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.
Any typical laboratory possesses a vast amount of various basic science books and technical manuals used in day-to-day 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 form the author. It is highly recommended for anyone working in research-from undergraduate students to primary investigators, either in academy or industry. In my opinion, this is a 'must have' volume for any laboratory. The Quarterly Review of Biology