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From The CriticsReviewer: Marion C. Cohen, PhD (SUNY Downstate Medical Center)
Description: This volume in the Methods in Molecular Medicine series starts with two chapters about the history of interferon, with the remainder focused on current aspects of interferon research. As in all books in this series, each chapter includes a detailed experimental protocol. In this book the focus is on a variety of aspects of interferon, its receptors, and its signaling pathways, among other topics.
Purpose: The goal is to illustrate some of the current techniques that are being used to study specific aspects of interferon-elicited events. Indeed, that goal is achieved although it is difficult to determine whether there is a more unifying theme to the chapters than interferon. Nonetheless, the protocols will be very useful to anyone who works in the areas that are covered.
Audience: The book is primarily intended for researchers at any level of experience who are looking for a particular type of assay, thus it is an appropriate reference. The editor is an authority in his specific area of research and he has chosen authors who are knowledgeable about various aspects of interferon research.
Features: A broad collection of research protocols are described in this book. Without listing each chapter, it is difficult to find a common theme except to state that the protocols represent innovative methods and are all focused on various aspects of interferon such as receptors, activation steps, and vaccine development, to name a few. Figures are black and white with one exception. As with the other volumes in this series, in addition to the "recipes," there are helpful hints and troubleshooting suggestions in the form of notes. This manual of interferon-related assays would be a useful reference for a number of laboratories but may not include something for everyone.
Assessment: If one were to want one of these protocols, this book is very useful. Unfortunately, because it is somewhat focused on specific protocols and because the thread is interferon-related protocols rather than something more focused, this may not be a book that is needed by every laboratory. On the other hand, there are a limited number of clearly described advanced protocols available, so that this is a nice reference to have at least in the library.