Classic laboratory manual gets dramatic update

By Bryan Goodchild and Mark Shelton

UMass Medical School Communications

August 01, 2012

When Michael R. Green, MD, PhD, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the Lambi and Sarah Adams Chair in Genetic Research and professor of molecular medicine and biochemistry & molecular pharmacology was approached about working with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press on an update of the classic manual of laboratory techniques, Molecular Cloning, one of his first thoughts was how so many of his UMMS colleagues would be ideal contributors to such a major revision. “In the ten years since the previous edition, so much had changed in the field, principally driven by the ready availability of gene sequences and the development of genomics,” says Dr. Green. “Research in areas that are new or have significantly changed, such as RNA interference, epigenetics and gene therapy were also areas where UMMS faculty were ideal” contributors to the ambitious project.

Five years later, Green and co-editor Joe Sambrook of the MacCallum Cancer Institute in Australia closed the book on what has been referred to as the ‘bible’ of molecular cloning. For the fourth edition, core chapters were revised to reflect current practice and a dozen new chapters were created. Hallmarks of the earlier editions—lucid writing and the inclusion of historical information and the theoretical basis for many techniques—remain prominent.

The manual, Molecular Cloning, Fourth Edition (or “MC4,” as it’s already been nicknamed) is available from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where the original manual—a collection of experimental protocols from the 1980 course there on the “Molecular Cloning of Eukaryotic Genes”—had its genesis.