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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Marion C. Cohen, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
Description: This is the proceedings of a symposium focused on using gene sequences to try to answer major issues in immunology sponsored by the Novartis Foundation held in March 2006. Included are the discussions among the participants that grew out of each presentation.
Purpose: According to Dr. Chris Goodnow who proposed the symposium, its purpose was to describe ways to use genome sequencing to understand some of the big issues in immunology. In other words, the data presented at the meeting and described in this book should help in figuring out what gene sequences encode different kinds of responses and what sorts of approaches work well to define immunological mechanisms. Judging by the kinds of discussions that were held, the meeting accomplished these goals and the chapters could provide some helpful information.
Audience: The idea behind the original symposium and this book targets primarily researchers and clinicians with a particular interest in pathways of regulation. The participants are authorities in the subjects that they presented and thus the information could be useful to anyone working in these areas.
Features: Several chapters focus on different infectious diseases. Other chapters cover systems genetics, systemic autoimmunity, and immune cell migration. The discussions following each chapter raise some intriguing points and are likely to be of interest to some researchers. This is the kind of book that one hopes to find available in the library because it is a good reference. It's less likely to be a book that one reads from cover to cover because not every chapter will be of interest. Although there was an overriding theme to the meeting, there is still a somewhat fragmented feeling to the book.
Assessment: For anyone who would have liked to be part of the meeting and ensuing discussions, the book provides some important information. For someone who was fortunate enough to attend the meeting, the book appears to be a good summary of the material that was presented.