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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Roger W. Melvold, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This volume presents an overview and summary of homeobox genes — genes whose function is to control the activity of other groups of genes.
Purpose: The effects of these genes are especially relevant in controlling the sequence of gene activations/inactivations that occur during the course of normal cell differentiation and organ development.
Audience: This book will be of value to professionals working in the areas of genetics and molecular biology, especially with respect to developmental aspects.
Features: The book opens with brief overviews of the history of the discovery of homeobox genes and of their functions and evolutionary relationships. This is followed by a chapter on the classification of different types of homeobox genes and finally by an alphabetical listing of known homeobox genes found in numerous species. This listing constitutes the major portion of the book and includes brief descriptions of each gene together with a small set of relevant references. A longer reference set, with references up through 1993, is included at the end.
Assessment: Libraries will find this a valuable reference. Similar compendia have been developed for other types of genes, and the time has come for this listing to be compiled as well. Given the amount of work being done currently in developmental biology and genetics, this volume will have to be periodically updated for maximum utility.