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Electrophoresis in Practice. A Guide to Methods and Application of DNA and Protein Separations, 3rd ed.

Electrophoresis in Practice. A Guide to Methods and Application of DNA and Protein Separations, 3rd ed. Reiner Westermeier. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2001, 368 pp., $60.00, hardcover. ISBN 3-52730-300-6.

In collaboration with six coauthors, R. Westermeier presents the third English edition of Electrophoresis in Practice. New in this edition is the inclusion of the latest developments of two-dimensional electrophoresis and an overview on proteome analysis. The book is organized into two parts: the first part deals with the fundamentals of electrophoretic separation and related techniques, whereas the second part gives a description of selected methods.

The theoretical part is clear, concise, and in general, easy to read. It contains adequate detail to understand the basics of the different methods that are described. The illustrations are informative and to the point. The chapter on mass spectrometry could benefit from further improvement; the descriptions of electrospray and tandem mass spectrometry methods are less fluently written and contain some inaccuracies.

The second part describes 15 selected methods, including two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Capillary electrophoresis is not included. Each method description is well structured, comprising an introduction, sample preparation, stock solution(s), gel preparation, electrophoresis, and staining. In the introduction, the authors give a short overview of the method, a summary of the advantages and drawbacks, and if useful, a comparison with other methods. For example, isoelectric focusing (IEF) in immobilized pH gradients is compared with IEF in carrier ampholytes pH gradient.

The protocols are more than a mere enumeration of materials and actions. Where useful, the reader is informed about the rationale of actions. Not only scientists who are just entering the field of electrophoresis, but also advanced readers will find valuable information. A commentary column attracts attention and contains interesting references, helpful tips, and all kinds of practical details, such as the compatibility of a technique with other techniques. The sequence of the methods in the method section was planned so that it can be used for an electrophoresis course with limited equipment. This organization corresponds neither with the sequence of the theoretical part nor with the importance or frequency of use of a technique.

The book clearly illustrates the competence of the author. He generously shares his experience and knowledge with the reader, especially in the field of gel-based electrophoresis. It is a pity that even in this third English edition, many traces of grammatical carelessness are found.

The book is an excellent reference to help the reader become acquainted with the field of electrophoresis. It contains theoretical and ample practical information that serves not only the practician in the electrophoresis laboratory, but also students and lecturers in electrophoretic methods.

Rita Derua (1)

Xavier Bossuyt (2)

(1) Biochemistry Department

Catholic University Leuven

B-3000 Leuven, Belgium

(2) Laboratory Medicine

University Hospitals

Catholic University Leuven

B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
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Author:Derua, Rita; Bossuyt, Xavier
Publication:Clinical Chemistry
Date:May 1, 2002
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