Basic histochemistry

Basic histochemistry

432 BOOK Methods in Enzymology, Pectin, and Chitin. T. KELLOGG. Academic Vol. 161, Biomass, Part Edited by WILLIS A. WOOD Press, San Diego, CA, 198...

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432

BOOK

Methods in Enzymology, Pectin, and Chitin. T. KELLOGG. Academic

Vol. 161, Biomass, Part Edited by WILLIS A. WOOD Press, San Diego, CA, 1988.574

B, Lignin, AND SCOTT pp. $69.50.

The dwindling of fossil reserves and the safety and disposal problems inherent in the use of nuclear energy have stimulated an interest in organic matter produced by living organisms as an alternative source of energy. This volume caters to that interest, dealing with the methodology for the isolation, analysis, and degradation of lignin, pectin, and chitin. The preceding volume in the same series was concerned with cellulose. Lignin takes up the lion share of this book, about 60%, despite the fact that in most cases it is probably considered as a nuisance, something to be rid of in order to utilize the more manageable cellulose. However, the extended coverage is justified by the complexity of this material and by the great advances made in the determination of its structure and in its chemical and biological degradation. The gamut of analytical procedures, from calorimetry to nuclear magnetic resonance and HPLC, is brought to bear on the difficult problems posed by the structure of lignin. In later sections, oxidative enzymes from wood-rotting fungi that make short shrift of this apparently intractable material are presented, indicating the biological degradation is indeed a practical possibility for its destruction or utilization.

Basic

Histochemistry. York. 1988.

By BARBARA

E. H. SUMNER.

Wiley,

New

“Basic Histochemistry” by Barbara E. H. Sumner provides an excellent introduction to the field of histochemistry. Designed as a text for the novice, the book leads the student through the various procedures and techniques included in light microscopic histochemical methodology. The author has divided the text into eleven chapters each dealing with a different aspect. The first six chapters are devoted to background information, tissue preparation, fixation, embedding, and sectioning. The next four chapters discuss particular histochemical methods in detail and the final chapter provides an overview of interpreting and assessing the results as well as pitfalls which might be encountered. As a teaching tool the book is well organized. Each chapter or subheading begins with a ‘discussion of theory and then proceeds to the practical aspects of the subject. In dealing with specific

Review: Neuromethods, Vol. 10, Analysis of Psychiatric Drugs. Edited by A. A. BOULTON, G. B. BAKER, AND R. T. Courts. Humana Press, Clifton, NJ, November, 1988. $79.50. “Analysis of Psychiatric Drugs” is Vol. 10 in the “Neuromethods” Series. The title of this volume is a bit misleading, since the stated objective is to present “the major techniques to analyze the actions of drugs used in psychiatry” rather than analysis of the drugs themselves. Nonetheless, a significant amount of this volume is devoted to

REVIEWS Pectin receives a shorter treatment that is devoted mainly to pectindegrading enzymes. The remainder of the book is devoted to chitin. This last polysaccharide has received increased attention as one of the main components of the biomass because of its availability in very high concentration in the shells of crustaceans, which makes its preparation in pure form relatively easy. On the other hand, the extensive hydrogen bonding between the linear polysaccharide chains makes chitin relatively impervious to both chemical and enzymatic degradation. Much of the methodology described in this part of the book deals with the preparation and assay of chitinases for some of which the corresponding genes have been cloned. This suggests the possibility of using those genes for transformation of organisms that may be better suited than the originals for the overall utilization and fermentation of the polysaccharides, as mentioned in the Preface. The book lives up to the high standards set for the series. The procedures are described in sufficient detail for their repetition. The subject matter should interest a wide variety of individuals, both in basic and in applied research. ENRICO CABIB National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases, NIH

and Digestive

histochemical procedures, the author offers suggested tissues to use as a laboratory exercise. This book is not, nor is it intended to be, a comprehensive treatise on the subject of histochemistry. Only the most commonly used methods are given, but there is an adequate bibliography if more information on a particular subject is desired. Perhaps the two weakest chapters deal with autoradiography and affinity histochemistry. Both areas are sufficiently complex that it is impossible to cover them adequately in so little space. The chapters devoted to these topics can do little more than offer a sketchy introduction to the areas. One subspecialty of affinity histochemistry, in situ hybridization, is not mentioned at all. Since this is a major, rapidly expanding area, it is a significant omission. Despite these shortcomings, the book should prove useful in a classroom setting or for the individual interested in a brief introduction to the field of histochemistry. CONSTANCE OLIVER National Institute Of Dental

Research

a description of isotopic derivative, GLC, GC-MS, HPLC, immunoassay, and radioreceptor techniques for analysis of psychiatric drugs. These chapters provide an adequate description of method application to analysis of neuroleptics, anti-depressants, and benzodiazepines. While these classes of compounds embrace a broad spectrum of interest, drugs of abuse (stimulants, hallucinogens, opiates, and “designer” drugs) are all but ignored. “Principles of Radioreceptor Assay” is sketchy and superficial by comparison to the other methodology chapters. However, it should be noted that Vol. 4 of this series is dedicated