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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce A. Fenderson, PhD (Thomas Jefferson University)
Description: Stem cells of the germ lineage give rise to gonocytes and gametes. Recently, stem cells have been isolated from the adult testis. This book provides background information and protocols for identifying, isolating, characterizing, and manipulating these germline stem cells. Its 16 chapters cover topics ranging from germline stem cells in model organisms to methods for culturing and manipulating mammalian spermatogonial stem cells. The primary focus is on cell/developmental biology, biochemistry, and molecular biology.
Purpose: According to the editors, the purpose is to "present selected genetic, molecular, and cellular techniques used in germline stem cell research" with the hope that the book will stimulate basic and applied research. They write, "Knowledge gained from studying germline stem cells may find immediate application in preserving endangered wildlife, managing commercial livestock, overcoming fertility problems in humans, and treating testicular and ovarian tumors."
Audience: This book is written for basic science and clinical researchers interested in stem cell biology, as well as those interested in developmental and reproductive biology. Biomedical scientists and clinicians interested in fertility/infertility and regenerative medicine will also appreciate the wealth of new information. It may serve as a textbook for advanced students taking cell and developmental biology laboratory courses.
Features: The authors discuss current progress in identifying and culturing germline stem cells. The book is organized into two major sections: identification and regulation of germline stem cells in model organisms and culture and applications of germline stem cells. Each chapter includes essential background and procedures filled with critical details. The notes section helps explain pitfalls and highlight critical laboratory steps. The chapters include lists of equipment needed, sources for reagents, recipes, and references for additional information. Several of the figures are reproduced in full color. The authors include useful lists of markers, genes, and signaling mechanisms. The book provides a snapshot of research approaches and applications involving germline stem cells.
Assessment: This is an outstanding contribution to the literature in germ cell biology. The authors highlight their current research and provide protocols for cutting-edge research. The book is written in a style that makes difficult concepts accessible to experts and nonexperts alike. The topic is fascinating and clinically relevant and this carefully edited collection of protocols will be valued by all those interested in development of the germ lineage and stem cell biology.