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The molecules of life

Richard Bowater, Laura Bowater, and Tom Husband

17 March 2020

ISBN: 9780198848394

192 pages

In Stock

Oxford Biology Primers

Price: £22.99

Written primarily for 16-19 year old students, this concise, stimulating introduction to the fundamental biomolecules in cells and organisms aims to extend students' knowledge and inspire them to take their school-level learning further.



Written primarily for 16-19 year old students, this primer aims to extend students' knowledge and inspire them to take their school-level learning further. It explores topics that are familiar from the curriculum and also introduces new ideas, giving students a first taste of the study of biology beyond school-level and demonstrating how concepts frequently encountered at school are relevant to and applied in current research. This is the ideal text to support students who are considering making the transition from studying biology at school to university.

This is a concise, stimulating introduction to the fundamental biomolecules in cells and organisms, and the exciting ways biochemistry could be used to solve global problems, both now and in the future.

  • Oxford Biology Primers are the only resource to introduce prospective and current students of undergraduate-level bioscience to a range of topics from this dynamic experimental science, enticing readers to study further
  • Its titles directly support two key transitions in the student journey: from school to undergraduate-level study, and from undergraduate to independent researcher
  • Its modular format offers a high degree of flexibility, with teachers being able to draw on specific volumes that augment the post-16 curriculum, university lecturers being able to draw on specific volumes at different stages of the undergraduate curriculum, and with materials from the series being available for access in both print and digital formats
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

About the Author(s)

Richard Bowater, University of East Anglia, Laura Bowater, University of East Anglia, and Tom Husband, Norton Hill School

Richard Bowater is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia where he teaches biochemistry and molecular biology to all levels of university students. Richard has authored many primary publications and reviews that focus on his research interests, and also delivered pedagogical commentaries about teaching biochemical concepts to diverse audiences. He became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in the UK in 2015, and is a member of the Biochemical Society, Microbiology Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. In collaboration with the Biochemical Society, Richard and other colleagues from UEA developed a MOOC titled "Biochemistry: Molecules of Life", which is targeted at 15-19 year old students and is delivered on the FutureLearn platform.

Laura Bowater is Professor of Microbiology Education and Engagement at the University of East Anglia. She began her academic career as a microbiologist at the University of Dundee, graduating with an MSc and a PhD in microbial biochemistry. She continued her scientific research at the John Innes Centre in Norwich, UK. Laura has combined her interest in microbiology and the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance with her passion for public engagement and science communication and is an author of the book Science Communication: a practical guide for scientists (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), and The Microbes Fight Back: antibiotic resistance (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016). She currently leads an interdisciplinary research project focused on citizen science that is seeking solutions to the global problem of antibiotic resistance mechanisms (ARM). Laura also enjoys teaching medical sciences to future doctors at the Norwich Medical School.

Tom Husband is second in science at Norton Hill School in Somerset. Tom has a background in chemistry and completed his Bachelor's degree at Sheffield University. He has 7 years' experience of teaching chemistry to students aged 11 to 18, during which time he has studied for a Masters in Science Education at the University of Cambridge. His areas of pedagogical interest include metacognition, reflective writing and collaborative reading. He is a regular contributor to various education publications, including the Royal Society of Chemistry's Education in Chemistry, and also the American Chemical Society's ChemMatters. He has also published The Chemistry of Human Nature (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016), which is concerned with various aspects of biochemistry, including genetics, epigenetics, abiogenesis and metabolism.

Table of Contents

    1:Carbohydrates: Why life is sweet
    2:Lipids and Proteins: the building blocks of a cell
    3:Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids: Biology's information stores
    4:Metabolism: Transforming energy and biomolecules
    5:Maintaining a Metabolic Balance
    6:Solving Tomorrow's Problems with Natural Products
    7:Solving Tomorrow's Problems: Bioenergy and the environment

Additional Resources

Digital formats and resources

Biochemistry: The molecules of life is supported by online resources and is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access along with functionality tools, navigation features and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

The book's online resources include:
For students:
- Online quizzes for each chapter so that students can quickly check their understanding of the key concepts
For teachers:
- Artwork from the book in easy-to-download format, for use in class materials and handouts

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