Essential Cell Biology, 4th Edition


  • Bruce Alberts,
  • Dennis Bray,
  • Karen Hopkin,
  • Alexander D Johnson,
  • Julian Lewis,
  • Martin Raff,
  • Keith Roberts,
  • Peter Walter


Essential Cell Biology provides a readily accessible introduction to the central concepts of cell biology, and its lively, clear writing and exceptional illustrations make it the ideal textbook for a first course in both cell and molecular biology. The text and figures are easy-to-follow, accurate, clear, and engaging for the introductory student. Molecular detail has been kept to a minimum in order to provide the reader with a cohesive conceptual framework for the basic science that underlies our current understanding of all of biology, including the biomedical sciences.

The Fourth Edition has been thoroughly revised, and covers the latest developments in this fast-moving field, yet retains the academic level and length of the previous edition. The book is accompanied by a rich package of online student and instructor resources, including over 130 narrated movies, an expanded and updated Question Bank, and new enhanced assessments for students.

New to This Edition

  • Comprehensive scientific update of the entire text and figures in the book.
  • New material on regulatory RNAs, epigenetics, induced pluripotent stem cells, cell suicide and reprogramming, the human genome, and our surprising inheritance from Neanderthals.
  • Based on extensive student feedback, improved discussion and new figures of photosynthesis, metabolism, and DNA repair.
  • Updated coverage of many exciting, new experimental techniques including RNAi, optogenetics, the applications of new DNA sequencing technologies, and the use of mutant organisms to probe the defects underlying human disease.
  • Medically relevant topics include new sections on culturing human cells for clinical work, autism and iPS cells, peroxisomes and disease, cancer changes in key regulatory pathways, as well as expanded coverage of amyloid proteins and their role in Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases, the use of genome sequencing to identify the rare mutations that predispose us to disease, and much more.
  • New and enhanced student self-assessments available online.

Key Features

  • The authors are known worldwide for their research, teaching, writing, and leadership in science and science education.
  • The text reflects the accuracy, authority, and currency of the renowned Molecular Biology of the Cell, yet it is written at an introductory level.
  • Concept headings descriptively introduce each section.
  • The updated art program emphasizes central concepts without unnecessary detail.
  • “How We Know” sections in every chapter introduce experimental science by explaining both the methods and scientific findings of classical and current experiments.
  • Provocative questions are interspersed throughout the text and at the end of each chapter to test students’ understanding and stimulate curiosity (all questions answered in the back of the book).
  • Panels concisely review basic science, principles, pathways, as well as other topics.
  • Key terms in text listed at the end of each chapter.
  • “Essential Concepts” provide a review of each chapter.
  • Contains a detailed, illustrated glossary.


“Enthralls the reader….Core concepts are explained from first principles in a manner that is lucid and unambiguous….That the authors have assembled a seminal cell biology textbook cannot be disputed….really ought to be an intrinsic part of every bioscience undergraduate’s essential reading.”
The Biochemist

“…the language and terminology used by the authors remain focused at a level appropriate to and accessible by undergraduate students….New users of the textbook will find it accessible and approachable….The instructor resources remain a valuable addition….I highly recommend it to all.”
– CBE-Life Sciences Education

“This attractive, accessible, visually oriented text covers the fundamentals of cell biology required to understand biomedical and broader issues that affect students’ lives.”
– SciTech Book News

Book details

  • Publisher: Garland Science; 4 edition (October 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815344546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815344544





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