A logarithm is another way of writing an exponent. A standard log is base 10. So the logarithm equation is log10 (answer) = exponent. Therefore when someone refers to a log 3 or 3 log that means 103 (because the base is 10 and the exponent is 3) which would equal 1000 (answer). When someone refers to a log 3 reduction that means the 3 is negative so you have 10-3 = (1/1000). ( log10 (1/1000) = -3 because the base is 10, the exponent is -3 and the answer is 1/1000).
How this works for CML is they take your original percentage, like 53%, and compare to where you are now, like .053%, .053 is 1/1000 of 53 which is a 3 log reduction because if you divide 53 by .053 it equals 1/1000 which is the answer position of the equation log10 (1/1000) = -3.
Now I have read that a log 5 reduction means the chromosome is undetectable, which is true if you think about log10 (1/100000) = -5. So that means if my original PCR for BCR/ABL was 53% and I make it to a log 5 reduction I am at .00053% because .00053 is 1/10000 of 53. So basically the lab is doing the math comparison (division) for you each time when they say you are at a log # reduction.
All of you should remember this from Algebra II back in your high school day