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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This book contains a set of protocols for laboratory work with DNA viruses. Detection, imaging, and basic molecular biology are covered.
Purpose: The goal is to provide laboratory personnel with protocols for working with DNA viruses. Given the medical importance of many of these, this is a worthy end. Objectives are broadly fulfilled but with limitations and some omissions.
Audience: Individuals who will use this book include advanced students and laboratory personnel. The contributors are generally recognized investigators.
Features: This is a compilation of protocols designed to provide laboratory directions for scientists working with DNA viruses. The material is divided into several sections and includes coverage of virus preparation, in situ imaging, interaction with cellular targets, and general aspects of viral molecular biology including methods for controlling expression of specific genes. Each of the protocols is presented with sufficient experimental detail to allow ready use by most laboratory personnel. Accompanying bibliographies provide reference to primary sources should these be desired. Many of the examples are taken from work with a selected subset — herpes and papilloma. Although all of the material is clearly presented, there are limitations. This class of viruses is highly important in several medical areas including gene therapy and vaccine development — thus, a cervical cancer vaccine based on papillomavirus is entering clinical trials. Also absent is any discussion of the potential hazards associated with the use of one or more of these agents in biowarfare — smallpox is the most trenchant candidate. Most laboratories working with DNA viruses will find ample useful material here.
Assessment: Good presentation and reasonable coverage mark this book, but some timely topics are missing. It is a workable laboratory manual.