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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Andrea L Christiansen, MS (Oregon State University)
Description: This book is a compilation of contemporary issues in developmental toxicology that build upon the two earlier, more basic editions, the last of which was published in 1994. Chapters generally provide sufficient or even generous introductions to the topics, then elaborate using notable examples or case studies.
Purpose: The purpose is to detail advances in the understanding of developmental toxicology and its risk assessment since the last edition, with the ultimate goal of preventing birth defects through knowledge. This is particularly important, considering how much new knowledge has accumulated in 15 years. The book achieves its goal, but it would be helpful if it had provided a guide or reading list for prominent case studies not discussed in the book.
Audience: This would be a useful reference for physicians, researchers, and risk assessors/policy-makers, as well as those pursuing graduate studies or in industry. The authors write with authority.
Features: The role of nutrition, genetic, and other molecular mechanisms' involvement in adverse developmental effects is explored. New methods, models, and model systems used for understanding and assessing risk are also detailed. The most robust sections are those covering advances in the understanding of the molecular basis for toxicology, and the new methods being used to address the challenge of understanding the complexities of toxicant interactions in development.
Assessment: This book is unique in that it contains little of the basic information normally expected to be included. Rather, it expands on the earlier basic books, using primarily case studies to illustrate the topics. The introductions provide enough context to understand the emerging field, but some introductions may be too extensive. The format of the chapters is not highly consistent. Some chapters would benefit from images, perhaps from the publications discussed in the text. Many chapters reflect the trend towards interdisciplinary studies for understanding life. This book is not intended to replace a fundamental book about developmental toxicology. However, this new edition is completely justified considering the new information gained from research in this field and the importance of remaining current.