So many things to blog about, so little time! I’ve found some good (free) resources for biology teaching. Firstly there is the “Cancer Biology – Open Educational Resource“. It is an online module produced in conjunction with the University of Bath, there is all sorts of good stuff there, online tutorials on apoptosis and tumour suppressors. Self test questions, PowerPoint presentations, ebooks, even a virtual lab based practical on DNA damage! If you want to learn more about how scientists study cancer then this is a great place to start. This website led me to the biology section of BookBoon.com.
Bookboon have several interesting textbooks, I had a look at the “Introduction to Cancer Biology” and “Kinetics for Bioscientist“, both are available online for free. The books aren’t as high quality as you would expect from a publishing house but are a good starting point. The books contain adverts, but they are no more annoying than what you get in your average magazine or newspaper.
The Open University have also released a “Virtual Laboratory” where you can carry out SDS-PAGE, western blotting, investigating intracellular signalling pathways and carry out immunoelectron microscopy. You are going to need a good background in biology (1-2 years of a degree course) before this would make sense to you but it is a very good resource (I know because I’ve used it) and is available on Jorum. Click on “View” on the bottom right to get an overview of the resources and materials.
Another good resource recently released is “Sense about Statistics” produced by the “Sense about Science” charity, I’ve already recommended one of their other publications, called “What’s the Harm?” in my post on “science and evidence based medicine“ Sense about Statistics was reviewed in the Times last month, arguing that rather than viewing all statistics as lies, we are far better to understand how the numbers work than resort to guess work and voodoo. I couldn’t agree more.
Finally, if textbooks are your thing, don’t forget Pubmed’s Bookshelf. There are loads of textbooks here including classics such as Albert’s Molecular Biology of the Cell, Stryer’s Biochemistry, Lodish’s Molecular Cell Biology, Brown’s Genomes and Kaufe’s Cancer Medicine. Far easier than carrying the books around and much easier to search than flicking through each book in the library.