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Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlations
  1. Department of Medicine, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

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    Textbook of biochemistry with clinical correlations, 4th edn. TM Devlin, ed. pp xvii + 1186, illustrated. Wiley-Liss, New York, 1997. £29.95, hardback

    This beautifully illustrated and well-written book, with an impressive array of authors, is aimed at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. As the editor states in the preface, it is not intended to be a compendium of biochemistry but rather emphasises the biochemistry of mammalian cells. The first 22 chapters cover cellular structure, metabolism, information storage and transfer, signal transduction and molecular structure and function in detail. The last six chapters deal with the physiological chemistry behind human nutrition and energy generation. The chapters on recombinant DNA and biotechnology and principles of nutrition are especially relevant to clinical biochemistry today and provide a superb overview of two very topical subjects.

    Each chapter concludes with a comprehensive set of self-assessment questions and answers in multiple-choice format and, throughout, well written ‘clinical correlations’ describe the abnormal biochemistry behind relevant human disease states. An appendix with a concise review of organic chemistry forms a useful reference that facilitates an understanding of the nomenclature and structure of important molecules.

    Overall, this is an excellent textbook and presents a clear discussion of the biochemistry of mammalian cells, relating the biochemical events at a cellular level to the physiological processes occurring in the body as a whole, and citing examples of deviant biochemical processes in human disease. It is particularly relevant to those studying human biochemistry (both medical and non-medical students) and I would also recommend it to postgraduates working in the fields of metabolic medicine and clinical biochemistry. At £29.95 it represents excellent value.

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