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PHOTOBIOLOGICAL TECHNIQUES - The only published laboratory manual
by Professor D.P. Valenzeno, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City (U.S.A.)
Photobiology can be described as the interaction of light and life. It is attaining increasing importance spurred by developments such as the photodynamic treatment of malignant tumors, ozone depletion and the concomitant increase in ultraviolet radiation reaching the surface of the earth, and the development of more powerful and diversified lasers. While there have been a number of textbooks devoted to photobiology, this volume (NATO ASI SERIES A216) constitutes the only published laboratory manual in the field. A total of 36 experiments that were set up by the faculty of the NATO Advanced Study Institute entitled `Photobiological Techniques', and that were successfully tested by the participants of that school, are included. In addition, 3 experiments contributed by the participants and tested by the faculty also appear. Finally, 15 experiments that were not part of the NATO school were reprinted from the first edition of `The Science of Photobiology', edited by Kendric Smith.
Photobiological Techniques is organized into 21 chapters, addressing the major subdisciplines of photobiology: photophysics, photochemistry, photosensitization, photosynthesis, UV effects, environmental photobiology, vision, photomorphogenesis, photomovement, chronobiology, bioluminescence, and photomedicine. Each chapter contains a general overview of the subdiscipline which is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to emphasize the salient points required to understand the experiments that follow. Following the overview are one or more experiments, including a comprehensive list of materials required to perform the experiment, and step-by-step instructions. The discussion at the end of each chapter may contain a critical review of the experimental parameters, suggestions for expansion of the experiment, and/or typical results. A list of supplementary reading and review questions with answers complete each treatment.
The level of difficulty is quite varied ranging from the undergraduate to postdoctoral level. Of the 39 experiments tested at the NATO school, 15 require equipment that should normally be available in the majority of college and university science departments. (The 15 additionl experiments reprinted from Kendric Smith's book also require minimal equipment.) Eight more should be possible with some advance planning at many institutions. The final 15 require either more specialized equipment, or involve the use of animals or human volunteers as experimental subjects and thus may be a bit more complex.
Reference books: A25, A34, A211, A216, B12, B252, E77
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