The title is accurate -- it begins with basic concepts, but it has enough useful meat that even a highly skilled programmer can feel that this is money well-spent. (not that I place myself in that category...)
The real utility of this book is the chapters on dealing with specific biological problems, and parsing such datasets as GenBank files, FASTA reports, and many others.
As such it is a cookbook of sorts, and only time will tell whether I reach for this volume as often as I reach for The Perl Cookbook.
This is the second Bioinformatics title from O'Reilly in about a year's time, indicating how quckly this field is getting attention. I will be leaving in a few days for the Bioinformatics Technology Conference, hosted by O'Reilly in Tucson AZ. The tutorial I signed up for is an all day session titled 'Parsing in Perl for Bioinformatics', led by Damian Conway. This should prove to be a rather stimulating day.
Are there any Perlmonks going? We ought to get together for something while we are out there. Send me some email at HancockDC@missouri.edu if you'd like to get together.
Ooops. Can't spell "O'Reilly". Fixed it.
"Computeri non cogitant, ergo non sunt"