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I am a CS guy who is taking up studying biology in my free time. Both of these books have been recommended to me, but I am not sure of the differences. Can someone explain the differences, and perhaps offer a suggestion for me?

The books are:

Molecular Biology of the Cell - Bruce Alberts

Molecular Biology of the Gene - James D. Watson

Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology StackExchange! You can find table of contents for both books online: Molecular Biology of the Cell and Molecular Biology of the Gene. Generally speaking, MB Gene focuses more on molecular genetics, while MB Cell covers a wider span of topics about cell biology. Since you say you are new to biology, I think MB Cell will be more useful as it will give you a broader overview. $\endgroup$
    – Domen
    May 30, 2023 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ This is a site for biologists about problems in biology. I think that your question is off topic for that reason. But in any case, it is badly framed. You do not say why you wish to read about biology in your spare time. Are you interested in the mating habits of the lesser spotted toad, for example? Neither of these books will fit. Or do you want to get into bioinformatics? In the latter case asking strangers who have a completely different background and in general have never been involved in teaching anyone, never mind CS students, is, in my opinion, an exercise in futility. $\endgroup$
    – David
    May 30, 2023 at 23:20

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Full disclosure, I have not read both books. However, I think I can explain the difference between them just by looking at the table of contents.

Molecular Biology of the Cell has 5 parts: Introduction to the Cell, Basic Genetic Mechanisms, Methods, Internal Organization of the Cell, Cells in Their Social Context. Molecular Biology of the Gene is basically the second part expanded into an entire book.

Even if Molecular Biology of the Gene sounds more like what you are looking for, I would still recommend reading Part 2 of Molecular Biology of the Cell first. I think it would give a good overview of how the system works before looking at how particular parts function.

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  • $\begingroup$ How do you know what the poster is looking for? And should you be answering questions about the content of books on a site dedicated to problems in biology? I think not. $\endgroup$
    – David
    May 30, 2023 at 23:10

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