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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Latha Malaiyandi, PhD (Midwestern University)
Description: This is a comprehensive overview of the new technology in light microscopy and electronic imaging introduced in the decade since the first edition was published in 2001.
Purpose: The goal is to provide cell biologists with a foundational basis in the tools and techniques required to image specimens of organisms and their components. The book starts with an introduction to fundamental principles of microscopy and each chapter adds in complexity to provide readers with more specific applications that may be relevant to their specific research goals.
Audience: The intended audience ranges from amateur microscopists to seasoned researchers who are looking to add sophisticated applications to their microscopy experiments.
Features: The book details the theoretical and practical knowledge of microscopy. It starts with basic light microscopy, but then delves into epi-fluorescence, confocal, and two-photon microscopy. It includes detailed photographs of internal microscopy hardware, beautiful examples of microscopy images of various specimens ranging from bacteria to mammalian tissues to whole organisms, such as Drosophila. Each chapter includes a list of recommended reviews on the topic. The diagrams and tables are well defined and provide an extensive comparison among different techniques, reagents, and instruments. The authors provide useful guidelines for selecting microscopes and microscope components based on user requirements without endorsing any one brand. In addition, they provide demonstrations of the care and maintenance of the instrument as well as useful applications (e.g. step-by-step instructions for calibrating a stage micrometer or aligning a mercury arc lamp). This new edition features exercises with answer keys, the materials and reagents needed for demonstrations, and an extensive list of web resources on microscopy.
Assessment: This should be provided to all beginning graduate students entering microscopy labs. It describes the complicated hardware of the system, while also explaining the physics principles of microscopy on a simplistic level for basic biologists. The authors achieve a perfect balance of theory and methods. Specifically, they discuss the theory behind microscopy, introduce practical applications, provide a historical basis for its development, and include their expert advice on the testing and purchasing of a microscopy system based on specific user requirements.