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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Julia Yue Cui, PhD (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This is a timely and comprehensive update of recent molecular technologies and computational methods for drug discovery, ranging from target identification and second-generation sequencing and genomic analysis to cheminformatics, protein analysis, and pathway analysis. It uniquely provides an extended introduction to the principles and application of the technology, as well as detailed procedures related to the molecular biology and computational approaches, making it an excellent reference for both investigators and technical personnel in areas of drug discovery. The first edition was published in 2006.
Purpose: The purpose of the second edition is to detail the most recent technologies in drug discovery and to efficiently familiarize scientists with the principles and hands-on procedures of these new molecular and computational tools. These are worthy objectives, considering the rapid advances in technologies for drug discovery since the first edition, and this book in general successfully meets them.
Audience: Intended for investigators in the area of drug discovery, it is a helpful resource for principal investigators in both molecular biology and bioinformatics, and is especially helpful for technical personnel who conduct the procedures. Chapters are written by experts in the various technologies.
Features: The book covers the basic principles, available tools, and detailed hands-on procedures for new technologies, such as high throughput screening of chemicals, genomic analysis, gene expression analysis, protein interactions, and interactome analysis. The best feature of the book is that it provides lists of available practical tools as well as detailed procedures related to the use of these technologies and software, providing necessary guidance to investigators who have a practical problem to solve. A minor shortcoming is that for a given technology, it lacks a comprehensive description and/or examples of all possible tools. For example, chapter 5 focuses on the SOLiD sequencing platform, ignoring other commonly used sequencing platforms, such as Illumina HiSeq2000, Ion Torrent, or PacBio. Because of this, the book might be less helpful for students and junior scientists who would like to see the big picture of the principles and mechanisms in these technologies.
Assessment: In general, this is an excellent collection of the latest molecular and bioinformatics methods to advance drug discovery, from genomic analysis to protein modeling to drug target identification. Compared to other books in this field, this one provides a more detailed description of the procedures for these technologies. This edition is a timely and necessary update of the tools that have been developed since the first edition (especially the second generation sequencing technology).