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By: M Ptashne
154 pages, Figs
Concerned with how the lambda virus uses its genes to direct its growth.
Ptashne's clear and concise articulation of the essential scientific and experimental issues makes the book an ideal introductory text for the increasing number of interdisciplinary scientists moving into systems biology. More importantly, the detailed studies (summarized in these chapters) that relate properties of the molecular components to the function of the switch establish a high standard for the systems biology of more complex organisms. Science The clarity and care of 'A Genetic Switch' and its organization is a paradigm for communicating the structure and behavior of complex regulatory systems such as lambda. Periodic update of a book like this is important as a reminder of the level of our understanding of a system, in this case lambda, and of how we achieved that understanding. 'A Genetic Switch' is wonderful for what it is-a beautiful, concise (only 154 pages) exposition of the major molecular processes involved in lambda's lysis-lysogeny and induction decisions...The 3rd edition of 'A Genetic Switch' prompts us to remember the power of this under-utilized model system in discovering general principles of cellular function and behavior. Switch back!” Current Biology I enjoyed the book and have no major quibbles. The author has a talent for simplifying (but not oversimplifying) complicated ideas, he describes the theory and its experimental basis in a straightforward and plainspoken way, and he illustrates his points with drawings that contain just the right amount of detail. Connoisseurs will appreciate the new chapter on recent developments, in which some parts of the original picture are redrawn and others filled in... I strongly recommend the new edition of A Genetic Switch to students of molecular biology from the advanced undergraduate level up. The author and publisher are to be commended for supplying this volume at such a reasonable price. The Quarterly Review of Biology
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