11 Best Bioinformatics Books To Read in [2021]

The interdisciplinary branch of science that solves complex biological problems with the help of computational algorithms and software tools is called the Bioinformatics. An emergent field that has created buzz among the scientific community with the tremendous possibilities in medical sciences.

The past two decades have seen a rapid growth in this field of research. The upcoming years are also expected to be progressive. The demand for Bioinformaticians is high. Almost every laboratory requires highly skilled bioinformaticians for effective and positive data analysis.

Knowledge is the key to taste the sweetness of success. Scientific community and students with computational knowledge and biological thinking approach can enhance their knowledge in bioinformatics by reading the best bioinformatics books. Read on to find more about them.

Best Bioinformatics Books for Every Biological Data Analyst & Researcher

The best textbooks for bioinformatics can help in developing a logical mind-set for resolving a biological problem through software applications. Following are the best books to learn bioinformatics from recommended by us for you.

The above mentioned textbooks will help the young researchers from each level to learn the several processes of biological data analysis. For the complete description on the best bioinformatics books read the upcoming section.


1. Essential Bioinformatics

Essential Bioinformatics is one of the most recommended book for bioinformatics. There are total six sections. The book begins with an introduction to the subject and its applications. Topics of sequence alignment, similarity searching, Hidden Markov models, protein motifs and prediction of domains are written down lucidly.

The methods of gene prediction in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, the methods of promoter and regulatory element prediction are also included. The next section is on the significance of evolution. It emphasises on molecular evolution, phylogenetics, and tree representation by different methods.

Structural bioinformatics is included in final section. The protein structure, visualisation, comparison, secondary and tertiary structure prediction, and RNA structure prediction are given. The last section deals with genome assembly, comparison, functional genomics and proteomics. Overall, the textbook includes every possible foundational topics of bioinformatics.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Clear cut division of chapters on the basis of analysis methods
  • Written in simple and explanatory way
  • Practice exercises related to data analysis given at the end
  • Less theory and more of hands-on experimental information included
  • Recommended for graduates and first-time learners

Level (best suitable for): Beginners


2. Bioinformatics for Dummies

Bioinformatics for Dummies is a very basic book for understanding the principles of bioinformatics. The book is divided into a total of five sections. Each section is written very briefly with complete details on tools and their principles.

The part one discusses the principles of bioinformatics and various tools for analysis of DNA, RNA, and protein. The methods for sequence retrieval from different sources and sequence databases for DNA and proteins, and methods for working with the sequences.

The part three describes sequence analysis methods such as using BLAST tool, comparison of sequences, multiple sequence alignment, editing sequences and alignments and more. The next part describes 3-D structure of proteins, RNA structures, and phylogenetic trees. The concluding part describes software, databases, resource locators and more.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Very well organised textbook for beginners
  • Comprehensively written for easy understanding of complex topics
  • Use of simple language for non-biological background readers
  • Describes the basic biological analysis tools elaborately
  • Every possible data analysis methods included

Level (best suitable for): Beginners


3. Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis

Bioinformatics: Sequence and Genome Analysis book helps in understanding the methods of computational analysis for the data generated by genome sequencing, proteomics and metabolomics. It lays the foundations of the subject deep. The book is categorised into 13 clear-cut chapters.

The first chapter throws light on the historical perspective of bioinformatics and gives an overview about it. The next chapters discuss collection and storage of sequences, alignment of sequences, statistical analysis, multiple sequence alignment, and more.

Phylogenetic prediction, Prediction of secondary structure of RNA, prediction of gene and regulation, protein structure prediction, and more are discussed. Special attention is paid to genome analysis, analysis of microarray data, and programming using Perl and modules for Bioinformatics.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Good reference for current biological problems in the field
  • Comprehensively written with easy to understand non-technical language
  • Clears the concepts and enhances bioinformatical skills
  • Concise and brief explanations of software and tools
  • Practical examples for solving biological problems using computation

Level (best suitable for): Beginner to Intermediate


4. Introduction to Bioinformatics

Introduction to Bioinformatics is a compilation of Bioinformatical tools and concepts. The entire textbook is divided into 10 distinct chapters. Chapter 1 is a brief introduction on the biological and computational concepts. The databases, methods of sequence alignments, similarity and its significance, phylogenetic trees, Bayesian methods and more are described in later parts.

The significant topic of structural bioinformatics and drug discovery is written elaborately. It defines protein stability and folding, protein structure classification tools, prediction and modelling tools, drug discovery and development tools and many more.

A separate chapter is dedicated to the scientific publications made in the field of bioinformatics. The databases, programming languages and tools, natural language processing are also written impressively. The emergent topics of artificial intelligence and machine learning, systems biology, metabolic pathways, control of organisation are the concluding chapters.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Written lucidly with the use of simple language
  • Easy to understand format by clear-cut division
  • Defines almost all the essential analysis tools
  • Essential topics of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
  • Explains System Biology for identification of hub genes

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate


5. Understanding Bioinformatics

Understanding Bioinformatics is a compilation of all the methodologies and fundamentals of bioinformatics. The book is divided into a total of seven sections. The part one is an introduction to bioinformatics and the macromolecules such as nucleic acids, proteins and databases.

The part two throws light on sequence alignments and the mathematical algorithms involved in the advanced alignment techniques. The third chapter guides the reader about evolutionary history and theoretical concept of phylogenetic tree construction, and the algorithms- Neighbourhood Joining, Maximum Parsimony, Minimum Likelihood and more.

The fourth chapter describes the characteristics of genome followed by the prediction of secondary structures, tertiary structures, homology modelling, ab initio modelling and structure function relationships. The book concludes on the protein and gene expression analysis. It also includes techniques of statistical analysis, classification and introduction to systems biology.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Clear cut division of book into distinct chapters
  • Easy to understand language and simple words used
  • Explains the underlying mathematical algorithm clearly
  • Straightforward route for learning homology modelling
  • Systems biology and statistical analysis are covered nicely

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance


6. Bioinformatics: Genes, Proteins and Computers

Bioinformatics: Genes, Proteins and Computers is an amalgamation of biological concepts and computational approaches to resolve complex biological problems. The book opens with the discussion on molecular evolution and gene findings in bacterial genomes, higher eukaryotes, detecting non-coding RNA genes.

Next, the book briefly describes the sequence comparison methods, the algorithms, sequence alignment, and searching. The function prediction of protein sequences and amino acid residue conservation are the next topics that are briefly covered. The methods for protein structure comparison, structure prediction, classification, and comparative modelling are presented as distinct chapters.

Structure based genome annotation, the study of protein-protein interactions, prediction of the protein-biomolecular interactions, and experimental use of DNA arrays are covered with details. The concluding chapters on proteomics, data management of biological information, and internet technologies for bioinformatics are worth a read.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Very well organised sections according to distinct topics
  • Experimental usage of DNA array data explained
  • Latest topics of proteomics and Internet technologies described
  • Minimum use of technical words for easiness to understand
  • Recommended for readers- graduate and postgraduate level

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate


7. Bioinformatics Algorithms

Bioinformatics Algorithms is a collection of computer science algorithms. Divided into a total of 11 elaborate chapters. The introductory chapter describes the history of DNA, the methods of replication, and the DNA in E. coli. The important topic of the role of molecular clocks, motif prediction, motif search, gene expression, relative entropy and more are elaborately written.

Gene assembly, string reconstruction, de Bruijn graph, Euler’s theorem are essential topics for the fundamentals of bioinformatics. Special chapter is dedicated to antibiotics, discovery, methods to synthesise antibiotics, and similar other related topics. The comparison of biological sequences, alignment, similarity search and more are discussed briefly along with the genome of human and other model organisms.

The phylogenetic studies, tree construction, algorithms with reference to certain viral diseases is provided. The writers have emphasised on HIV and the development of its vaccine. The HMM model, the decoding problem, outcomes of the model and similar aspects are written lucidly. The book concludes on the amalgamation of palaeontology and computer science. The gene prediction, scoring mattresses, and theorems are defined elaborately.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Very unique and differently written book
  • Active learning approach for easy understanding
  • Comprehensively written with use of simple examples
  • Special attention on vaccine development techniques
  • Application of software for researching on palaeontology
  • Drug discovery problems are addressed with computer science

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

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8. Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics

Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics is an excellent source for advanced studies in biological sciences and computer sciences. A great textbook to learn bioinformatics from. It is helpful for students, teachers, medical practitioners, and researchers. The text book is divided into broad sections of three.

The initial section begins by description on DNA, RNA, protein sequences. The discussion on database searching, basic local alignment search tool, sequence alignment, phylogeny and evolution are given at great length. The second section of the book is about a genomic analysis of eukaryotic chromosome, analysis of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, gene expression, protein analysis and proteomics, protein structure and functional genomics.

The last and final section is on the genomic study of viruses, bacteria, fungi, parasites, primates, human genome, and more. The human diseases are discussed in the final chapter of the book with reference to the bioinformatical tools/software applied to study them.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Distinct categorisation of every topic into individual chapters
  • Clear-cut, concise text for easy understanding
  • Up to date topic of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
  • Emphasis on computational approach for researching human diseases
  • Guidance on usage of complex software analysis tools

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance


9. Bioinformatics: A Practical Guide to the Analysis of Genes and Proteins

Bioinformatics: A Practical Guide to the Analysis of Genes and Proteins is a distinctive and insightful book for Bioinformatics. The 18 chapters constitute this book. The introductory chapter discusses the biological sequence database is followed by the methods of information retrieval from different databases- NCBI, DDBJ, EMBL, and more.

Explanatory note on performing various sequence similarities task and genome browsers are provided in the next chapters. Prediction using bioinformatics software for RNA sequences, protein sequences and more are described. The topics of multiple sequence alignment, molecular evolution, phylogenetic study, expression analysis, protein identification, and proteomics are discussed individually as a chapter.

Emphasis is given to protein structure prediction and analysis, biological networks and pathways, metabolomics, population genetics, Metagenomics, microbial community analysis, translation bioinformatics, and statistical methods for biologists.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • A complete guide for advanced learning on Bioinformatics
  • Distinctively categorised based on type of tools used
  • Includes prediction tools for advanced studies in the field
  • Easy to understand language and intriguing style

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance


10. Bioinformatics Data Skills

Bioinformatics Data Skills is one of the best and an advance level book for bioinformatics students. The entire book is divided into three parts which constitute a total of 14 chapters. The part one lays the foundation to understand bioinformatics and the data skills required for working in the field. It emphasises on robust researches and setting up experimental designs.

The part two describes the essential skills required to get started with a project for solving a biological problem. It guides to set up and manage a project, explains the use of UNIX in bioinformatics, and the connection between the remote machines and the role of scientists in the project. A separate chapter for different types of bioinformatical data is mentioned.

The final part is about the application of skills in carrying out a solution. Programming in R language and working with a range of data such as sequence data, alignment data and more are taught. Shell scripting, writing pipelines and parallelising tasks is the concluding chapter of this unique book.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Excellently described working methodology for bioinformatical project
  • Clear-cut organisation based on specific topics of work
  • Intriguing approach for describing the programming methods
  • Effective for learning bioinformatical software development
  • Command line tools are explained well

Level (best suitable for): Advance


11. Bioinformatics Programming Using Python

Bioinformatics Programming Using Python is the book that describes programming using python language for Bioinformatical tasks. There are a total of 11 chapters. The initial chapter describes the primitives of the language such as values, expressions, operators and compound operators and more. It is followed by a description on names, functions, modules, collections, sets, mappings, list and tuples.

Another chapter includes the essential topic of control statements such as conditionals, loops, iterations, exception handlers and more. A separate chapter defining classes, class attributes, method relationships, inheritance is given. Utilities chapter include topics of system environment, the file system, working with text, and storage.

Pattern matching, structured text, web programming, relational databases and more are separate chapters. The concluding chapter has a description of structured graphics, GUI tool kits, graphics with SVG and more. A summary for the python language is given at the end as the concluding part.

Why You Should Buy This Book

  • Comprehensively written chapters for feasible understanding
  • Divided into well-defined categories based on commands used
  • Command explained with the use of simple examples
  • Learn to develop software for biology problem with python
  • Considers biological problems for explaining python application

Level (best suitable for): Intermediate to Advance

In this article, we have briefly described the best bioinformatics books for every learner. The three best books recommended by us are mentioned at the beginning of the article. The methods of structure, sequence, and similar meta-analysis processes are given in brief that would help in achieving good results for a biological data research.

The bioinformaticians with programming skills are preferred over other researchers. Hence, students with fundamental knowledge can go for the advance books to polish their programming skills in Python and R language. Maybe a bioinformatical tool developed by you could revolutionize the drug design industry.

Each of the books mentioned above are suitable for candidates from any learning backgrounds- beginners to advance. Pick any of the books depending on your requirement and abilities to grasp the concepts.

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