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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2014
  • Online publication date: July 2014

Foreword

Summary

Contemporary scientific research is in large parts an interdisciplinary effort, especially when it comes to the investigation of processes in living organisms, the so-called life sciences. It has thus become an essential requirement to have an appreciation of methodologies that neighbour one’s own area of expertise. In particular areas, such as for example modern structural biology, understanding of a variety of different analytical methods that used to be the core domain of other disciplines or specialised research areas is now a mandatory requirement.

The core focus of this text is on properties of molecules and the study of their interactions. Within the life sciences, spanning diverse fields from analysis of elements in environmental or tissue samples to the design of novel drugs or vaccines, the molecules of interest thus span different orders of magnitude as well – from inorganic ions or gases as molecules with only few atoms, over small organic molecules, natural products and biomolecules, up to macromolecules such as proteins and DNA.

The methods covered in this text are featured in other textbooks, mainly in two different ways. On the one hand, many texts aimed at students contain a brief overview of particular methodologies, and mostly this is just enough to whet the appetite. On the other hand, there are authoritative in-depth treatises where the amount and level of detail in many cases exceeds the absorbing capacity of a non-expert.

The authors of this book, in contrast, have compiled a text that delivers the fundamental insights into the most popular methods of molecular analysis in a concise and accessible fashion.

This book should appeal to researchers in the area of life sciences who are not necessarily expert in all the different methodologies of molecular analysis. It should also be useful to students of chemistry and biochemistry disciplines, in particular to those studying the interactions between molecules. Teachers may find this an auxiliary text for courses in chemistry, biochemistry and biophysical chemistry, as well as forensics and environmental studies. And certainly anyone interested in the understanding of fundamental molecular analytical methods should find this text a useful and accessible introduction.

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