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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: R. John Solaro, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This multiauthor, two-volume book is the third edition of a detailed treatise on gastrointestinal physiology and biology. The book is divided into four sections: regulation and growth; motility; salivary, gastric and pancreatic secretion; and digestion and absorption. In addition to the overall editor, there are four associate editors, each an expert in one of the above sections.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide the reader with a comprehensive overview of our current understanding of the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. The development of molecular biological techniques has resulted in an information explosion in this field. As in the previous editions, the authors are all experts in their fields. The chapters provide an update of the cellular and molecular processes underlying gastrointestinal function and relate it to overall systemic physiology.
Audience: The book is targeted to teachers, students, and researchers of gastrointestinal physiology as well as to clinical gastroenterologists. It is very useful both for its information and as a source of references.
Features: The illustrations are black-and-white and are clearly described. The quality of the illustrations could have been better; some of the lettering is unclear. The references are up-to-date.
Assessment: The encyclopedic nature of the book continues to make this an invaluable asset to anyone interested in gastrointestinal physiology and related fields. The extensive expansion of the section on regulation and the overall diversity of chapters from those on signal transduction to those on intestinal adaptation is very useful. However, two areas are conspicuously underrepresented: the molecular basis of contraction and the molecular regulation of epithelial ion transport. There is a lot of recent information in these areas, and their inclusion would have made this excellent book perfect.