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Killeen AA, ed. ($125.00.) The Humana Press, 2000. ISBN 0 896 03681.
When David Burnett and I founded Molecular Pathology six years ago, it was partly in the belief (which I am sure is correct) that pathologists, whether they work in haematology, oncological pathology, microbiology, or whatever, speak the same language in molecular terms. The publication of this book underlines that fact, and although my interest is, of course, largely in lymphoma pathology, there are many chapters in this publication that are of interest to me, not only on the technical side. For example, those with an interest in Epstein-Barr virus would also benefit from reading the sections on papilloma virus, human herpesvirus 8, cytomegalovirus, and, of course, the detection of translocations and so on in various leukaemias and lymphomas. However, interest does not stop at this level because surely to most of us telomerases and microsatellite instability are of fundamental interest. Also, for example, in our hospital we have studies under way on molecular aspects of thrombotic disorders and haemochromotosis. These comments serve to underline, on a somewhat personalised basis, the broad overlap between what would appear to be highly specialised contributions in this volume. At the beginning of the book there are three essential chapters on DNA and RNA extraction from wax embedded or frozen tissue, which should be read by all in this field. Furthermore, with the increase in frequency of mycobacterial disease worldwide, the section on the detection and speciation of mycobacteria in formalin fixed, wax embedded tissue sections is surely a taste of the future when—for example, staining of sections with the ZiehiNeeisen technique will surely become a technique of the past.
Thus, although on initial scan of the contents of this book, it would appear to be the case that any one individual might find, say, only three or four chapters of relevance or interest, I do not feel that this is the case and I would recommend any pathologist (with a capital P!) to dip into this book because they are sure to benefit from it.
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