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Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (6th edition)

Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry (6th edition)

Author: David L. Nelson Publisher: W.H. Freeman Genres: Medical Publish Date: November 21, 2012 ISBN-10: 1429234148 Pages: 1340 File Type: PDF / Audio Book / E-book Language: English

Book Preface

Book Preface

As we complete our work on this sixth edition of Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, we are again struck by the remarkable changes in the field of biochemistry that have occurred between editions. The sheer volume of new information from high-throughput DNA sequencing, x-ray crystallography, and the manipulation of genes and gene expression, to cite only three examples, challenges both the seasoned researcher and the first-time biochemistry student. Our goal here is to strike a balance: to include new and exciting research findings without making the book overwhelming for students. The primary criterion for inclusion is that the new finding helps to illustrate an important principle of biochemistry.

The image on our cover, a map of the known metabolic transformations in a mitochondrion, illustrates the richness of factual material now available about biochemical transformations. We can no longer treat metabolic “pathways” as though they occurred in isolation; a single metabolite may be simultaneously part of many pathways in a three-dimensional network of metabolic transformations. Biochemical research focuses more and more upon the interactions among these pathways, the regulation of their interactions at the level of gene and protein, and the effects of regulation upon the activities of a whole cell or organism.

This edition of LPOB reflects these realities. Much of the new material that we have added reflects our increasingly sophisticated understanding of regulatory mechanisms, including those involved in altering the synthesis of enzymes and their degradation, those responsible for the control and timing of DNA synthesis and the cell cycle, and those that integrate the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins over time in response to changes in the environment and in different cell types.

Even as we strive to incorporate the latest major advances, certain hallmarks of the book remain unchanged. We continue to emphasize the relevance of biochemistry to the molecular mechanisms of disease, highlighting the special role that biochemistry plays in advancing human health and welfare. A special theme is the metabolic basis of diabetes and the factors that predispose to the disease. This theme is interwoven through many chapters and serves to integrate the discussion of metabolism. We also underscore the importance of evolution to biochemistry. Evolutionary theory is the bedrock upon which all biological sciences rest, and we have not wasted opportunities to highlight its important role in our discipline.

To a significant degree, research progress in biochemistry runs in parallel with the development of better tools and techniques. We have therefore highlighted some of these crucial developments. Chapter 9, DNABased Information Technologies, in particular, has been significantly revised to include the latest advances in genomics and next-generation sequencing.

Finally, we have devoted considerable attention to making the text and the art even more useful to students learning biochemistry for the first time. To those familiar with the book, some of these changes will be obvious as soon as you crack the cover.

With every revision of this textbook, we have striven to maintain the qualities that made the original Lehninger text a classic—clear writing, careful explanations of difficult concepts, and insightful communication to students of the ways in which biochemistry is understood and practiced today. The authors have written together for almost 25 years and taught introductory biochemistry together for nearly 30. Our thousands of students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison over those years have been an endless source of ideas about how to present biochemistry more clearly; they have enlightened and inspired us. We hope that this sixth edition of Lehninger will in turn enlighten and inspire current students of biochemistry everywhere, and perhaps lead some of them to love biochemistry as we do.

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November 21, 2012

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