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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eugene A Davidson, PhD (Georgetown University School of Medicine)
Description: This volume contains presentations from a recent symposium focused on new applications of mass spectrometry. The depth of utility of mass spectrometry has increased greatly with the advent of methods for studying macromolecules, utilizing very small amounts of material, and processing large data sets. A telling example is the use of this technique as a purity criterion for proteins produced by recombinant methods.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an overview of mass spectrometry. This worthy objective has been met.
Audience: The audience for this book is broad, and includes investigators who should already have a background in mass spectrometry.
Features: In 27 chapters the editors provide a very useful overview of the application of mass spectrometric methods to a wide variety of biological problems. Examples include determination of purity, molecular weight, presence of posttranslational modifications (glycosylation, phosphorylation), ligand binding, sequencing of peptides, coupling of purification protocols (capillary electrophoresis, for example) and the use of tandem spectrometers.
Assessment: Investigators dealing with this range of problems will want to familiarize themselves with the potential offered by this technology. Although some experimental details are presented, this remains a specialist field; the reference citations are very limited but there is an adequate index.