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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This book provides a set of immunochemical protocols.
Purpose: The goal is to provide a set of immunochemical protocols usable by relatively inexperienced investigators. While a generally useful objective, several drawbacks limit the utility of this contribution.
Audience: The target audience is the laboratory worker (advanced student, research fellow). The editor has recruited about 20 contributors, mainly from the U.K. The editor has limited name recognition.
Features: Most investigators have use for antibodies. While there are many commercial sources for such reagents, on occasion it is preferable to prepare these materials in the home laboratory. This book offers protocols with sufficient detail to allow implementation of many immunochemical methods. Included are techniques for monoclonal preparation, immuno-electron microscopy, conjugation procedures, purification, and the relatively new method of immuno-polymerase chain reaction. Each chapter provides protocols for the method that are sufficiently detailed to allow ready application. Appended bibliographies range from adequate to meager; illustrations are essentially absent. In some respects, the contributions seem dated. Thus, mention is made of the broad efficacy of Freund's adjuvant, generally prohibited at most U.S. institutions. Likewise, it may be of interest to have a protocol for coupling an antibody to horseradish peroxidase but virtually any investigator will purchase this material. This is also true for most antibodies. The limited scope of this book, coupled with the lack of an overview of techniques (including their limitations) dampens enthusiasm. Investigators wishing to have some basic protocols available will find useful material.
Assessment: This is not a strong effort. The author list is somewhat provincial, the advantages of various methods not adequately discussed, and the material dated. Chapters are of uneven quality — a firm editorial hand is missing.