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Practical Bioinformatics

Michael Agostino
Publication Date:
September 26, 2012
Content Details:
372 pages

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List Price:   $74.00

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  • About the Book

    Book Summary

    Practical Bioinformatics is specifically designed for biology majors, with a heavy emphasis on the steps required to perform bioinformatics analysis to answer biological questions. It is written for courses that have a practical, hands-on element and contains many exercises (for example, database searches, protein analysis, data interpretation) to complement the straightforward and practical topics. The chapters are focused on DNA, RNA, and protein sequence analysis—frequently performed subsets of the field of bioinformatics—taking the reader through the commonly asked question “what can I learn about this sequence?”

    A special note to established scientists: new genomic sequences are being published at an accelerating pace. Although new technology has led to unprecedented accuracy of the sequence, incomplete and challenging assemblies along with imperfect predictive methods are still generating gene models that require verification. With the sequence analysis skills learned from this book, features such as missing exons and incorrect termini can be easily recognized and more accurate gene models can be constructed.


      • Using compelling biological examples, sequence analysis problems are shown and solved.
      • Exercises help solidify the understanding of concepts and help the student learn how to solve biological problems. Many exercises can be adapted to accommodate a reader’s gene of interest.
      • Screen shots from actual websites (for example, NCBI) are used to illustrate the examples and exercises.
      • Each chapter begins with an introduction to the topic and skills to be learned.


      “This is one of the most well written and well organized books on bioinformatics that I have come across. The chapters and concepts are arranged in order of complexity and the writing is easy to understand. This is an excellent introductory book for bioinformatics, yet it contains enough detail to help both a serious researcher as well as a beginner in the field.” –Science Books & Film

      "This textbook would be useful to any biologist, as its chapters span RNA sequencing to protein analysis to miRNA target prediction. It is hard to think of a database currently available online on which this text does not include a detailed made bioinformatics appealing to learn about, as some pages contained highlighted boxes of interesting facts about the history of sequencing, biology, or various discoveries....Practical Bioinformatics will be invaluable to the general researcher or student..." -Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

      "The book is well laid out, focusing initially on finding and manipulating single DNA or protein sequences from a number of different databases....Anyone who deals with biochemical data would find this work of great value. Even an absolute novice to bioinformatics would, with a little practice, be able to retrieve and manage data." -The Biologist

      "This is exactly the kind of text that I have been looking for to support my bioinformatics teaching… To minimise the entry barrier for using bioinformatics, the author uses only free Web-based tools…There is really good coverage of the many flavours of BLAST, multiple sequence alignments and common tools for DNA and protein sequence analysis, with clear and interesting worked examples and critical analysis of outputs." - Microbiology Today

      "This well-written book, replete with helpful illustrations, provides a valuable introduction to the field of bioinformatics....It also will be extremely useful for scientists whose biological training predated the Internet or for scientists in related disciplines who develop an interest in bioinformatics....This book is truly practical in that one can read it independently, performing the exercises on one’s own computer…Well written and easy to follow, this book provides an excellent foundation for anyone interested in the analysis of nucleotide or amino acid sequences. It is well suited for the undergraduate classroom, as well as for those scientists new to the field of bioinformatics." - Doody


  • Contents

    1. Introduction to Bioinformatics and Sequence Analysis
    2. Introduction to Internet Resources
    3. Introduction to the BLAST suite and BLASTN
    4. Protein BLAST: BLASTP
    5. Cross-Molecular Searches: BLASTX and TBLASTN
    6. Advanced Topics in BLAST
    7. Bioinformatics Tools for the Laboratory
    8. Protein Analysis
    9. Explorations of Short Nucleotide Sequences
    10. MicroRNAs and Pathway Analysis
    11. Multiple Sequence Alignments
    12. Browsing the Genome

    A sample chapter and detailed table of contents are available at

  • Instructor Resources

    Instructor Resources

    Images from the book available in JPEG and PowerPoint formats.

    Solutions to exercises provided.

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    Sample Chapter: Chapter Three

    Detailed Table of Contents