The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology by Masahuru Takemura is written to help those who do not understand the basics of the subject. What is it, exactly?
The answer is that molecular biology is examining the world at its most basic level — cells and nuclei, two items which cannot be seen without microscopes.
Ami and Rin are students of Professor Mora. At least they would be, if attending class regularly was part of their routine. Mora gets fed up and requires they head post haste to a private island where summer school will be in session. What happens next is more than either young woman could imagine.
Takemura puts the concepts of cell science in relatively easy to follow lessons. Sakura, who provides the artwork, helps bring the themes to life. The topics are laid out one at a time, and builds upon one another as the book progresses.
Most are studied in a typical high school science class. Take a cell, for example. It consists of both small and larger molecules. The bigger molecules are groups of the smaller molecules lumped together. Simple, right? What Professor Mora is trying to get across is how the cells conduct themselves and the results.
A nucleus is also easy to understand. It's just the center of a cell. Anyone who is trained in forensics finds this fascinating. Why? DNA will be contained therein. Short for deoxyribonucleic acid, a better term is probably blueprint. Inherited by one's biological parents, this determines things such as eye and hair color. Technology makes it possible to identify someone who has died unexpectedly. Nucleotides, or the pieces which form DNA, are arranged in a unique pattern individual to each person.
When it comes to the really tricky stuff, author and artist team up to do something smart. They have Rin and Ami not understand either. This ensures that Dr. Mora's assistant will change the lessons into easy mode.
With illustrations and simple charts, these concepts are much more clearly defined. Seeing the idea written out in picture form can help clear the confusion.
Although the book is not intended to be a classroom text, the basic concepts are presented in such a manner as to make them stick in the reader's mind. Each chapter focuses on a different subject, and slowly builds on top of one another for better comprehension.