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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patricia Wong, MD (Stanford University Medical Center)
Description: This is a compilation of the talks at the fifth international Arnold Riki Symposium on the Biologic Effects of Light.
Purpose: Nearly 500 pages, this hot pink covered textbook is a presentation of the latest research on virtually every aspect of ultraviolet radiation on biologic systems.
Audience: Academicians and basic researchers involved in studying photoimmunology, radiation and Vitamin D, the effects of electromagnetic fields on cellular systems, and the effects of light on circadian rhythm and mental disorders will love this book. It is aimed at the sophisticated scientist who has an extensive background in immunology and basic science.
Features: The information presented will most appeal to researchers with a specific focus as shown by the following chapter titles: "Ultraviolet light requirements of panther chameleons in captivity" and "The evaluation of the Vitamin D status in the green iguana." There are papers on clinically relevant issues that the hard-core clinician may find interesting. I liked the discussion of the cellular mechanism of how tretinoin prevents ultraviolet skin damage by preventing activation of the c-Jun gene. The epidemologic studies suggesting that sunnier climates may play a protective role against colorectal and breast cancer were worth reading. As dermatologists, we too often focus on the potential dangers of photoaging and skin cancers from the sun, leaving the patient with the impression that ultraviolet radiation is always harmful. There is compelling research showing that Vitamin D has a lowering effect on blood pressure. All of these positive effects of the sun and Vitamin D production in the skin curiously enough are difficult to achieve given the regular U. S. diet and current recommended daily allowances of Vitamin D, which leaves the best way to achieve these effects is to go outside in the sun.
Assessment: This is a wonderful basic science book on the effects of ultraviolet radiation on us and our world. I highly recommend it be included in medical libraries and for scientists and researchers studying the subject.