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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Allen Mark Samarel, MD (Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine)
Description: This multiauthored text edited by two internationally renowned experts in cardiovascular molecular biology consists of three major parts. The first part is a primer of molecular biology for the cardiovascular specialist. The second part focuses on transmembrane signaling in cells of the cardiovascular system. The third part addresses specific topics in the field of vascular biology and the regulation of cellular growth.
Purpose: The editors have assembled contributions from 33 different authors with the hope of providing a thoughtful, forward-looking summary of exciting discoveries in cardiovascular research. This is a very worthy objective, because there are few available resource books in this rapidly growing field.
Audience: The editors hope to provide a basic text targeted to cardiology students, fellows, and practicing clinicians, but they also hope that the volume will provide pertinent summaries for experts in the specific fields of interest.
Features: The book features outstanding contributions by leaders in the fields of signal transduction, the structure and function of ion channels, and the molecular biology of congenital cardiovascular diseases. Individual chapters are usually well referenced and up-to-date. Illustrations are informative and well presented.
Assessment: The book has many strengths, but it suffers somewhat from an overall lack of focus. It seems that the editors have tried to accomplish too much. In their attempt to be inclusive, parts of the book may be irrelevant to their target audience. In addition, other areas have been omitted. For instance, an entire chapter is devoted to direct gene injection into the myocardium, but the use of adenoviral and other gene delivery methods is largely ignored. This lack of focus detracts from other excellent contributions in cell signaling and the molecular biology of ion channels, either of which could be the major focus of a text of this size.