PCR In Situ Hybridization: Protocols and Applications

Second edition. Gerald J. Nuovo. ix + 449 pages, hardcover, illustrated, including 15 color plates. Raven Press, New York. 1994. $80.00

Robert M. Wohlhueter Scientific Resources Program National Center for Infectious Diseases Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE Atlanta, GA 30333

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The polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which amplifies specific segments of nucleic acid sequence, and in situ hybridization, which allows visualization of particular nucleic acid sequences within a histological context, are two of the most useful and skill-demanding tools of molecular biology. Their intersection is exquisite, with respect to both virtuosic skill and biomedically significant results.

This monograph is written from the practical, how-to perspective, but it is spiced with enough examples from current research to persuade the reader that the results to be achieved are worth the effort demanded up front. It is the only book-length guide to in situ PCR techniques.

The first chapter is a sort of Cliff-Notes rendition of molecular biology. Histopathologists will find there a quick entree into the realm of nucleic acid hybridization; molecular biologists will be offended that half their graduate curriculum is covered in 48 pages. Chapter Two, however, is appropriate reading for both groups.