[PR] The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology–New from No Starch Press

The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology
—New from No Starch Press

Travel Inside the Human Body in this Exciting Cartoon Guide

The Manga Guide to Calculus

San Francisco, CA, August 26, 2009—Rin and Ami have been skipping molecular biology class all semester, and Professor Moro has had enough—he’s sentencing them to summer school on his private island. But they’re in store for a special lesson. Using Dr. Moro’s virtual reality machine, they’ll travel inside the human body and get a close-up look at the fascinating world of molecular biology.

In The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology (No Starch Press, August 2009, 240 pp, ISBN 9781593272029), readers tag along with Ami and Rin as they journey inside the body’s cells and nuclei. As they travel, they learn about core topics in molecular biology like protein synthesis, amino acids, cell division, DNA replication, and genetics. Along the way, they experience chemical reactions first-hand and even meet entertaining characters like Enzyme Man and Drinkzilla, who show them how the liver metabolizes alcohol.

"Molecular biology can be difficult because it involves the study of things we can’t normally see. But it’s an absolutely essential subject," said No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock. "I’m excited about this sixth installment of our Manga Guide™ series because the comics and the story are just so compelling. Who wouldn’t want to be small enough to see DNA at work?"

In The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology, readers learn about:

  • The organelles and proteins inside cells, and how they support cellular functions
  • Transcription and translation, and the role genes play in synthesizing proteins
  • The pieces that make up our genetic code, like nucleotides, codons, introns, and exons
  • The processes of DNA replication, mitosis, and cytokinesis
  • Genetic technology like transduction and cloning, and the role of molecular biology in medicine

Whether readers need a molecular biology refresher or are just fascinated by the science of life, The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology will give them a uniquely fun and informative introduction.

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[PR] The Manga Guide to Calculus–New from No Starch Press

The Manga Guide to Calculus—New from No Starch Press
Learn Calculus the Fun Way, with a Charming Cartoon Guide

The Manga Guide to Calculus

San Francisco, CA, August 6, 2009—Noriko is just getting started as a junior reporter for the Asagake Times. She’ll get her chance at journalistic fame and glory, but she’ll only succeed with some mathematical guidance from Mr. Seki, her overbearing and analytical boss.

In The Manga Guide to Calculus (No Starch Press, August 2009, 256 pp, ISBN 9781593271947), the fifth title in the highly-acclaimed Manga Guide™ series from No Starch Press, readers follow Noriko as she discovers that calculus is more than just a tough class. As the book’s story unfolds, the learning takes place almost painlessly, with the reader sitting in on a series of comic-illustrated lessons.

Mr. Seki teaches the basics of calculus using real-world examples like probability, supply and demand curves, the economics of pollution, and the density of shochu (a Japanese liquor). Noriko struggles but ultimately prevails, as does the reader.

"I’m excited about the fifth title in our Manga Guide series. Calculus is essential for almost any scientific endeavor, no matter how small," said No Starch Press founder Bill Pollock. "Whether you’re a budding scientist or just a struggling high-schooler, you have to know calculus. But many people assume that calculus is too difficult, intense, or tedious for them to even attempt. Not any more."

In The Manga Guide to Calculus, readers learn how to:

  • Use differentiation to understand a function’s rate of change
  • Apply the fundamental theorem of calculus, and grasp the relationship between a function’s derivative and its integral
  • Integrate and differentiate trigonometric and other complicated functions
  • Use multivariate calculus and partial differentiation to deal with tricky functions
  • Use Taylor Expansions to accurately imitate difficult functions with polynomials

Calculus doesn’t have to be difficult or dull. The Manga Guide to Calculus gives readers an entertaining and thorough introduction to this indispensable discipline.

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The Manga Guide to Electricity by Fujitaki & Matsuda

Title: The Manga Guide to Electricity

Author:Kazuhiro Fujitaki

Illustrator: Matsuda

Producer: TREND-PRO, Co., Ltd.

Translator: Arnie Rusoff

Publisher: No Starch

ISBN: 9781593271978

May Contain Spoilers

Rereko is a bit of a dunce, and that is rather unfortunate, since she lives in the futuristic city of Electopia.  Her punishment for being so obtuse?  A sentence of cramming in the backward city of Tokyo!  Will Rereko be able to crack the books and ace her makeup exam with the help of Hikaru Sensei?

I really enjoy the concept of this series of textbooks published by No Starch.  They actually make tough topics and scientific theory fun.  The illustrations and concepts are presented in a light-hearted and non-threatening way, all the better to pave the path to learning.  Rereko is a loveable nitwit, and Hikaru is a sincere and very messy scientist.  Hikaru takes Rereko’s sudden appearance in stride, and enthusiastically begins tutoring her in the mysteries and wonders of electricity.

The format of the book is as follows:  Each chapter begins with illustrated sequences of Rereko and Hikaru discussing different concepts in electrical science.  Hikaru patiently explains such subjects as electrical circuits, how electricity works, and creating electricity.  Then, prose sections delve further into the topics, explaining them in greater depth.  Useful illustrations accompany the descriptive sections, and all of the information is presented in clear and easy to understand language. 

Personally, electricity is one of my favorite scientific advancements.  It allows me to Twitter, blog, and spend too much time on the interwebz.  It feeds my air conditioner in the summer, keeps me dancing away at DDR, and illuminates my home so I can read all night long.  What is not to like about electricity?  While reading the book, I discovered that there is a lot about electricity that I didn’t know.  Learning along with Rereko was painless, and was even engaging and fun. The topics are covered with enough detail to make you feel like you are learning new and useful material, but not so deeply that you come away confused and overwhelmed.

As a textbook, I found the Manga Guide to Electricity to be engaging, organized, and easy to understand.  The comic book portions stay on topic, and other than the most basic of departures, concentrates on the topics at hand.  The sequentially illustrated portions serve to highlight the upcoming text explanations, yet still manage to give the characters personalities as they follow along with the science of electrical theory. This is a great concept, and I wish material had been presented in this fun and entertaining way when I was in school. 

Grade: B

Review copy provided by No Starch

[PR] The Manga Guide to Physics—New from No Starch Press An Illustrated, Cartoon Guide to Physics

The Manga Guide to Physics—New from No Starch Press
An Illustrated, Cartoon Guide to Physics

The Manga Guide to Physics

San Francisco, CA, May 28, 2009—Megumi, the heroine of The Manga Guide to Physics (No Starch Press, May 2009, 248 pp, ISBN 9781593271961), is an all-star athlete, but she’s a failure when it comes to physics class. And she can’t concentrate on her tennis matches when she’s worried about the questions she missed on the big test! Luckily for her, she befriends Ryota, a patient physics geek who uses real-world examples to help her understand classical mechanics—the foundation of physics.

Readers of this charming cartoon guide learn alongside Megumi as Ryota explains difficult concepts like momentum and impulse, parabolic motion, and the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration—all while using everyday objects like roller skates, slingshots, braking cars, and tennis balls.

The Manga Guide to Physics teaches readers how to:

  • Apply Newton’s three laws of motion to real-life problems
  • Determine how objects will move after a collision
  • Draw vector diagrams and simplify complex problems using trigonometry
  • Calculate how an object’s kinetic energy changes as its potential energy increases

"The Manga Guides prove that readers can grasp difficult scientific and mathematical topics with just a little helping of comics, narrative, and metaphor," said No Starch Press Founder Bill Pollock. "By easing the stress of learning with an interesting story, The Manga Guide to Physics ensures that readers stick with it—they care about Megumi’s struggles in both physics and in tennis. The illustrated approach makes certain that readers immediately understand Ryota’s examples and literally see how physics works."

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