Chemistry for the Life Sciences

December 3, 2009

This book is mostly a collection of chapters on basic physical chemistry and organic chemistry with just a smattering of information on the inorganic parts of the periodic table of relevance to biology.

It has a pleasant, open style and students should not find it daunting and will probably find it useful. However, it is riddled with infelicities that will annoy professionals: among about two dozen worries that I noted are the use of units (cavalier), the definition of standard state (wrong), equilibrium constants given units (to be ignored when embarrassing), reaction rates allowed to be negative and so on. In short, the book will not instil good practice and must be used with great caution.

Who is it for? First-year undergraduates in the life sciences, especially those who need to top up their A-level knowledge.

Presentation: Seventeen chapters, black-and-white illustrations and text, with chapter summaries and end-of-chapter exercises. Would you recommend it? Not enthusiastically.

Chemistry for the Life Sciences

Authors: Raul Sutton, Bernard Rockett and Peter Swindells

Edition: Second

Publisher: CRC Press

Pages: 280

Price: £25.99

ISBN: 9781420069358

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