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From The CriticsReviewer: Marion C. Cohen, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
Description: The Novartis Foundation (originally the CIBA Foundation) was established to promote the study of science. Each book in the Novartis Foundation Symposium series represents the proceedings of an international meeting, featuring the papers and discussions that were presented. Because this volume is the output of a symposium on extracellular molecular chaperones, it is both an update and a new collection.
Purpose: These meetings have always been of very high quality, which is reflected in the publications. In this case, the topic is the mechanism of action of extracellular molecular chaperones and their application to therapy. This is an area of increasing attention and up-to-date information is always welcome. The papers themselves provided a springboard to further questions at the meeting, and the chair recounts some of these in the introduction.
Audience: The book is written primarily for researchers in the field. It would also be of use to anyone who needs an advanced level of information about chaperones. Both the editors and the authors who participated in the meeting are experts in the field.
Features: A number of different questions about extracellular chaperones are covered, ranging from their regulation and how they get out of the cell to their pro- and anti-inflammatory roles. In addition to the papers, the discussions following each one are also presented so that readers who did not attend the meeting can consider the issues that were raised. The format of the book is a standard proceedings type of publication. The meeting was held in June 2007, so the references are fairly current.
Assessment: This is a useful addition to the literature on chaperones, but, unfortunately, it is an expensive book for an individual to purchase. However, it provides an excellent source of information for anyone who needs more than just basic knowledge about this area of biology.