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Book Review Bodenphysik und Bodenkolloidik (Soil Physics and Soil Colloid Science). By J. di Gleria A. Klimes-Szmik and M

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rate of decomposition, the length and diameter of thereaction
capillary were varied to alter the duration of retention therein.
To stop its decomposition, the reaction solution was injected
into NaOH solution. The mixture was then acidified with
glacial acetic acid and samples with and without formalin
(which combines with SO:- resultingfrom the decomposition)
were titrdted with iodine. The difference between the titres
indicates the amount of thiosulfuric acid. Decomposition
intervals of 1-50 sec can be measured. In 2-3 M solution at
room temperature ca. 10 % is decomposed after 10 sec and
cu. 25 after 40 sec. Naturally no conclusions can be drawn
from the decomposition curve concerning the decomposition mechanism. / Z. anorg. allgem. Chem. 326, 174
(1963) / -.Is.
[Rd 833/238 IE]
Free thio acids of phosphorus and arsenic have been prepared
by Max Sclimidt and M. Wieber by double decomposition
of the corresponding salts with HCI. Ice-cold solutions of the
salts werc injected together with 2N HCI into a reaction
capillary, and 0.1 sec later the jet was lead into acetone at
-70°C. Thus, starting from Na3PS4, 96 % yields of H3PS4
were obtained. H3PS4 decomposes irreversibly into H2S and
P2S5, well below room temperature. Since H3PS4 is the least
stahle of the thiophosphoric acids, the acids H3P0,Sy can be
prepared similarlj. On attempting to obtain H3AsS4 anaiogously, the latter decomposed in the reaction capillary within
0. I sec; however, H3As02S2 and H3As03S (94 %, yield) were
isolated in this waj. / Z. anorg. allgem. Chem. 326, 182
(1963) / -Jg.
[Rd 834/240 IE]
BOOK REVIEWS
Medizinische Biochemie (Medical Biochemistry). By S. M .
Rapoport. A text-book for students and doctors. VEB Verlag Volk und Gesundheit, Berlin 1962. 1st Edit,. XVI, 992
pp.. 189 ill., 146 tab., linen D M 53.- (about $ 13.25).
S . M. Rapoport, director of the Physiologisch-chemisches Institut of the Humboldt University in Berlin, presents a textbook of medical biochemistry which surpasses the better
known student text-books in scope and volume. It can justifiably claim to be the first Chemical Biology written in German and specifically designed to suit the requirements of
medical students.
The traditional division into descriptive and dynamic sections
has been abandoned and, instead, descriptions of compounds,
physical chemistry, and methodological information are interlinked in a skilful and stimulating manner. The book starts
with a discussion of the original primitive biological environment of water and electrolytes and progresses via a discourse
on proteins and nucleic acids to masterful chapters dealing
with the thermodynamics and kinetics of biological reactions,
catalysis, and enzyme activity, culminating relatively quickly
(on p. 162) in the description of a first synthesis of the unit
of life, with a discussion of the structure and function of the
cell. An essay on Oparin’s hypothesis concerning the origin
of life and biological evolution follows.
The second large section, entitled “Intermediary Metabolism”,
begins - the reviewer finds especially successfully - with a
chapter on the methods employed in classical and modern
biochemistry. It is a matter of experience that students find
difficulty in grasping the complicated interplay of the reactions of intermediary metabolism. Schemes and diagrams
only enable the reaction sequences and cycles which they
illustrate to be committed more easily to memory, whereas
an indication of the method which led to any particular discovery provides an intimate approach to the material. Another welcome feature is that examination questions are included at the end of each section, and important reviews and
journals are named at the end of the book.
A considerable amount of space - 400 pages in all - is occupied by the sections on functional biochemistry, general
metabolism, and nutrition. These include interesting chapters
on tumor metabolism, the biochemical effects of ionizing
radiation, and immunochemistry ; however, not surprisingly,
these are not all of the same brilliance as the first sections of
the volume. Instead of these chapters, it would have been better to include a description of photosynthesis, but unfortunately this subject, together with those of plant and bacterial
metabolism, has been purposely omitted.
If one disregards this unfulfilled preference, and also the fact
that the author, a fervid Marxist, has deemed it necessary
to include a series of quotations from Friedrich Engels in his
scientific text, this volume can be recommended as the most
modern and the best ‘‘large’’ German-language text-book of
biochemistry available at present.
Herbert Fischer [NB 134171 IE]
Bodenphysik und Bodenkolloidik (Soil Physics and Soil Colloid
Science). By J . di G‘leria, .4. Klimrs-Szmik, and M . Dvaracsek. VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena 1962. 1st edit.,
795 pp., 265 illustrs., 255 tables, cloth, DM 124.60 (about
S31.r).
The book is divided into nine parts: introductions to physical chemistry and colloid science; the mineral and organic
constituents of soils; the physical chemistry and colloid
science of soils; soil structure; water and air in the soil; soil
heat; and soil cultivation and improvement.
The authors have industriously collected together many important and many more unimportant research results. This
applies both to the text and to the 543 literature references.
Unfortunately, the authors appear to be unaware of many of
the basically important advances made in the last twenty
years in the knowledge of the physico-chemical and colloidal
behavior of soil constituents, in the light of which they could
have compiled their material much morc critically and intelligibly. The volume is also unsuitable as a textbook owing
to its size. Nevertheless it can be of use in many ways to the
research worker in the field of soil science. Perhaps it was
from this point of view that the publishers set the price so
high. The presentation is thoroughly pleasing with regard
to both the print and the illustrations.
U.Hofmann [NB 144/73 IE]
Registered names, trademarks, etc. used in this journal, even without specific indication thereof, are not t o be considered unprotected b y law.
0 1964 by Verlag Chemie, GmbH. - Printed in Germany by Druckerei Winter, Heidelberg.
All rights reserved. N o part of this journal may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, e . g . by photoprint, microfilm, or any other means, without
written permission from the publishers.
Editorial Office: Ziegelhauser Landstrasse 35, Heidelberg, Germany, Telephone 24975, Telex 04-61 855, Cable address: Chemieredaktion Heidelberg.
Chief Editor: W. Foerst ’ Editor: H . Grunewald.
Publishers: Verlag Chemie, GmbH. (President Eduard Kreurhage), Pappelallee 3, Weinheim/Bergstr., Germany, and Academic Press Inc. (President
Watter J . Johnson), I 1 1 Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y., U . S . A . , and Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, London, W. I , England.
Correspondence concernins advertisements should by addressed toVerlag Chemie, GmbH. (Advertising Manager W.Thie/), Pappelallee 3, WeinheimBergstr., Germany, Telephone Weinheim 3635, Telex 04-65 516. Cable address Chemieverlag Weinheimbergstr.
392
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit./ VoI. 3 (1964)
No. 5
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