Submitted by Betsy Jamieson / Smith College on Tue, 07/20/2010 - 13:10
My Notes

Biological Inorganic Chemistry:  Structure & Reactivity edited by Bertini, Gray, Stiefel, and Valentine was published by University Science Books (copyright 2007). It is a detailed text divided into 2 parts.  Part A gives "Overviews of Biological Inorganic Chemistry" while Part B goes into more specifics of "Metal Ion Containing Biological Systems."  Several prominent bioinorganic chemists have contributed chapters to the book in their various areas of expertise.  

Implementation Notes

I used this text the last time I taught my elective in Bioinorganic Chemisty.  The course was taken by juniors and seniors with majors in chemistry, biochemistry, neuroscience, and geology.  Overall I was pleased with this text.  It had much more information than one could hope to cover in the course of a semester.  At the start, I used the Tutorials in the text to make sure everyone was up to speed on "Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Evolution" and "Fundamentals of Coordination Chemistry."  This was especially important given the mix of student backgrounds in the class.  I then covered various topics from the text.  Often I would start with some information from the "Overviews" part A of the text and then choose some specific examples from part B to look at in detail.  

 Some features that I particularly liked about the text were the appendices on "The Literature of Biological Inorganic Chemistry" and "Introduction to the Protein Data Bank (PDB)" as well as the fact that every figure showing the structure of a macromolecule provided the PDB code in the caption for students to explore the structure more themselves.  

 The one disadvantage I found in the text was that there was not a chapter on common methods/techniques used for bioinorganic studies.  I had to use other resources to fill in this section of the course.

Overall, at ~$78 on, I think it is a great book and resource for this field.  As mentioned above, it contains far more information than one could hope to cover in one semester, but it's set up well to choose specific topics to cover.  

Rob Scarrow / Haverford College

I also use this book as the primary textbook for my Bioinorganic course, and am mostly happy with it and the students tend to give favorable reviews on their course evaluations. 

I have though found quite a few typographical errors, and these can cause confusion in novice learners.  I have kept a web page for errata at my website and updated it when students point out additional errors.  In the future, this might be a useful type of resource to post at the VIPEr site (not just for this textbook, but for any inorganic or bioinorganic textbook) but for now you may look at the list I've assembled (and send me any additions that you've found):

Rob Scarrow Prof. of Chemistry, Haverford College

Mon, 06/13/2011 - 00:53 Permalink
Betsy Jamieson / Smith College

Thanks for sharing your errata website, Rob.  I am scheduled to be teaching bioinorganic chemistry again this fall, and I'm sure it will be helpful.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:56 Permalink