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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce A. Fenderson, PhD (Thomas Jefferson University)
Description: This book describes innovative approaches for analyzing cellular organelles and biomolecules in real time. A volume in the popular Methods in Molecular Biology series, it provides a compendium of experimental approaches to live cell imaging in the form of overview chapters followed by representative examples and case studies. The 21 chapters cover fascinating topics ranging from design of fluorescent protein probes to monitoring cellular responses to hypoxia. The emphasis is on cell biology, cell physiology, and biophysics.
Purpose: According to the editor, this book "provides a range of state-of-the-art protocols extensively validated in complex biological studies." The editor hopes that this volume will contribute to the further development and dissemination of...fundamentally important technology which spans across many disciplines."
Audience: The book is written for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and research scientists interested in molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, and biophysics. It will also be appreciated by basic science and clinical researchers interested in physics, optics, engineering, cell physiology. The authors are internationally recognized experts in this growing field.
Features: The book is divided into two major sections: principles and techniques/applications. Some of the chapters present scholarly reviews, while others narrowly focus on specific research protocols. Each chapter includes an abstract, key words, introduction, research protocols, notes for trouble-shooting, and references to facilitate further research. The overview section of the book helps place the various chapters into context. The tables, chemical formulas, figures, and line drawings are clear and informative. Some of the photomicrographs are in color. The depth and breadth of topics the book covers is impressive.
Assessment: The advantage of this book is that it brings together a wide variety of approaches to live cell imaging and provides exciting examples of current research findings. The authors carefully explain theory and practice with straightforward, step-by-step protocols. One minor criticism is that the experimental approaches described in this book are complicated, and many require special equipment. However, the editor believes that "live cell imaging has now become a routine tool in biomedical and life science research." The equipment required is gradually moving from core facilities to small laboratories. The authors focus on innovative topics and provide a snapshot of application. This will be an excellent resource for basic science researchers interested in real-time analysis of organelles and biomolecules in living cells and tissues.