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Ralph Rapley and David Whitehouse (Eds)

Royal Society of Chemistry, £55.99

This well-presented textbook covers topics ranging from protein structure and function to molecular diagnostics. The chapters are extremely detailed, giving an in-depth introduction to cutting-edge biotechnology.

The book is intended to be particularly relevant to biology and chemistry undergraduates, along with postgraduate students and other scientists looking for an overview of the broad field. Those new to molecular biology lab techniques may find it particularly useful.

The rate of progress in the field means this edition has changed quite substantially from the previous one, with particular updates arising from the areas of genome sequencing, proteomics and bioinformatics.

Given that many authors have contributed, it is perhaps unsurprising that the chapters vary in quality as well as content. For example, the animal transgenesis chapter focuses on laboratory techniques whereas the agricultural biotechnology chapter concentrates on applications in the field. However, all the chapters are interesting and Molecular Biology and Biotechnology could be a useful reference book for students and professionals alike.

Dr Rebecca Nesbit MRSB