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    These textbooks are a wonderful source of education if you are motivated to learn more. Many of them present college-level or research-level material that may appear difficult at first, but with a little command of the jargon, they do become easier to understand. The NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) makes many of these texts available free of charge — as do some authors, universities and publishers. They deserve our thanks — and attention.

    Online Texts, Lectures, Basic Science

    July 6, 2024

    by P. C. Venkat

    A Priceless Education

    textbook image

    Immunobiology 6 - The Immune System in Health and Disease

    Sixth edition dated July 2024. Wonderful textbook by Charles A. Janeway, Paul Travers, Mark Walport, Mark Shlomchik.. This is up-to-date, comprehensive, beautifully illustrated reference material.

    immunobiology textbook

    The following link, courtesy of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lets you search the June 2024 5th edition of the textbook online for topics of interest. However, this version does not facilitate general browsing around and, sadly, is only the 5th edition: Immunobiology 5th Edition

    If, for some reason, you have to limit yourself to just one book on immunology, this has to be it. If you want to get your hands on a real copy of the book, Barnes and Noble has the July 2024, 6th Edition of this book available in paperback for $71.20. Amazon lists it for $69.19. You could spend the money on worse things. Please be aware that the 5th edition is still around - since the field is changing rapidly, you will want to be sure to get the current edition - number 6!

    Human Molecular Genetics - 2

    Human Molecular Genetics textbook

    Basics of the Human Genome and medical genetics. A good introduction to a brand new field. You can access the NCBI-hosted online copy of this book through the following link: Human Molecular Genetics 2 .


    University of Cambridge Immunology Lectures

    Cambridge University crest

    Dr. Nick Holmes' notes for lectures in immunology which formed the basis for a course he taught at the University of Cambridge through 2024. You can get a basic grounding on the immune system components and activity by reading: Cambridge Immunology Lectures.



    Kimball's Biology Pages

    These "pages" constitute an online biology textbook - with useful entries on everything from Apoptosis to Zygote - produced by Harvard University Immunology Professor John W. Kimball. Another classic. This reference figures frequently in the articles on this website.
    Kimball's Biology Pages

    Medical Biochemistry

    Award-winning online textbook covering a range of biochemistry subjects by Professor Michael W. King. This is Dr. King's home page and the various links on it are worth exploring. Topics covered range from the basic chemistry of biomolecules to oncogenes and cancer.
    Medical Biochemistry


    Medical Microbiology

    Online textbook from the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston. Very useful introductory section on Immunology. There is a wealth of information here dealing with Bacteriology, Virology, Mycology, Parasitology and infectious diseases. Two links are given below - just in case one is temporarily unavailable.

    This link to the UTMB server may not always be up and for some reason the pages are served up with an unfortunate choice of backgrounds that makes the text harder to read.

    The NCBI's version at the link below seems available more of the time: you can browse or search this version and the pages are presented with a clean background. Medical Microbiology.

    Microbiology and Immunology

    Online textbook from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. This site gets the highest ratings for comprehensiveness, clarity, layout and visibility on the web. The content has been developed by several members of the faculty while certain sections and the site itself are the work of Dr Richard Hunt. The material is directed at second year medical students but is definitely comprehensible to a motivated generalist. Microbiology & Immunology

    Molecular Cell Biology

    Updated 4th Edition (2000) of the 1986 classic by Darnell, Lodish & Baltimore. Excellent background on the inner workings of the cell. Some background in chemistry or biochemistry would be useful in attacking this volume.

    Lodish book image

    The following link for the 4th Edition is courtesy of the NCBI. You may browse or search the text online: Molecular Cell Biology 4th Edition.

    The publisher, W. H. Freeman, has the 5th Edition (2003) available in pdf files at its Lodish website. The text has been reorganized and rewritten - in addition to new and updated content, this edition has better graphics. However, the web version is a preview version and could go offline when the text is in print. We hope that when this edition is finalized, the NCBI or Freeman sites will carry the full, live HTML version of the 5th Edition.  Molecular Cell Biology 5th Edition.


    NCBI Bookshelf

    Pub Med Library

    This is a collection of great books on biology, biotechnology and medicine made available online by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (PubMed). You can search or browse numerous volumes with titles like The Cell, Cancer Medicine, Genes and Disease, Retroviruses, etc. Books are also linked to terms in PubMed abstracts: when viewing an abstract, click on the "Books" link to see phrases within the abstract hyperlinked to book sections. Master this collection and you will terrify your local oncologist: NCBI Bookshelf.



    You can use this form to execute a search of the many NCBI databases.

    Select the database from the drop down menu and enter your search term below.

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    BlueSky Tree

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    Topic: Textbooks

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