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From The CriticsReviewer: Alvin Telser, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This is a compendium of brief descriptions of the many software programs used in studies of DNA and protein sequences, as well as molecular biology software in general. It is one in a series on Methods in Molecular Biology published by Humana Press.
Purpose: This book is intended as a resource for researchers who may not be familiar with all the software available to support this kind of research. It is not clear to me that researchers in these fields would need a book like this to find appropriate software. Nonetheless, the book does provide the information described by the editors.
Audience: This book would be of use only to researchers who already rely on one or more of the software packages described. The several authors of the various chapters appear to be knowledgeable in their respective topics.
Features: The content of the book is almost entirely a list and brief description of software for DNA and protein sequence analysis and molecular biology techniques that can be loaded on individual computers or accessed via the World Wide Web. The book includes a discussion of issues and applications of the software as potential research tools themselves. There is also a short section on what might be included in a course on bioinformatics.
Assessment: This book may be useful to some researchers, but most who are active in these fields would be familiar with most, if not all, of the software packages described. Furthermore, the software changes so rapidly and all of them are available through various national resources and data banks, so it is not clear who would actually need a book like this. It may turn out that the value of this book will reside in its historical or archival content as it much as its use as a current research resource.