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François Gagné

Elsevier, £73.18

In the late 1970s, when I began my career, there was a dearth of books containing tried-and-trusted methods. You would spend many hours poring over papers, wasting valuable laboratory time and expensive resources trying to replicate conditions described in papers, before even attempting modifications for the planned experiments. This sentiment is echoed early in this book by the author François Gagné, a fellow experimentalist.

Biochemical Ecotoxicology is a compendium containing the minute details needed to perform techniques commonly used in biochemical ecotoxicology, such as tissue and subcellular preparations, enzyme assays and data analyses, with confidence in the results achieved.

There are 13 chapters spread over 248 pages, with references cited at the end of each chapter.

Ultimately, the success or otherwise of this publication depends on its ease of use and the time saved in constantly 'reinventing the wheel of reliable methodology', but in defence of the first edition, I would encourage people to try it and pass on any revisions deemed necessary to the author for inclusion in a possible second edition.

Although the price tag may deter individuals from buying it, the institutions in which they work ought to have the funds to buy at least one book per laboratory.

Dr Stephen R Hoskins CBiol FRSB