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This book is the first of its kind to be devoted exclusively to the Comet assay and its applications as an important tool in current toxicology. This multi-author book will serve as both a reference and a guide for investigators in the biomedical, biochemical and pharmaceutical sciences. Specialists from the fields of genetic toxicology and human epidemiology, with first-hand knowledge of their chosen sub-specialities, have contributed to this peer-reviewed scientific venture.

The simplicity, rapidity, versatility and ease of application of the Comet assay have made it a favourite amongst researchers and it is now also gaining acceptance amongst regulators. It can be used with all single cells from prokaryotes and eukaryotes, plants and animals, including humans, both somatic and germ cells. It is also a relatively inexpensive assay to perform.

The book is divided into different sections, reflecting the range of interest in the exploitation of this assay. It begins with an introductory section reviewing the genesis of the assay for those new to the technique, and details the various fields in which it finds wide acceptance. This sets the scene by explaining why the assay has become the most sensitive and sought after assay in modern toxicology.

There is a section that describes the protocols being followed to assess various types of DNA damage in different cell types. The third section brings together the specific applications of the assay in diverse areas ranging from genetic toxicity testing to human monitoring and environmental toxicology. The last section considers strategies for the conduct of the assay using in vitro and in vivo systems, based on internationally accepted guidelines. The book draws to be a close with an assessment of image-analysis principles and the statistics used for evaluating the data generated by the assay.

This book is a culmination of over fifteen years of active collaboration and friendship between the editors and provides a good basic understanding of issues relating to the assay.

Alok Dhawan

Diana Anderson

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