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This is the main area covered by the course. You should try to get hold of a copy of at least one of the recent textbooks if you can (you can sometimes find them available second hand). The older texts are included as they are classics and as our understanding of the basic principles has not changed even though so many more structures are now known. The oldest book on the list (Schultz & Schirmer) is still a useful accessible introduction and Branden & Tooze (1999) is recommended mainly for its exquisite illustrations.
(Fairly) Recent Texts
Older Classic Texts
If you are able, you should also get hold of at least one recent textbook of biochemistry or molecular / cell biology.
Earlier versions of these two textbooks - the fourth edition of Alberts et al. (2002) and the fourth edition of Lodish et al. (2000) - are freely available at NCBI Books.
Many of these books come with useful CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs containing images, animations and/or exercises. Versions of some of the newer ones are available for Kindles or e-readers.
During the course the text will be annotated with references. We will make strenuous efforts to refer to material, usually reviews, that are freely available online. You will receive more guidance on this in section 4. However, we will also refer to some of the classic papers: you are not expected to study these texts. In addition, we will refer from time to time to very recent papers, often in Science or Nature. (Out of these, only Nature is freely available online from Birkbeck, but hard copies are often in public libraries, and in your local University library. If students need letters of introduction to their local University libraries we can provide them.) You will not need to study these citations to pass the exam or accomplish the assessments. They may be useful later on in the course when you do your project.