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<P>Since publication of the first edition in 1989, great strides have been made in several areas of lectin research. Numerous lectins have been isolated from a variety of sources, and their functions in infection, inflammation and immunity, both innate and acquired, have been clarified. In addition, the three-dimensional structures of close to 200 lectins, and of many of their complexes with carbohydrates have been elucidated, providing an insight into the molecular basis of their specificity. As a result, this book is about 470 pages long (three times the size of the first edition), with over 200 figures and some 30 tables.</P> <P>The book starts with an overview of lectin research followed by a survey of the occurrence of lectins in nature and a detailed description of their properties, with emphasis on specificity, structure and interaction with ligands at the atomic level. The biosynthesis and genetics of lectins are then discussed, as are their numerous applications in biology and medicine. A summary of the nutritional effects of lectins follows, and finally their functions in nature are dealt with. </P>

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