and 2 appendices (the first containing useful bioenergetic calculations; the second presenting a taxonomic hierarchy from Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology). There are many photographs and micrographs (invariably of outstanding quality) supplementing the text throughout. These, in addition to various tables and clear, colorful figures, aid the student in visualizing the most important points of the text. The tasteful and copious use of color in figures throughout the book serves two purposes: It adds visual interest while detering the mundane, overly sober look of some other publications, and more importantly, it allows the reader to see vital associations between particular related elements in each figure, and often, in several figures. The book also employs the use of "feature boxes" to elucidate related or historically significant applications of material presented in the text. Rather than being distracting or disruptive to the flow of the text, I found these boxes to be informative and interesting supplements. The overall look and feel of the book is very well done. It somehow actually looks INVITING, which, as any undergraduate student knows, is extremely appreciated when it comes time to actually sit down and do some reading. The text itself is presented in a clear, progressive manner from start to finish and provides the student with a plethora of essential concepts and facts in the immense world of microbiology. As stated above, the book is aimed towards upper-level undergraduate students, so some of the more in-depth and detailed aspects of the concepts are understandably omitted. Otherwise, the book would have to be ridiculously lengthy and unnecessarily complex for its intended audience. As it stands, this publication is very comprehensive and will serve as a valuable resource for any student or teacher of the subject.

A window to the real diversity of life

Since the solving of the genetic code, the priesthood of molecular biology has stressed animal biology, usually the complexities of development or neurobiology or immunology, as where the important science is going on. But microbiology has continued to find out amazing things, from the diversity of metabolisms that microbes use to live, to the molecular mechanisms of how microbes infect other organisms. I am a research scientist, working in molecular genetics, with shelves full of books. The Biology of Microorganisms is my very favorite textbook. I read it from cover to cover and was very impressed with its exposition of what I know, but even more with what I learned from reading it. I continue to reread chapters as my journal reading triggers questions about microbes. The chapters on microbial diversity, on what has been learned about how microbes live on iron oxidation reduction gradients, on the probable metabolisms 3.5 billion years ago, on the antiquity of photosynthesis, etc. There has been a renaissance in the study of diverse microbes. It is a huge field now and very difficult to understand its many strands. This book does an outstanding job of making it understandable. Anyone who thinks about the origin of life must read this book, for the diversity of microbial metabolism speaks volumes about early life. In addition, though the book does not stress it, anyone interested in life on other planets should read this book carefully, because of the diverse microbial ecosystems it describes. The book is written for an advanced undergraduate, but I found that after the introductory chapters, it had just the right mix of explanation and detail to keep me engaged. A must buy.
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