At the Bench is the unique and hugely successful handbook for living and working in the laboratory, an essential aid to understanding basic lab techniques and how research groups work at a human level. In this newly revised edition, chapters have been rewritten to accommodate the impact of computer technology and the Internet, not only on the acquisition and analysis of data, but also on its organization and presentation. Alternatives to the use of radiation have been expanded, and figures and illustrations have been redrawn to reflect changes in laboratory equipment and procedures.
Wise, light-hearted, but thoroughly practical, Dr. Barker offers advice, moral support, social etiquette, and professional reassurance along with assume-nothing, step-by-step instructions for those basic but vital laboratory procedures that experienced investigators knowbut may not realize novices dont.
If you are a graduate student, a physician with research intentions, or a laboratory technician, this book is indispensable. If you have to manage or mentor such people, giving a copy to each of them will greatly improve your life, and theirs.
About the author: Kathy Barker received her B.A. in Biology and English, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Microbiology, from various branches of the University of Massachusetts. She did her postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Viral Oncology at Rockefeller University and was an Assistant Professor in the Laboratory of Cell Physiology and Immunology at Rockefeller University. She is now based in Seattle, where she writes and gives workshops on various aspects of running a lab.
Dr. Barker invites you to send any comments or questions to her.
Any typical laboratory possesses a vast amount of various basic science books and technical manuals used in daytoday work. However, in most cases, these volumes provide only narrow technical or basic scientific expertise, leaving out numerous issues directly related to the skills of equipment use, experiment performance, laboratory politics, and communication of the scientific data, as well as many other aspects of laboratory work. As a consequence, in most laboratories, those skills are passed on as oral folklore from senior staff to newcomers. At the Bench represents a fine example of a laboratory manual that fills this gap. The book provides, in a simple and unambiguous language, guidance for many issues usually left out in regular laboratory manuals....
Barker has wisely identified many aspects of laboratory work not usually covered by conventional manuals, making her book one of the rarest sources for vital information required for any successful scientist. Overall, the volume is superbly written, and reading is made pleasurable by multiple hilarious remarks from the author. It is highly recommended for anyone working in researchfrom undergraduate students to primary investigators, either in academy or industry. In my opinion, this is a must have volume for any laboratory.
In an article on Science’s career development website, Laura Bonetta describes how the books An Illustrated Chinese-English Guide for Biomedical Scientists, At the Bench, and At the Helm have helped foreign scientists adapt to working in the United States.
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