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Using Cell Biology Book From 1983

  1. Jun 18, 2011 #1
    The bio department at my university encouraged that I "take a look at" Alberts' Molecular Biology of the Cell over this summer in preparation for a course next year. The problem with this is that I don't want to actually buy a $100+ book just for that, but the only book I have borrowing access to is the 1983 edition (the latest edition is 2008, I believe).

    My question is whether or not this would be a good thing to use. I'd imagine cell biology has seen a lot of changes over the past 3 decades. Thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 18, 2011 #2


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    If it covers restriction enzymes it should be fine. I think the only new "concept" since then has been siRNA, which I think was first appreciated in plants in the mid-80s, and then more generally after the late 90s.

    You can read some more recent stuff online for free due to teh NIH open access policy - not the most recent stuff since the policy allows an article to age for 12 months before requiring it to be free, nor the older stuff, since the policy didn't exist then. Examples from journals that need a subscription are http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20463739 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20085706. There are also open access journals such as http://www.plosbiology.org/home.action and http://www.frontiersin.org/non-coding_rna.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  4. Jun 19, 2011 #3
    I have not compared the various editions but that sounds like a long time for a field like cell biology. Used copies of the 4th edition (2003) are available from Amazon for about $14 including shipping. If that is too much, 3rd editions (1994) are available for the cost of shipping ($4). That would at least get you another decade of revisions.
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