Biophysics for Beginners - A Journey through the Cell Nucleus
by Helmut Schiessel (Leiden University, The Netherlands)
Hardback 400 pages 2013-09-30 Print ISBN: 9789814241656 eBook ISBN: 9789814303941 DOI: 10.4032/9789814303941
List price : $149.95
“Helmut Schiessel’s Biophysics for Beginners: A Journey through the Cell Nucleus is an excellent text for anyone interested in understanding the workings of the cell nucleus from the perspective of physics. The book is unique in providing a deep, authoritative introduction to the physical principles that underlie our current understanding of the packaging and processing of the nucleic acids and proteins within the nucleus and in introducing the reader to key biological questions, including exciting new areas of research investigation, where physics adds to our understanding of these systems. The text taught me many new things and presented material with which I am familiar in an outstanding fashion. The book could serve as a valuable teaching tool or a welcome addition to the bookshelves of many researchers.”
Prof. Wilma K. Olson - Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA
“The tutorial book of Helmut Schiessel gives a modern description of the physical properties of biopolymers in the nucleus and more generally in the cell. It covers DNA, RNA, proteins and some examples of interactions between DNA and proteins. The book is self-contained in the sense that it introduces both the biological context of cell and nucleus and the physical tools that are used to study biopolymers, such as statistical mechanics, polymer physics, stochastic processes, electrostatic interactions. This is a most welcome book showing beautiful applications of physics to polymers in cells. It will clearly be useful as a basis to teach biophysics and more generally to all physicists interested in the properties of cells and their nucleus, and also to biologists interested in the physical properties of biopolymers.”
Prof. Jean-François Joanny - Institut Curie, France
“Teaching an introductory course in theoretical biological physics is a major challenge. The lecturer not only needs to introduce a diverse set of theoretical concepts from different areas of physics, such as nonlinear dynamics, nonequilibrium statistical physics, stochastic processes, and soft matter theory (all of which are not part of a standard undergraduate physics curriculum), but also needs to provide a thorough introduction to molecular biology and a broad set of examples of how to apply the physics concepts to biological systems. This textbook does all of this in a well-balanced mix. It will be an excellent choice both as course material and for self-study.”
Prof. Ulrich Gerland - University of Munich (LMU), Germany
“The book by Helmut Schiessel is a welcome timely addition to the growing but still badly insufficient literature on modern biological physics. This field of science is traditionally difficult for students and teachers alike: students lack either knowledge of physics or background in biology, or both. The attractive feature of the book is that it is self-contained: it starts with a concise description of the main ideas and facts of molecular biology and then continues to introduce the main concepts of statistical physics and polymer physics. Both physics and biology introductions are solid enough for the student to start using these ideas. Subsequent chapters very rapidly bring the reader to the very forefront of modern biological physics, including such topics as protein folding, protein aggregation and disease, DNA and RNA structure, packing of genome in chromosomes, search by proteins of the DNA sites, etc. The book, given its wide coverage of many topics, will also be used as a quick reference by working specialists. Do not miss this book!”
Prof. Alexander Grosberg - New York University, USA
Biophysics is a new way of looking at living matter. It uses quantitative experimental and theoretical methods thereby opening a new window for studying and understanding life processes.
This textbook gives compact introductions to the basics of the field (molecular cell biology, statistical physics, etc.) and then provides in-depth discussions of more advanced biophysics subjects going all the way to state-of-the-art experiments and their theoretical interpretations. The book is unique by giving a general introduction to biophysics, yet at the same time by restricting itself to processes that occur inside the cell nucleus and that involve biopolymers (DNA, RNA, and proteins). This allows for a coherent story line that is easy to follow for beginners. At the same time, it allows to achieve more depth, making this book interesting to specialists too.
About the Author:
Helmut Schiessel studied physics at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. There he did his PhD with Prof. A. Blumen in the Group for Theoretical Polymer Physics. After graduating in 1997, he worked as a postdoc with Prof. P.A. Pincus at the Materials Research Laboratory, University of California, Santa Barbara. He then was a joint postdoc with Prof. W. M. Gelbart at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and with Prof. R. Bruinsma at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, both at the University of California, Los Angeles. He joined the Theory Group of the Max-Planck Institute for Polymer Research in Mainz in 2000, where he was in charge of a biophysics research project. In parallel, he received his habilitation in theoretical physics from the Physics Department of the University of Konstanz, Germany, in 2004. Since January 2005, Prof. Schiessel has been heading the chair of Theoretical Physics of Life Processes in the Instituut-Lorentz at Leiden University, the Netherlands.
Undergraduate- and graduate-level students in physics; graduate-level biology students with interest in biophysics; researchers in biophysics; researchers who want to learn about biophysics.
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