The second edition of Instant Notes in Bioinformatics introduced the readers to the themes and terminology of bioinformatics. It is divided into three parts: the first being an introduction to bioinformatics in biology; the second covering the physical, mathematical, statistical and computational basis of bioinformatics, using biological examples wherever possible; the third describing applications, giving specific detail and including data standards. The applications covered are sequence analysis and annotation, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolite study, supramolecular organization, systems biology and the integration of-omic data, physiology, image analysis, and text analysis.
Reviewer:John E Piletz, PhD(Loyola University Medical Center)
Description:This book provides an up-to-date understanding of the burgeoning field of bioinformatics. It begins with the underpinnings of the field in physics and computer science, and then gradually expands into the way bioinformatics is being used in aspects of evolution, neuroscience, and molecular structure research. The first edition was published in 2002.
Purpose:To provide an update is a worthy objective because the field of bioinformatics has progressed substantially over eight years. The authors have two aims in writing, which are to provide material for informatics students regardless of their chosen field, and to show how these generic informatics skills are being applied to most aspects of the life sciences. The book has capably met both of these needs in a very readable style.
Audience:In my opinion, the book is geared for students and/or research associates who are not already highly trained in the field of bioinformatics, yet want to work closely with those who are. The authors express an amazing grasp of the various disciplines to which bioinformatics is being applied.
Features:The first section provides historical and theoretical understandings of the field. The second section describes the building blocks: physics, mathematics, and computer science. The third section contains the main biological domains. Because of my interest in neuroscience and psychiatry, I particularly liked the sections on network analysis of metabolism, image analysis, and text mining. However, I would have liked to have read more about interactomes.
Assessment:This is the best book I've seen on the subject. It is extremely useful to many fields of study in the health sciences.