Description: This small paperback is exactly what it says it is: a pocket guide to basic bioscience laboratory techniques.
Purpose: It is intended as a guide to laboratory techniques commonly used in bioscience research. These worthy objectives are partially met by this book.
Audience: It is designed for newly enrolled students or novice investigators. This book would be useful for anyone embarking on study or a career in the investigative biomedical sciences graduate students, undergraduate or high school students training for vocational careers in the life sciences, or anyone interested in the methods used in bioscience research. Both authors are credible authorities in their areas of research.
Features: This small book is intended to be carried in the pocket for quick reference to laboratory techniques and methods before, during, and after class. The authors certainly met the "small" goal. It is also intended to help readers understand the foundation of basic bioscience laboratory techniques and their correct use for scientific investigations, common calculations, and helpful tips. These goals were met for the topics discussed in the eight chapters (solutions, microscopy, spectrophotometry, data analysis and presentation, extraction and clarification, electrophoresis, chromatography, cell culture techniques). What most perplexed me, however, was the omission of many molecular laboratory techniques in widespread use today in the U.S.: cloning, mass spectrometry, SELDI- or MALDI-TOF, microarrays, nucleic acid analytical methods (DNA sequencing Sanger technique versus ion torrent, whole genome, exome), enzyme immunoassays, etc. The authors are from the U.K., and perhaps this omission reflects the different types of research technology used in the different countries? I did not understand certain references - for example, in the preface, the authors mention their 20-year experience of teaching in the "HE sector." I could not find what "HE" meant. A plus is the additional material available online, a conscious move to contain the size of this book.
Assessment: This would be a useful guide for those at the very beginning of their bioscience research career wanting in-depth information on very basic laboratory methods.