Introduction to Bioinformatics (4th edition)

Arthur M. Lesk
  • Aimed primarily at a biological audience, it is ideal for those without detailed prior knowledge of programming who are encountering bioinformatics for the first time.
  • Frequent examples, self-test questions, problems, and exercises are incorporated throughout the text to encourage self-directed learning.
  • Emphasises the practical applications of the subject to a wide range of disciplines, such as molecular biology, medicine, forensic science and anthropology.
  • Invaluable information retrieval techniques and data calculations are covered to enable the reader to carry out their own research on the Web.
  • The Online Resource Centre includes data sets and Web-based problems, alongside guidance for answering the problems and exercises in the book.

New to this Edition:

  • The 'Weblems' (Web-based problems) are now online to enable immediate access to hyperlinked materials and are tied more closely to specific areas of the text.
  • Two new chapters have been written to increase the coverage of metabolic pathways and gene expression and regulation, in order to reflect the recent growth of interest in these areas.
  • Extended coverage of genomics reflects the increasing cross-over between the disciplines of bioinformatics and genomics.
  • Increased emphasis is placed on the exciting potential of bioinformatics to enable future advances in our understanding of life on earth

A vast amount of biological information about a wide range of species has become available in recent years as technological advances have significantly reduced the time it takes to sequence a genome or determine a novel protein structure. This text describes how bioinformatics can be used as a powerful set of tools for retrieving and analysing this biological data, and how bioinformatics can be applied to a wide range of disciplines such as molecular biology, medicine, biotechnology, forensic science and anthropology.

Fully revised and updated, the fourth edition of Introduction to Bioinformatics contains two new chapters, with significantly increased coverage of metabolic pathways, and gene expression and regulation. This reflects the recent growth of interest in these areas in the field of bioinformatics.

Written primarily for a biological audience without a detailed prior knowledge of programming, this book is the perfect introduction to the field of bioinformatics, providing friendly guidance and advice on how to use various methods and techniques. Furthermore, frequent examples, self-test questions, problems, and exercises are incorporated throughout the text to encourage self-directed learning. 


1: Introduction
2: Genome organization and evolution
3: Scientific publications and archives: media, content and access
4: Archives and information retrieval
5: Alignments and phylogenetic trees
6: Structural bioinformatics and drug discovery
7: Introduction to systems biology
8: Metabolic pathways
9: Gene expression and regulation


Arthur Lesk, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA

Review from previous edition 
An essential textbook for undergraduate students who are interested in a comprehensive introduction to the multidisciplinary field of bioinformatics. - Jean-Christophe Nebel, Kingston University
I'm impressed with the breadth AND depth achieved in what is a reasonably compact text. There are lots of quite innovative features which support the pedagogical delivery of the material. - Richard Badge, University of Leicester
A very good introductory textbook in bioinformatics. It is well-structured and nicely laid out. There are numerous examples and problems attached to each chapter, including the novel Weblems. - Karen Page, University College London