Book Reviews: For Your Library

Techniques Training: Mouse—A Visual Guide to Research Techniques

Reviewed by Janet B. Rodgers, DVM, MS, DACLAM

Techniques Training: Mouse—A Visual Guide to Research Techniques is intended to supplement training for researchers and others who need to conduct procedures in laboratory mice. It is a pictorial guide with supporting legends. Each of the pages is laminated, and the book is wirebound, which makes it durable and easy to clean. The 6 sections of the book cover development of mouse pups from 1 to 13 days of age, determining the sex of pups and adults, identification methods (ear notches and ear tags), restraint, blood collection, and administration of compounds. Although it is difficult to publish methods with which all experts agree, the authors have done a fine job. The photographs are of good quality and consistent format. Photograph legends are brief, but they adequately describe the techniques pictured. Proper attention is given to aseptic procedures and personal protective equipment. Readers are advised in the Introduction to adhere to institutional standard procedures and approved experimental protocols, which should be familiar advice for researchers and animal care technicians. Animal welfare concerns are addressed, although postprocedural analgesia could have been given more emphasis for some procedures. Additional references and sources of supplies would have been helpful. This book is an excellent reference for anyone in a training program. It is reasonably priced considering its durable construction.—David DeOrnellis, Amy Bergstedt, Keith M. Astrofsky. 48 pages; illustrated. American Association of Laboratory Animal Science, 9190 Crestwyn Hills Dr, Memphis, TN 38125. ISBN 978-0-9789207-1-5. 2011. Price $60.00.

Basic Confocal Microscopy

Reviewed by Erin Brannick, DVM, MS, DACVP

Basic Confocal Microscopy is based on a workshop lecture series on confocal microscopy that has been carefully honed over years of lecture delivery. The book assumes the tone of a friendly conversation with trusted colleagues rather than that of a procedural operator's manual. This technique makes the book far more effective than an operator's manual could ever be at delivering technical, and sometimes complex, information on subjects that range from types of confocal microscopes to antibody-fluorochrome selection and physics to digital images. In the first chapter, the guiding principles of confocal microscopy are summarized as a list of confocal commandments. The remainder of the book is then devoted to demystifying how and why problems arise with each of these principles and providing potential solutions. Bright, carefully selected images illustrate examples of physical principles, distortion artifacts, and even instrument control panels, illustrating the relevance of the written information provided. Although at first glance the price may seem high for this textbook, it is worth every penny to any researcher interested in producing more than just, as the authors state, “pretty pictures” with confocal microscopy. Basic Confocal Microscopy is a well-written, thorough, and cohesive text that has the potential to improve the quality of a reader's experimental design, images, and data interpretation, whether the reader is a novice or experienced with confocal microscopy.— By Robert L. Price & W. Gray (Jay) Jerome. 302 pages; illustrated. Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013. ISBN 978-0-387-78174-7. 2011. Price $189.00.