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From: Dr. George O. Bizzigotti <>
Newsgroups: sci.chem
Subject: Re: Bio Chemistry Text Books for beginner.
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 08:54:24 -0500

On Fri, 07 Jan 2000 21:29:39 GMT, Uncle Al <>

>rasts wrote:

>> I am learning bio-chemistry but the book I have is too hard and would likfe
>> to know wha a good text book would be good to learn from.  Something with
>> the same layout has a regular school text book you get in university or
>> college.

>I suffered a term of biochemistry at 0800 hrs in Michigan winter.  It
>was a death march five days/week into 50 minutes of abject boredom and
>punctilious nitpicking trivialities.  You need at least two of three
>terms of organic chemistry to begin handling biochemistry.

>Does anybody really care where acetate carbons end up in cholesterol?
>Why would anybody memorize the Krebs cycle?  Memorizing sugars and
>protein amino acids is like committing the Aldrich catalog to memory.
>All that stuff is exhaustively laid out in books.  You'd think there
>would be some underlying paradigm to glue it all together.

I think there is, but Uncle Al's point is well taken, as few
Biochemistry courses are taught as much more than exercises in
memorization. I had the good fortune to take biochemistry concurrent
with a graduate course in synthetic organic chemistry. I highly
recommend the combination; Mother Nature is rather predictable as a
synthetic chemist. Many of my classmates were medical students, whose
dominant paradigm for learning was brute force memorization.
Approaching metabolic pathways as retrosynthetic problems made them a
lot easier to learn.

For the record, I used Lehninger as my text during my grad school
days, but I suspect that Lehninger's book is probably more of that
from which rasts seeks relief. Personally, I am rather fond of
Boikess, Breslauer, and Edelson "Elements of Chemistry: General,
Organic, and Biological," Prentice Hall, 1986 (Amazon lists it as out
of print). BB&E is intended as a text for students preparing for
careers in fields of applied science that require a broad but not
necessarily deep knowledge of chemistry, i.e., "chemistry for
dieticians." If I need to double-check something I learned 20 years
ago, I tend to crack BB&E before Lehninger, perhaps because Profs.
Boikess and Breslauer tend to write from an organic chemist's



Dr. George O. Bizzigotti                 Telephone: (703) 610-2115
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