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I am studying the human circulatory and respiratory systems to develop tools for automated diagnosis of disease.

During the past year, I have read basic books about respiratory physiology, electrocardiography, etc.

At the moment, I feel that my lack of understanding of basic cell biology is prohibiting any further progress. I would like to find a very introductory book on cell biology, which would teach me

  • what kind of cells there are in humans, what are they made of, and what are their main components
  • basics of cell cycles, how cells are studied, how they look under the (various kinds of) microscopes
  • etc

The ideal text would probably be on the undergraduate level and not be much longer than 300 pages. Any suggestions? So I just want to find something to start with.

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    $\begingroup$ I would like to suggest the classic: Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th Edition , ISBN-10: 0815341059 $\endgroup$ – Luiz Meier Sep 23 '15 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ @LuizRobertoMeier MBOC now has a 6th edition, however, as Dexter pointed out, the 4th edition is available for search on the NCBI book shelf. I would almost suggest to the OP that you start by reading the relevant chapters of a recent edition of Campbell Biology, and then tackle MBOC. MBOC is a comprehensive and fantastic book, but if you don't have a basic understanding of the concepts it can be easy to struggle if you are trying to self-learn. $\endgroup$ – AMR Sep 23 '15 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ I just saw your final caveat... about 300 pages, MBOC clocks in around 1100... Start with the relevant chapters in Campbell. I believe that if you go to the Pearson website you are able to order by the chapter, which will make the book less expensive and leave out many of the sections you may not be interested in. $\endgroup$ – AMR Sep 23 '15 at 19:12
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    $\begingroup$ The Cell by Cooper is another option which I forgot to add in original list. $\endgroup$ – Dexter Sep 23 '15 at 19:22
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Lot of classic books available, most famous (at least in India) are

  1. Molecular Biology of the Cell by Alberts et al [ Free Online | Amazon ] -- Simple language, good figures and my personal favorite
  2. Molecular Cell Biology by Lodish et al [ Free Online | Amazon ] -- Very detailed with good examples
  3. Gene IX by B Lewin [ Amazon ] -- Nice examples and figures. Lessons are in different order than most cell biology books.

If you want to just learn quick concepts, use online resources like Scitable by Nature. Pretty nice information with references and recommended reading.

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  • $\begingroup$ Gene is far too advanced for an introduction to cell biology. MBOC is excellent. $\endgroup$ – AMR Sep 23 '15 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ Lewin 's series also contain a book called Cells. amazon.in/Lewins-Cells-Lynne-Cassimeris/dp/076376664X . It contains a good comparison of cell biology of different domains. $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Sep 1 '16 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ All of these books are excellent about molecular biology and genetics. But that is not what the question asks for. They are completely inappropriate. $\endgroup$ – David Sep 1 '16 at 18:59
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A basic book: Cell and molecular biology - concepts and experiments/ Gerald Karp/ Willey - Well explained.

For a detailed-concept - Cell Biology by Pollard and Earnshaw ... Perhaps it was the most mesmerizing textbook on cell-biology out-of whom I've gone through. A beauty of this book is, vast-number of proteins classified into certain groups, with using many tables, that easily help make the sense of their similarities and relationships.

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    $\begingroup$ @SanjuktaGhosh Yes there would be a D. It was a typing error I missed it Thank you $\endgroup$ – Always Confused Sep 1 '16 at 19:30

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