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Book Review Comprehensive Biochemistry. Vol. 29B Comparative Biochemistry. Molecular Evolution Part 2. Edited by M. Florkin and E. H

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Chemical Applications of Pattern Recognition. By P. C. Jurs
and 7: L. Isenhour. John Wiley and Sons, New York-London 1975. 1st Edit., vii, 184 pp., numerous tables, bound,
f 8.25.
The reader of analytical journals will discover that increasing
reference is made to publications in which operational techniques derived from information science are applied. One of
these methods is pattern recognition. The customary application of this procedure in chemistry is for the identification
of substances in a compilation of substance properties (usually
spectroscopic data).
In their book Juvs and Isenhour give a survey of the principles of pattern recognition and how it can be applied in
chemistry. As “chemical criteria” they use, inter alia, mass
spectra, IR spectra, and also electrochemical data, the latter
in some cases in combination with mass spectra, IR spectra,
boiling and melting points, and so on. O n a very extensive
series of substances they demonstrate the results that can
thus be achieved. Each chapter concludes with a literature
It would undoubtedly be very useful for the chemist to
have an intelligible book on pattern recognition tailored to
the chemical mode of thinking, for the analyst at least will
be obliged in the foreseeable future to familiarize himself
with this procedure and its possible applications. However,
the authors have to a very large extent retained the language
of information science, so that the book is very difficult to
read, at least for chemists trained in German-language countries. However, there is also another problem that arises once
again: namely, what was long a simple matter becomes unintelligible when presented in the formalism of information science!
Egon Fahr [NB 299 IE]
Instrumental Methods of Analysis. By H . H . Willard, L. L.
Merritt, Jr., and J . A . Dean. D. van Nostrand Company,
New York-Wokingham
1974. 5th Edit., xix, 860 pp.,
numerous figs., bound, L 8.50.
The question of the extent and method of giving chemists
an insight into the “black box” of an apparatus for instrumental analysis have long been a standard discussion theme for
colloquia and seminars concerned with this field. In the present
book the authors provide the answers in a quite masterly
manner. In 27 chapters they demonstrate, usually starting
from didactically excellent drawings, the general principles
and apparatus for the methods of instrumental analysis (after
two chapters on electronic components: absorption spectroscopy in the UV/visible and IR regions, fluorescence spectroscopy, Raman, NMR, and ESR spectroscopy, X-ray and radiochemical methods, flame photometry, atomic absorption and
emission spectroscopy, refractometry and interferometry,
polarimetric, ORD, and C D methods, mass spectrometry,
thermal analysis, gas chromatography, electrochemical
methods, pH, ion-selective and potentiometric titrations, automated analytical procedures). The individual chapters are sensibly subdivided; they also contain proposals for instrumental
investigations in practice and training exercises (problems),
as well as a bibliography and details of the literature cited.
The book closes with a very extensive subject index (29 pages).
The text is didactically excellent and a wealth of instructive
illustrations is provided. The new and rarer techniques such
as Fourier IR and NMR spectroscopy, ENDOR and ELDOR,
cycloid, ion-cyclotron resonance, quadrupole and monopole
mass spectrometry are also described. Unfortunately, the literature cited also contains references to journals that the German
reader will hardly find useful ( e . g . Ind. Eng. Chem., Anal.
Ed.; Off. Dig. Fed. SOC.Paint Technol.).
The book is indeed one of the best in the field of instrumental
analysis and is an extremely useful reference work for all
who are actively teaching this profession and for those who
require information, even on one brief occasion, about a specificmethod-the principles of its apparatus and the possibilities
of its application.
Egon Fahr [NB 301 IE]
Handbook of Chemistty ahd #hnics. Edited by R. C. Weast.
CRC Press, Cleveland (Ohio), 1975, 56th edit., 2361 pp.,
bound, D M 89.-.
The fact that after 57 years of existence a book has gone
through 56 editions, which differ from one another by improvements and modernizations, is probably rare even among handbooks. It indicates not only the usefulness of the book but
also the commitment of the editor and the 131 scientists
named as his “Collaborators and Contributors” and the “Physics Editorial Board”. The word “Chemistry” ist rightly placed
first in the title, for of its 2361 pages, 1497 are devoted to
the three sections “The Elements and Inorganic Compounds”
(421 pp.), “Organic Compounds”(797pp.),and “General Chemical” (279pp.). In addition to this, the book contains mathematical tables (192 pages), a Section called “General Physical
Constants” (253 pages), where many points of importance
and interest to the chemist are to be found, and a “Miscellaneous” chapter (352 pages) which provides much information
useful in practice (densities of various solids and liquids,
hardness tables, surface tensions, viscosities, critical temperatures and pressures, and a long table of “Definitions and
Formulas”, to mention only a few). The book is a mine of
information, all of which is easily retrievable thanks to
a subject index comprising 57 pages. Each table is provided
with all the necessary explanations and is thus completely
self-consistent. The reader is always informed what unit
to assign to a numerical value, although here adherence
to the international conventions would be desirable : an
upper case K for kilo in KeV, or Kcal is simply wrong, instead of cm3 is not much better, and g-mol is today
just as superfluous as g-cal. These, however, are only minor
gripes. For the person who likes to have his private data
bank close to his desk and who wants to find the particular
value he needs with a minimum of searching, there is no
handbook @fkring better value for money.
Helmut Griinewald [NB 305 IE]
Comprehensive Biochemistry. Vol. 29 B : Comparative Biochemistry. Molecular Evolution, Part 2. Edited by M . Florkin and E. H . Stotz. Elsevier Scientific Publication Company,
Amsterdam 1975. 1st Edit., xii, 284 pp., numerous figs.
and tables, bound, % 34.60.
The history of the development of various forms of life
has gained a new dimension by the changeover from descriptive
to quantitative biology. Moreover, refinement of the methods
has made it possible to include molecular structures in the
comparisons of their historical development. Microorganisms
are undoubtedly the earliest inhabitants of the Earth; they
have already survived at least 10l2 generations and have
thus been able to try out innumerable mutations in their
efforts to utilize optimally the living space provided by the
planet. Unlike algae, protozoa, and fungi, during this process
they have not developed morphological variations to the same
extent as their capacity for selective metabolism and biochemical mechanisms.
Angew. Chem. I n t . Ed. Enyl.
Vol. 15 (1976) N o . 3
The first section of this volume offers a survey of the conclusions drawn about the molecular evolution of bacteria from
their comparative biochemistry. In about 70 pages and with
citation of nearly 250 references, J . deLey and K . Kesters
give a clear description of current conclusions about the evolution of free-living into high-grade parasitic forms, the origin
of mitochondria and chloroplasts, and the relationship
between the deoxyribonucleic acids of various species such
as can be derived from comparative analytical data. The development of catabolic and anabolic capacities, of a well-adapted
energy economy, and of control mechanisms for the coordination of these processes are now clear examples of metabolic
evolution, and are supplemented by comparisons of bacterial
cytochromes, iron-sulfur proteins, and Gram-characteristics
at the molecular level.
Using the systematic coordinates developed in volume 29A
together with their complicated nomenclature, M . Florkin
describes the biochemical evolution ofanimals in a comprehensive essay supported by 400 references. The essay begins with
a discussion of the interactions between the environment
and the biochemical individual, phylogenetic relationships
are then developed from amino-acid sequences, and finally
the physiological-chemical development of animals is
explained with examples (some of which coincide with the
author’s historical exposition in volume 30). After the aminoacid constituents required for their function had been established, the protein-synthesizing machinery was adapted to the
synthesis of structural proteins, enzymes, hormones, carrier
proteins, and immunoglobulins; the enzymes were then again
optimized for the individual cycles and these in turn were
diversified in relation to the given environment. Such sweeping generalizations are never possible without serious
exceptions that will cause the critical reader to reconsider
specific points and, when possible, to undertake further
research, thus eventually leading to new understanding.
The last chapter, also by M . Florkin, deals in barely 20
pages (75 references) with a mainly historical review of the
ideas and experiments in the field of prebiontic development,
in which appropriate space is devoted to the physicochemical
models that presently seem attractive.
This volume, which brings the complete work[*’astage nearer
to its end, although more and more due to the efforts of one
individual, is not only “comprehensive” but almost throughout
“comprehensible”. Rather than merely cataloging facts, it offers
both interesting reading and a broad survey of the modern
picture of molecular evolution without sidetracking into narrow specialities. The book is produced in the usual manner
consistent with its price.
L.Jaenicke [NB 292 IE]
[*I Cf. Angew.
beyond the “Organikum” and can perhaps be compared with
the much larger “Weygand-Hilgetag”; still closer comparison
would be with the two volumes “Formation of C<-Chains
or Aromatic Rings”, also by J . Mathieu and J . Weill-Raynal.
These leading industrial chemists, noted for their research
work, are also University lecturers (as also is R . Panico), which
is rare in France. Because of their experience they are well
able to present current knowledge in readily understandable
form. The bibliographic references are unfortunately given
without the authors’ names; correspondingly, there is no
author index. Nevertheless, the book can be recommended
as a source of information for all organic chemists interested
in synthesis.
Heinz Gunter Viehe [NB 293 IE]
Correlation Tables for the Structural Determination of Organic
Compounds. By M . Pestemer. Verlag Chemie, GmbH, Weinheim 1975. 1st Edit., vi, 157 pp., bound, D M 98.-.
The book contains two pages of text (English and German),
the remainder being taken up by tables. The unsaturation
or ring-number R , according to which the compounds are
arranged, is introduced in the text. The tables contain the
molecular and structural formulas of the individual compounds, as well as the wave numbers, log E , and the wavelengths
of the measured absorption bands. About 2300 organic compounds are treated (hetero atoms N, 0, S, P, and halogens).
This tabular form has the advantage of being clear and
easily scanned. It would certainly have been easier for the
organic chemist to handle if R had been defined more simply
(e.9. for uncharged systems R=number of double bonds +
number of rings).
As in all tabulations the choice of the compounds is arbitrary ; for instance, one can find no information about phenyl
azide, benzotropone, or chloronaphthalene. Some alkyl azides
(pp. 24 and 41) are wrongly formulated as triazirines.
A lower price would have been welcome.
Rolf Gteiter [NB 295 IE]
Chem. 87, 750 (1975); Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 14,
719 (1975).
Les GrandesReactionsdela Synthbe Organique [The Principal
Reactions in Organic Synthesis]. By J . Mathieu, 8.Panico,
and J . Weill-Raynal. Hermann, Editeurs des Sciences et
des Arts, Paris 1975, 1st Edit., xiv, 341 pp., bound, F. 76.-.
This book attempts to describe organic syntheses in 320
pages of text. Ionic reactions form its main part, but thermal,
photochemical, and radical reactions are also well covered.
There is also one chapter each on degradative and rearrangement reactions of interest to syntheses. The formula schemes
are connected by a minimum of cursive text, usually only
one to three lines. Each chapter begins with a short general
introduction and provides an extremely concise review. Naturally the book is not exhaustive, but the authors have succeeded
in providing the student with a “first library” that goes far
Angew. Chem. Int. E d . Engl. / Vol. 15 ( 1 9 7 6 ) N o . 3
Organochromium Compounds. By R. P. A. Sneeden. From
the series “Organometallic Chemistry”. Edited by P. M .
Maitlis, F. G . A. Stone, and R. West. Academic Press, New
York 1975. viii, 327 pp., bound, $ 33.00.
High Temperature Vapors. Science and Technology. By J .
W Hastie. From the series“Materia1s Science and Technology”. Edited by A. M . Alper, J. L. Margrave, and A. S.
Nowick. Academic Press, New York 1975. xvi, 480 pp.,
bound, 8 35.00.
Gesundheitsschadliche Arbeitsstoffe, Band 11. Toxikologischarbeitsmedizinische Begrundungen von MAK-Werten
(Maximale Arbeitsplatz-Konzentrationen). Edited by D.
Henschlev. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1975. Looseleaf file
D M 58.00.
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