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Biotechnology from A to Z by W. Bains Oxford University Press UK (1993). 358 pages

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computer applications. Chapter 3 on Batch Control Systems Architecture is well
presented and a necessary inclusion,but it is not as inspiring as the other chapm.
After the 'introductory' chapters (1 to 3), the remainder of the book deals with
Project Management (4); Safety and Environmental Aspects (5); and Integrating
Plant Operations (6). These last three chapters should be essential reading for all
final year chemical engineering undergraduates, to hopefully provide them with
some insight into the wider range of topics they will meet in their careers in industry.
A useful glossary of terms is included as an Appendix - but why not put it at the start
of Chapter 1 where it might get noticed? An excellent book,presenting useful and
interesting coverage at a level suitable for a wide range of readers.
Martyn S.Ray
Thermodynamic Properties of Isomerization Reactions, by ML. Frenlcel, G.Y.
Kabo, and GN. Roganov, Hemisphere Publishing Corporation, USA (1993). 229
pages. ISBN 1-56032-111-3.
My fist impression is that this is a very expensive research monograph. I really
wonder at the justification of Aust$254 for 229 pages? Perhaps the publishers are
only expecting to sell 100 copies, at this price that is about all they will sell as
photocopy pirates will probably do the rest! The title says it all as it consists of
nearly 200 pages of tables of transport properties of isomerization reactions. It is a
translation of a 1988 edition published by Minsk "Universitetkoc". It provides a
complete coverage of the data and includes 263 references which constituted the
original information sources.
The unique feature of this book compared to other monographs on transport
properties of substances and compounds is that it addresses the almost complete lack
of information on organic compound reactions and chemical equilibrium in a single
volume. This book covers the past 25 years and includes approximately 1000
isomerization reactions. It contains primarily the results of investigations of the
equilibrium of isomers, and also some calorimetric data. The thermodynamic data
are of particular interest because isomers most clearly display the relationship
between the structure and properties of compounds, and constitute the steps of
industrial processes.
The 15 pages of introductory text provide background detail and explanation, but
this is primarily a research and reference monograph for those already working in
this area. It is a valuable compilation of information, it has a very specific but
limited audience, and at this price will undoubtedly only sell to libraries.
Martyn S.Ray
Biotechnology from A to Z, by W.Bains, Oxford University Press, UK (1993).
358 pages. ISBN 019-963334-7.
A very interesting introduction by G.K. Raab on the development and impact of the
biotechnology industry is most appropriate for this book. The book is literally an A
to 2,a dictionary or encyclopedia or both, although strictly speaking not sufficiently
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comprehensive or derailed to be classified as either! As such it may be consigned at
first judgement to the "reference" shelf. But it contains a wealth of interesting
information and useful definitions, the following at random: Yuk Factor; Clubs;
Seawatec Loop Bioreactors; Strategic Alliance; Homologous Recombination; etc. A
good place to start would be Names (pp.225-6). including suffixedprefixesand some
guidance for those wanting to name their biotech venture!
The casual reader will probably find 30-60 minutes has passed rapidly and
enjoyably as terms are explained and some 'fuzzy' idea are clarified (fuzzy logic
systems would have been a useful inclusion). This book will help the student get to
grips with an array of confusing terms, and enable the professional to define specific
terms as the nomenclature of a new(ish) technology both develops and becomes
blurred. Who could now distinguish clearly between a minicomputer,
supercomputer, desktop, laptop, notebook, etc.? This book has a bit of everything
for anyone who is going to cross the biotech field, and like the computing arena that
probably means all of us at some stage! PS. Thank God for the index!
Martp s. Ray
Absorption: Fundamentals and Applications, by R. Zarzycki and A. Chacuk,
Pergamon Press,Oxford, UK (1993). 638 pages. ISBN 0-08040263-1.
As with most book reviews there are good points and bad points, in this case the
good points outweigh the bad. I will start by getting the less favourable aspects out
of the way. The book is a direct reproduction and was therefore available quickly
and relatively cheaply (€89 or f37.50 for hard and soft cover versions, respectively).
However, the type face is very unattractive and not pleasant to read - I would have
hoped that the money saved in preparation could have been partially used for a
quality laser-print final copy. There are quite a few typographical errors and these
should have been removed by pre-publication copy editing, this should have been
easy with a book to be produced directly from the final copy and with modem word
processing facilities. It does raise the question of the accuracy of the text itself if
these basic errors have survived! The text on the figures is too small, as they have
presumably been reduced and reproduced directly rather than incorporated by the
latest desktop publishing techniques. I would like to know something of the authors,
this could be included in the Introduction section, what are their credentials to
produce such a book? This is a revision of a book produced by the authors in Poland
in 1987, and as such the errors should have been largely removed. The Index is
satisfactory but not wonderful, an Author Index would also have been useful. The
Contents list should be improved, i.e. more extensive and include examples and
problems, etc.
My complaints with the coverage are that there is no mention of the mechanical
design of the actual equipment, e.g. the column vessel, plates, supports and
distributor design, intemals, etc. However at over 600 pages there is probably not
much space left to include these aspects and the authors have done a good job of
covering the calculations of absorption. Also, a section on cooling towers and
dehumidifierswould have been a welcome inclusion.
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1993, bain, biotechnology, university, pres, 358, page, oxford
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