22 Feb 2011

Metals and Life by Eleanor Crabb and Elaine Moore

Submitted by Amanda Reig, Ursinus College
My Notes

This appears to be an excellent introductory text for bioinorganic chemistry.  The authors assume no previous biochemistry knowledge and only a cursory understanding of concepts in inorganic chemistry is required.  Any student who has completed general chemistry should find most of the book readily accessible. 

The book begins with a basic overview of the essential elements for life and protein structure and then introduces amino acids, macrocycles, and nucleic acids as “ligands with biological significance”.  Subsequent chapters focus on metal uptake, metal transport, metal storage, biomineralization, and the roles of metalloproteins in biological processes (structural, catalytic, and electron transfer).  There is a ninth chapter available online covering metals in medicine.  The references at the end of the book provide a good list of primary articles that could be used to supplement the text.

The text is easy to read and has excellent images and diagrams.  There are in-text review questions and exercises but no end-of-chapter problems.  It would be well suited for sophomore courses and above and could be used to supplement any introductory general, inorganic, or biochemistry course.  For advanced or special topics courses, the book would need to be supplemented with primary articles from the literature.  At a list price of $39.99 for the paperback (very good quality; 226 pages), I highly recommend this book both for course use and as a basic reference for those less familiar with bioinorganic chemistry.

Implementation Notes: 
I have not yet used this book in a course, but plan to do so in my advanced inorganic course this fall, which will spend a half semester focused on bioinorganic chemistry.  The book will be used to provide introduction and background for different topics that we will then cover in depth through discussion of research articles.


Amanda, this looks like a great book.  I'm going to be teaching my bioinorganic course in the fall and will certainly take a look at this text.  Please be sure to let us know how this book works out in your course.  I will be anxious to hear. 

"Metals and Life" looks to be an excellent resource. 

Just for the record, Section 6.5 ("Bioinorganic Applications of Coordination Chemistry") of the 3e of my book has the latest on platinum anti-tumor agents and a new section on ruthenium antitumor agents.  The section on therapeutic chelating agents has also been updated.  "Metals and Life" will help me look into new types of bioinorganic topics.

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