Histology books and googling. Was Re: [Histonet] <no subject>

John Kiernan jkiernan <@t> uwo.ca
Fri Dec 5 23:04:50 CST 2003

Christian Franci wrote:
> Can anyone suggest a good, basic but thorough, histology book?

You really should put _something_ in the 
Subject line! I've supplied a crazy long one
for this reply.

Histology books.

I recommend Wheater's Functional Histology: 
A Text and Colour Atlas (Book with CD-ROM)
by Barbara Young (Editor), John W. Heath (Editor), 
Churchill Livingstone. US$59.95 from amazon.com

Junqueira's Basic Histology: Text & Atlas, 10th 
Edition (also with a CD) is also very good. Both
books have lots of coloured pictures of sections
stained with a variety of techniques in addition
to haemalum & eosin. Wheater's has the descriptive
text closely tied to the illustrations. The text
of Junqueira is, perhaps, more thorough. 

The CDs with both books are rather poorly 
organized and troublesome to use. Among other 
things they have unlabelled versions of the 
illustrations that can be used in teaching 
lectures. I don't teach histology, so I don't
know how valuable such a collection would be.

My histology-teaching colleagues have their
own collections of photomicrographs of 35mm
slides, made from stained sections similar to 
those used in the lab classes. For a histology
course without labs, taught by faculty members
deprived of microscope, slides and camera, a
CD of good photos may be a necessity. 

This already is The Shape of Things to Come in 
medical education. Why fiddle with the condenser 
and the fine focus when you can use your inkjet
printer to make a copy of some expert's best
picture? It is a frightening prospect that in
the future histology may be taught by people
who have not looked at sections with a 
microscope.  Next, a brighter prospect!


Isn't Google wonderful! While typing this reply
I googled a two-word query for Wheater's histology, 
and the book's amazon.com page came up (at the top 
of a long list) in about 5 seconds, and that's
by way of a telephone line modem connection from 

For quite specialized literature searches Google 
is often faster than PubMed or Web of Science,
and it can quickly take you to the full text
version of an article. 
(This is probably because my institution 
subscribes to the on-line versions
of many journals. I doubt if it would work from a
hotmail address! Nevertheless, abstracts of all
biomedical papers are freely available to all by
way of PubMed, which is rapidly and almost 
intelligently searched by Google.) 

Possibly some of the other big search engines 
are as good as Google for finding scientific 
literature. I've tried 2 or 3 others, and they 
were useless; worse than they were 2 years ago
because clogged up with interuptions by

Some months ago, a syndicated newspaper (print)
columnist expounded in favour of a new verb,
"to google," meaning to search the internet. 
For what it's worth, I support this new verb,
and place it along with "to hoover," which 
concisely means to push a vacuum cleaner over
a carpet. 

Getting a bit off topic, unless there are
some histonetters who cut and stain sections
of carpets  ... Perhaps that's enough. 
John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1
   kiernan <@t> uwo.ca

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