The 11 Best Bioinformatics Books

6 min read

Bioinformatics is a rapidly growing field, combining biology and computer science to analyze large datasets of biological information. In this article, we review the best books for learning more about bioinformatic techniques and algorithms, helping readers understand how these powerful tools can be applied in research or industry. This overview will help you find the right book for your needs!

  1. Bioinformatics Data Skills

    Bioinformatics Data Skills
    Vince Buffalo
    Published in 2015

    Bioinformatics Data Skills, written by Vince Buffalo, is an essential book for bioinformaticians. It covers a wide range of topics from basic command line and git usage to R language and software like samtools and bcftools. Not only does it show you how to do bioinformatics analysis but also teaches methods that lead to reproducible results. This practical guide focuses on high-throughput sequencing data and provides readers with the necessary skills needed for turning large datasets into reliable biological findings. Its step-by-step approach assists in understanding not just what tools work best but why they work better than others as well as exploring newer theoretical concepts related to this ever changing field of study. All in all, Bioinformatics Data Skills offers an invaluable resource for those looking to develop their professional knowledge within the area of genomics research.


    Phillip Compeau
    Published in 2018

    Bioinformatics Algorithms is an excellent book that provides a dynamic approach to learning bioinformatics. This third edition of the acclaimed textbook strikes an ideal balance between practical challenges in modern biology and fundamental algorithmic ideas, making it appealing for students from both fields. Through interactive exercises incorporated directly into the text and automated coding challenges on Rosalind platform, readers can test their knowledge. The authors guide us through each chapter with light-hearted anecdotes and analogies; illustrations are provided in vivid color throughout. Furthermore, this book sets the standard for its genre by clearly posing questions about genomics followed by explanations of algorithms in easy-to-follow steps accompanied with plenty of examples. It has been praised as one of the most readable textbooks available due to its clear progression from basic concepts to complex topics and beautiful printing quality – all these aspects make Bioinformatics Algorithms a must have!

  3. An Introduction to Bioinformatics Algorithms

    An Introduction to Bioinformatics Algorithms
    Neil C. Jones, Pavel A. Pevzner
    Published in 2004

    An Introduction to Bioinformatics Algorithms is a comprehensive guidebook for any student embarking on the journey of understanding bioinformatic algorithms. Written by Neil C. Jones and Pavel Pevzner, two esteemed scholars in the field, this text presents biological ideas alongside algorithmic ones in an understandable way that encourages readers from both disciplines to engage with its content. An ideal starting point for undergraduates keen to understand more about computational molecular biology, it provides ample theoretical information as well as biographical sketches of notable figures in the sector. In addition, practical problems are provided throughout along with diagrams and demonstrations – all accessible online via the author’s website where further resources such as sample code can also be found. This book strikes a perfect balance between mathematics and techniques without sacrificing either rigour or relevance which makes it an essential resource for anyone wanting to get started in bioinformatics.

  4. Understanding Bioinformatics

    Understanding Bioinformatics
    Marketa Zvelebil, Jeremy Baum
    Published in 2007

    Understanding Bioinformatics is a comprehensive and detailed guide to the field of bioinformatics. The book provides an ideal introduction for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates, taking readers from first principles through computational techniques and key algorithms. Divided into seven parts, it starts with basics such as nucleic acids, proteins and databases before exploring sequence alignments, evolutionary processes, whole genome characteristics, structural conformation prediction in secondary/tertiary structure analysis. Additionally there is an overview of systems biology which allows users to analyze data from genes or proteins. Clear writing style combined with full-color artwork makes this text easy to understand; each chapter also includes mind maps that provide conceptual links between topics. This book has been praised by academics as providing an invaluable resource for students in their studies – making Understanding Bioinformatics essential reading for anyone interested in the subject area!

  5. Introduction to Bioinformatics

    Introduction to Bioinformatics
    Arthur Lesk
    Published in 2019

    This book, ‘Introduction to Bioinformatics’, is an ideal starting point for biologists looking to gain a better understanding of the subject. It provides comprehensive coverage of topics such as molecular biology, medicine, biotechnology and more without needing any prior knowledge in programming. Revised and updated for its fifth edition, it contains new content on next generation sequencing, gene editing effects and other related areas. The text boasts plenty of examples which help readers learn through self-testing questions and exercises throughout their journey with the material. Written with clarity in mind by author(s), this great guide will surely give beginners just what they need to get started with bioinformatics – plus fast delivery!

  6. Concepts in Bioinformatics and Genomics

    Concepts in Bioinformatics and Genomics
    Jamil Momand, Alison McCurdy, Silvia Heubach, Nancy Warter-Perez
    Published in 2016

    Concepts in Bioinformatics and Genomics is an ideal text for undergraduate students, striking a balance between biology, mathematics and programming. Offering real-world examples as well as thought-provoking exercises to deepen understanding of the underlying molecular biology, this book provides readers with all the necessary tools to analyze biological data. Praised by Preston Aldrich from Bendectine University for addressing the challenge posed by bioinformatics requiring aptitude in both computing and biology, Mai Zahran from CUNY New York City College of Technology admires its ‘real life’ sort of example while James S. Godde from Monmouth College commends it on teaching essential principles without relying on ever-changing websites or technology trends. Students who have a strong programming background combined with some genetics and/or biology courses will no doubt find this book interesting yet comprehensive enough to master concepts in bioinformatics and genomics effectively.

  7. Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level

    Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level
    Judith G. Voet, Donald Voet, Charlotte W. Pratt
    Published in 2016

    Fundamentals of Biochemistry: Life at the Molecular Level, 5th Edition by Voet, Voet and Pratt is an essential text for students studying biochemistry. It provides a comprehensive view on the subject matter with its up-to-date coverage of topics such as structural biology and Bioinformatics. The authors have crafted their approach in order to ensure that readers can easily understand the material presented while still being challenging enough to prepare them for future scientific endeavors. Not only is this edition more affordable than purchasing from college bookstores, but it also includes enhanced visuals which provide further support towards student comprehension. Additionally, there are plenty of practice problems included throughout making it even easier to grasp key concepts within this field of study. However, some complaints have been raised regarding poor binding quality so if you plan on buying physical copies be sure to inspect thoroughly before purchase. Lastly, one should note that chapter 19 is missing entirely from all versions currently available

  8. Bioinformatics For Dummies

    Bioinformatics For Dummies
    Jean-Michel Claverie, Cedric Notredame
    Published in 2006

    Bioinformatics For Dummies provides an approachable introduction to this growing field of science and technology. It offers simple instructions, without long equations or computer-geek gibberish, on how to analyze sequences, use databases and construct phylogenetic trees over the Internet. This up-to-date second edition includes newly created and popular databases as well as multiple new genomes. It is a reliable guide that shows readers what they can do with their PCs and the right web tools in order to search through databases like a pro. Additionally, it provides tips for using servers so you can find out about all the current happenings in bioinformatics circles. Bioinformaticists of any level will appreciate its plain English explanations which makes navigating this complex topic much easier!

  9. Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics

    Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics
    Jonathan Pevsner
    Published in 2015

    Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics, Third Edition is an authoritative source that provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to the rapidly growing field of bioinformatics and genomics. The book has been updated to include extensive revisions as well as newer chapters such as one on next-generation sequencing. An expansive companion website offers supplemental material including PowerPoints, audiovisual files and videocasts of how to perform many basic operations. This edition boasts more than 500 figures, tables and illustrations plus learning objectives in each chapter along with problem sets, pitfalls section boxes explaining key techniques and mathematics/statistics principles. It also includes summaries for each chapter plus recommended reading lists which detail freely available software tools relevant to the topic being discussed. Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics serves as a great single-source textbook for advanced undergraduate or graduate level courses in biological sciences or computer science; it’s also valuable resource for medical researchers or clinicians looking at viral, bacterial or parasitic diseases from a genomic point of view

  10. Introduction to Genomics

    Introduction to Genomics
    Arthur Lesk
    Published in 2017

    Introduction to Genomics is a comprehensive and up-to-date textbook which provides an introduction to the field of genomics. Written by Lesk, this book offers readers an engaging narrative on how our genome functions, operates and stores information. It covers topics such as similarities between organisms, evolution processes and genomic structures. Accompanying online resources such as web problems for each chapter provide students with the tools necessary for further study in the area. Furthermore, journal club links offer insight into related research articles and rotating figures do a great job of visualizing complex structures. This text perfectly blends academic theory with practical applications making it useful not only for university level education but also broader understanding of this topic. Introduction to Genomics’ clear writing style makes it easy to understand even less familiar concepts while its insightful content make it essential reading in both academia and beyond!

  11. Practical Computing for Biologists

    Practical Computing for Biologists
    Steven H. D. Haddock, Casey W. Dunn
    Published in 2010

    Practical Computing for Biologists is a must-have resource for any scientist, from beginners to advanced users. It provides an easy-to-follow guide through the complexities of modern computing techniques and how to apply them in various scientific fields. The book covers topics such as searching with regular expressions, working on the Unix command line, programming in Python, creating graphics and databases, performing analyses on remote servers, manipulating data sets and even dealing with electronics – all explained clearly using Mac OS X as the main example but also applicable to Windows or Linux systems. This comprehensive approach helps liberate scientists from frustratingly time consuming manual processes so they can focus their energy on investigation instead. There are plenty of resources provided including downloadable content from its companion website plus PowerPoint slides ready for use by instructors; making this invaluable volume suitable as a self guided study aid or as part of course material. Put simply: Practical Computing for Biologists unlocks powerful computer tools that will revolutionise research productivity!

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