paper, 338 p., $60
A description of techniques and methods used in cell biology, this book in 13 chapters describes classic and new means to unravel mysteries at the cell level. In this new edition of Plant Cell Biology: A Practical Approach, which replaces a seven-year-old original in the field, Chris Hawes and Béatrice Satiat-Jeunemaitre have done an admirable job in maintaining the spirit of the 1994 volume, with essays on the utility of light and electron microscopy techniques, along with newly emerged methodologies offered by molecular biology.
The opening chapter by P.J. Shaw on optical microscopy reminds us of the vast usefulness of this fundamental scientific instrument, and sets the tone for the remaining chapters. The editors' chapter on electron microscopy explains the importance of this amazing tool, with a description of a number of fundamental methods. I was particularly fascinated with Karl Otto Greulich's descriptions of the ways to move small objects with light and laser microtools. For example, optical tweezers allow the manipulation of objects within living cells! This book concludes with an appendix listing suppliers of a variety of products mentioned in the text. Overall, this new edition of Plant Cell Biology will remain a standard reference for anyone doing work with plant cells. For those interested in cell biology techniques, the various chapters provide a snapshot of methods and protocols currently in use in laboratories around the world.
— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Library and Plant Information Office, Chicago Botanic Garden