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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Karen Buchkovich, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is a collection of approximately 50 protocols on the design and use of ribozymes, the RNA molecules that break and/or form covalent bonds. The book includes protocols for the selection of ribozyme target sites, synthesis and production of ribozymes, analysis of ribozyme structure, optimization of ribozyme reaction parameters, delivery of ribozymes, and practical applications of ribozymes.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a helpful compilation of ribozyme protocols that will be of use to researchers with limited or no experience with ribozymes. This collection of protocols is quite comprehensive, covering every imaginable aspect of ribozyme production and application. The contributors of the protocols are authorities in the field who have published original research papers on the topic.
Audience: This is a good introduction for those without background knowledge in the area.
Features: The protocols are presented in a clear, concise format that includes a brief introduction, list of required materials, a step-by-step methods section, notes, and references. The notes provide important theoretical information, alternative methodologies, and troubleshooting advice. Any scientist will tell you that the best laboratory protocols provide practical troubleshooting advice, as do most of the protocols in this book. The references included with the protocols are adequate, providing both recent, up-to-date references and older, seminal references. The overall organization and appearance of the book, including the index, illustrations, and type format, is practical and pleasing. The table of contents would be more helpful if subheadings were included to organize the 49 chapters. While the grouping of chapters according to subject is obvious after reading the preface, this organization was not apparent from the table of contents.
Assessment: This will be very useful for both novices and experts as a comprehensive collection of ribozyme protocols. I recommend its purchase to libraries supporting biomedical and agricultural research and to individual researchers interested in applying ribozyme technology.