Understanding DNA

The Molecule and How it Works


  • Chris Calladine, Dept. of Engineering, University of Cambridge, U.K.
  • Horace Drew, CSIRO Division of Biotechnology, Sydney, Australia
  • Ben Luisi, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, U.K.
  • Andrew Travers, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge, U.K.

The functional properties of any molecule are directly related to, and affected by, its structure. This is especially true for DNA, the molecular that carries the code for all life on earth. The third edition of Understanding DNA has been entirely revised and updated, and expanded to cover new advances in our understanding. It explains, step by step, how DNA forms specific structures, the nature of these structures and how they fundamentally affect the biological processes of transcription and replication.Written in a clear, concise and lively fashion, Understanding DNA is essential reading for all molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics students, to newcomers to the field from other areas such as chemistry or physics, and even for seasoned researchers, who really want to understand DNA.
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Advanced undergraduate and graduate students in molecular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics. Also of interest to researchers in related areas seeking a background to molecular biology.


Book information

  • Published: March 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-155089-9


Praise for previous editions: "Stylish...beautifully crafted, with a logical step-by-step approach to the subject. A book from which the advanced undergraduate will benefit and which will also generate a refreshing perspective for experts" -NATURE "Understanding DNA is a great book that will surely prove to be a valuable teaching tool." -THE BIOCHEMIST "A systematic and comprehensive analysis of the structure of DNA from a wonderfully fresh perspective." -TRENDS IN GENETICS

Table of Contents

An Introduction to Molecular Biology for Non-ScientistsWhy a Helix?Different Kinds of Double HelixTwisting and CurvingCurving in Three DimensionsDNA SupercoilingThe Assembly of DNA intor ChromosomesSpecific DNA-Protein InteractionsMethods Used to Study the Structure of DNADNA in Disease, Diagnostics and MedicineCytosine Methylation and DNA EpigeneticsAppendix 1: Notes on the Derivation of Some Technical TermsAppendix 2: The Chemical Theory of Base-stacking Interactions in DNAAppendix 3: How to modify Gene Expression by means of Anti-sense Oligonucleotides, Ribozymes or si-RNA