Overall, the first edition of this book was a hit and we are confident that the second will be also. New techniques have been added while retaining the accessibility of the previous version. We’re sure we’ll have many copies of the second edition stolen off our shelves in the future. We had better order six.
Why does this book work so well? I think that there are three reasons. First, Greenspan is not afraid to explain the obvious, or at least what to Drosophilists is obvious....Second, Greenspan doesn’t just describe what we do, but usually explains why....Third, newer techniques, such as gene disruption by homologous recombination, or use of inducible promoters, are not addons but are integrated into the general topics, in these cases of finding mutants and of analyzing their action, making clear how classical methodology, molecular biology and genomics create an integrated whole. Of course, it also helps that the book is written in a brief, breezy, colloquial style. This does not imply, however, that Fly Pushing is an easy read. It is brief, breezy and colloquial, but is also meaty and the reader will have to, but I think will also want to, work at understanding what’s here.
This book will be well received by both fly people and Drosophila novices, as Greenspan very clearly explains the methods in a simple and handson style. We especially liked the figures that depict frequently used markers...
The second edition contains a great deal of updated information on recent innovations, such as gene targeting using homologous recombination, RNA interference, and the FLP/FRT system. The list of (rapidly evolving) internet resources for Drosophila work will also be very valuable to have at one’s fingertips in the modern fly laboratory, which often has a computer right across the bay from the molecular bench.
The Quarterly Review of Biology