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The Science of Laboratory Diagnosis.
  1. D M Barnes

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    Edited by J Crocker and D Bumett. (£59.95.) Isis Medical Media, 1998. ISBN 1899066 62 4.

    The editors have done a marvellous job, more than fulfilling their stated aim of producing a volume describing the multidisciplinary state of modern pathology which will be of interest to a wide range of readers. The book is beautifully produced with excellent colour photographs and line diagrams which clearly explain the practicalities described in the text. I was particularly impressed by the many tables and flow charts, which can be used as aids to decision making.

    All aspects of pathology are covered and it is very easy to find the specific information one needs; the first page of each chapter has its own index, there are summaries of topics at the top of each page, and the general index is detailed and comprehensive. Each subject is clearly introduced with relevant background information. Practical details are easy to follow and alternative methods discussed. Attention is paid to the interpretation of results and to the use of quality controls. At the end of each chapter future directions are covered and there is a useful further reading list. The unifying theme to the book is the application of similar methods to different disciplines. Microscopy and molecular techniques are referred to frequently and it is obvious that a common language is developing between pathologists. This welcome situation will be helped considerably by this work, which should be on the bookshelf of every laboratory. The availability of a version on CD-ROM will increase its appeal.