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Molecular Biology of the Cell

Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Peter Walter
Publication Date:
November 16, 2007
Content Details:
1,392 pages | 1,526 illustrations

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  • About the Book

    Book Summary

    For nearly a quarter century Molecular Biology of the Cell has been the leading cell biology textbook. This tradition continues with the new Fifth Edition, which has been completely revised and updated to describe our current, rapidly advancing understanding of cell biology. To list but a few examples, a large amount of new material is presented on epigenetics; stem cells; RNAi; comparative genomics; the latest cancer therapies; apoptosis (now its own separate chapter); and cell cycle control and the mechanics of M phase (now integrated into one chapter).

    The hallmark features of Molecular Biology of the Cell have been retained, such as its consistent and comprehensive art program, clear concept headings, and succinct section summaries. Additionally, in response to extensive feedback from readers, the Fifth Edition now includes several new features.

    It is now more portable. Chapters 1-20 are printed and Chapters 21-25, covering multicellular systems, are provided as PDF files on the free Media DVD-ROM which accompanies the book.* And for the first time, Molecular Biology of the Cell now contains end-of-chapter questions. These problems, written by John Wilson and Tim Hunt, emphasize a quantitative approach and the art of reasoning from experiments, and they will help students review and extend their knowledge derived from reading the textbook. The Media DVD-ROM, which is packaged with every copy of the book, contains PowerPoint® presentations with all of the figures, tables and micrographs from the text (available as JPEGs too). Also included is the Media Player, which plays over 125 movies—animations, videos, and molecular models—all with voice-over narration. A new reader-friendly feature is the integration of media codes throughout the text that link directly to relevant videos and animations. The Media DVD-ROM holds the multicellular systems chapters (21-25) of the text as well.

    By skillfully extracting the fundamental concepts from this enormous and ever-growing field, the authors tell the story of cell biology, and thereby create a coherent framework through which readers may approach and enjoy this subject that is so central to all of biology.

    * There is also a reference edition of Molecular Biology of the Cell, Fifth Edition (ISBN 978-0-8153-4111-6) that contains Chapters 1-25 entirely in printed format.


    • More portable: Chapters 1-20 are printed and Chapters 21-25 are provided as PDF files on the free Media DVD-ROM which accompanies the book.
    • Now contains end-of-chapter problems for Chapters 1-20.
      Integration of Media Codes throughout the text linking to relevant videos and animations.
    • Media DVD-ROM contains :
      -Cell Biology Interactive Media Player with over 130 movies.
      -PowerPoint® presentations of book figures.
      -JPEG archive of book figures.
      -Chapters 21-25: Multicellular Systems.


      "Throughout the book, emphasis is placed not just on what 'we know' but also on 'how we know' and 'what remains to be discovered'- important for engaging and enthusing students....A quarter of a century after the first edition revolutionised cell biology textbooks, the new edition is as fresh, comprehensive and above all, as readable as ever....Like its predecessors, this is a superb textbook for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students."
      -British Society for Developmental Biology Newsletter, Summer 2008, Vol. 29, No. 1

      "Professors, lecturers, and instructors will find the fifth edition of the book Molecular Biology of the Cell and its accompanying Problems Book to be an excellent choice for guiding their students through the maze of the cell's molecular structures and biochemical processes....With countless colorful illustrations and a large number of photographs and tables, reading the text becomes not only an educational experience, but also a highly enjoyable one for those students who wish to discover the inner workings of the magnificent cellular machine....Educators will also find the DVD-ROM to be a rich electronic resource when compiling their lectures....No less important is the Problems Book, which contains numerous exercises and questions that are an integral part of the learning process, and that teachers, instructors, and students are sure to appreciate."
      -The Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2008, Volume 83, Number 3

      "[Molecular Biology of the Cell] is a marvelous textbook. Once again, the authors are to be congratulated on a superb achievement. We are amazed at the scope and depth of information provided.”
      - Bioscience Education

  • Contents

    1. Cells and Genomes
    2. Cell Chemistry and Biosynthesis
    3. Proteins

    4. DNA, Chromosomes, and Genomes
    5. DNA Replication, Repair, and Recombination
    6. How Cells Read the Genome: From DNA to Protein
    7. Control of Gene Expression

    8. Manipulating Proteins, DNA, and RNA
    9. Visualizing Cells

    10. Membrane Structure
    11. Membrane Transport of Small Molecules and the Electrical Properties of Membranes
    12. Intracellular Compartments and Protein Sorting
    13. Intracellular Vesicular Traffic
    14. Energy Conversion: Mitochondria and Chloroplasts
    15. Mechanisms of Cell Communication
    16. The Cytoskeleton
    17. The Cell Cycle
    18. Apoptosis

    19. Cell Junctions, Cell Adhesion, and the Extracellular Matrix
    20. Cancer

    Chapters 21–25 available on Media DVD-ROM:
    21. Sexual Reproduction: Meiosis, Germ Cells, and Fertilization
    22. Development of Multicellular Organisms
    23. Specialized Tissues, Stem Cells, and Tissue Renewal
    24. Pathogens, Infection, and Innate Immunity
    25. The Adaptive Immune System

  • Instructor Resources

    Instructor Resources

    For the following resources, verified instructors can visit the resource page for Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5E.  

    MBoC5 Lecture Outlines

    Lecture outlines created from the book’s concept heads are available in PowerPoint® format.

    MBoC5 Transparency Set
    Provides 200 full-color overhead acetate transparencies of the most important figures from the book.

    Question Bank
    Test questions for instructors

    Figures available in JPEG and PowerPoint® format

    135 movies available to instructors and students

  • Student Resources

    Student Resources

    For the following resources, students can visit the resource page for Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5E.

    The Cell Biology Interactive Media Player
    Cell Biology Interactive contains over 150 animations, videos, molecular models, and interactive electron micrographs, which translates to over 4 hours of content. All movies are accompanied by voice-over narration. The media is organized by the table of contents of Molecular Biology of the Cell, Fifth Edition, or can be sorted by media type. The animations and videos are also directly linked to specific sections of the book by “media codes”. These four-letter codes, unique combinations of ATCG, are integrated throughout the book to indicate when relevant videos and animations are available on Cell Biology Interactive. When the code from the book is typed into the interface of the media player, the corresponding media item will load into the movie player.


  • E-book and Custom Pub

    E-book and Custom Publishing


    The VitalBook e-book is available for purchase in its entirety or by chapter, or to rent for 1 year or 180 days, in the US and Canada from VitalSource.
    Purchase or rent in North America

    Garland Science Custom Publishing gives educators the ability to create their own course materials for use in the classroom-in e-book and/or print format. Faculty have complete control over what is added and may add chapters from Garland Science textbooks, web articles and blog postings, and self-authors content in PDF or Word format. Our site provides real-time copyright clearance, the ability to see a running total price as you build your book, and a cost savings for students.

    For more information visit

  • Downloads

    Samples & Downloads

    Download the Detailed Table of Contents from the book.

    Click on any of the links below to download a printable PDF of a sample chapter.

    Chapter 1: Cells and Genomes