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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Ivan Damjanov, MD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book, volume 285 in the well known Novartis Foundation Symposium series, deals with acetaldehyde and its effects on the body. These are the proceedings of the symposium held in London in September 2006.
Purpose: The main aim of this series is to keep the scientific community informed about the topics discussed at the Novartis Symposia. It also serves as a depository of the material that was presented at those meetings. These are worthy objectives and one can only hope that the Novartis Foundation, like its predecessor (Ciba Foundation), will continue publishing future volumes of this series in the years to come.
Audience: The book was written for scientists working in basic sciences, nutrition research, clinical laboratories, toxicology and clinics, and especially those who are interested in the effects of alcohol on the human body. The editors, Derek J Chadwick, who also served as the organizer, and Jamie Goode, as well as the Chair, Peter Emery, are well known scientists. The invited contributors who participated in the symposium are also well known authorities in their respective fields of endeavor.
Features: This book contains 16 articles, together with a general introduction and transcripts of discussions that followed after each presentation. The authors discuss how acetaldehyde gets into body, how it is metabolized, how it causes damage, which tissues are affected, and what can be done about it. The presentations, whenever needed, are illustrated with graphs and diagrams. The references are current and well chosen.
Assessment: Like the other volumes in the series, this one is a slender book. It was carefully planned, the presentations are well focused, and the volume is well produced. The presentations are concise, to the point, and quite informative. Primarily the book will be of interest to specialists. Like all other volumes in this series, this one also has archival value and will be found on the shelves of most scientific biomedical libraries.