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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Alvin Telser, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: This book contains the published presentations of a conference on programmed cell death held in Shanghai in September 1996.
Purpose: The editors indicate that this brief book consist of 16 chapters presented at the conference on a wide range of subjects related to programmed cell death (apoptosis). There is no comprehensive overview of the subject or even of the meeting itself.
Audience: The editors do not make a point of saying for whom the book is intended. It may be useful for workers in the field or for someone who is interested in a topic covered in one of the chapters. The chapters do not provide a broad overview that would be helpful to the non-expert. The authors of each chapter are active researchers in the field.
Features: The majority of the figures are line drawings, graphs of experimental data, or halftone photos of various gel electrophoretic techniques. In general, they are of good quality, but the halftones are of relatively poor quality. Each chapter is well referenced. The index is a brief two and one-quarter pages. The book has no special features.
Assessment: This book offers no special insights or perspectives in a major area of modern cell biology — apoptosis. It has the characteristics of many books of this type: 16 chapters written by 16 different sets of authors. Unless a researcher is interested in specific data that is published here that has not been published elsewhere, there would be little purpose in consulting this book.