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Book Review Comprehensive Biochemistry. Volume 27 Photobiology Ionizing Radiations. Edited by M. Florkin and E. H

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a clear and readily usable form through skillful use of a
system of tables and summaries. The tables, which are arranged according to groups of substances, provide information o n methods of preparation and - as far as is known yields; further, on physical properties and reactions, and in
many cases also references t o spectroscopic measurements,
physiological effects, and proposed or actual technical applications of the individual substances. Critical evaluation of
the subject matter is naturally left mainly to the reader himself - as is the case, for example, in “Beilstein”. For instance,
all the methods given for preparation of a substance in the
literature of the period reported are listed alongside one another, complete with the often varying values for physical
properties reported by the original authors. Since the work
is not intended as a text book for students, but as a comprehensive, noncritical source of information for the specialist,
this feature is certainly n o drawback.
W . P . Neumann [NB 742 IE]
Strahlenchemie. Grundlagen - Technik - Anwendung. (Radiation Chemistry. Principles - Techniques - Applications.)
Edited by K. KaindI and E. H . Graul. Dr. Alfred Hiithig
Verlag, Heidelberg 1967. 1st Edit., 645 pp., 236 figs., 95
tables, plastic cover, DM 92.-.
This book contains the contributions of seven well-known
authors and is arranged in 12 chapters. Particular attention
is given to the possibilities of quantitative treatment of radiation chemical processes, and the most important units and
conversion factors are therefore discussed extensively.
Another section shows the considerable progress that has
been made in the last 20 years in the development of nuclear
reactors, accelerators, and other sources of radiation. Only
chemical dosimetry has been considered o n the whole for the
quantitative determination of the energy absorbed by a
system that has been subjected to ionizing radiation.
The importance of radiation chemical reactions in water and
aqueous solutions is clearly indicated. The main emphasis in
the treatment of organic molecules has been placed o n the
polymerizations induced by irradiation - one of the main
fields of radiation chemical research and of technical utilization - and it is satisfying to see that the kinetics of the processes have not been neglected. I n addition, radiolysis of
organic reactor coolants has been considered. A later edition
should if possible indicate the possibilities of radiation
chemical synthesis of low-molecular organic products.
Radiolytic effects in frozen solutions, important for the
chemistry of radicals, are treated briefly. There are some
excellent chapters on the radiation chemistry of solids and
the influence of radiation on catalysts, outlining some possibilities of irradiated catalysts. The last chapter, written in
English, deals with radiation-induced reactions in gases. All
chapters have a n index to the literature, arranged in alphabetical order of the authors’ names.
In general, it can be said that the high standard of this work
does credit to the authors and editors. The book fills a gap
in a n important field that has been somewhat neglected in
Germany, and it can therefore be recommended to every
scientist and engineer interested in radiation chemistry.
H. Drawe
[NB 750 IE]
Comprehensive Biochemistry. Volume 26 : “Extracellular and
Supporting Structures”. Parts A and B. Edited by M.
Florkin and E. H. Stotz. Elsevier Publishing Company,
Amsterdam-London-New York 1968. Part A: xvi, 295 pp.,
many figures and tables, Dfl. 47.50; Parts B: xii, 297 pp.,
many figures and tables, Dfl. 47.50.
Volume 26 of “Comprehensive Biochemistry” (11 deals with
the molecular structure and the biochemical function of the
[l] Cf. Angew. Chem. 79, 627 (1967); Angew. Chem. internat.
Edit. 6, 646 (1967).
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. / Vol. 7 (1968) / No. 11
extracellular supporting structures. Two of the planned total
of three subvolumes have so far been published. The first one
considers the substances and tissues occurring in microorganisms and plants, and the second one those found in
vertebrates. In spite of their briefness, the various sections
are treated thoroughly and are up to date. The complete
volume will contain almost 1000 pages. This fact is a n indication both of the great interest in this subject and of the
biologicaI importance of the cell-supporting structures, which
are of paramount importance for contact with the environment.
Isolation, chemical and physical characterization, biosynthesis, and physiological function are treated in the individual
sections, the literature up to 1966 having been reviewed in a n
excellent manner. The respective authors have either aimed
at providing a complete bibliography o r made a n excellent
choice of the most important publications. Once again it has
proved possible to engage authors of international standing.
A terse and exhaustive account of the polysaccharides, polyuronides, and lignin of plant cells is given by S. M. Siegel.
J. M. Ghuysen, J. L. Strominger, and D . J. Tipper display
their mastery in a skillfully written review of the cell-wall
structures of gram-positive bacteria; the same applies to
0. Liideritz, K. Jann, and R . Wheat, the authors of the extremely thorough, expert article o n the antigenes of gramnegative cells. The interesting topic of shell formation by
mussels, snails, and birds is summarized in a comparative
manner by K. M . Wilbur and K . Simkiss. A. J. Bailey provides
a detailed and scholarly guide through the broad and complex field of the collagens, and B. J . Barrett through that of
cartilaginous tissue. I n both these chapters the subject matter
is viewed from the most varied aspects, starting from the
structure and the biosynthesis and going through to aging,
so that a unique review has resulted that is certainly worthy
of the series. I n their section on silk and other spun fibers,
F. Lucas and K. M. Rudall consider all the available material
from a number of different points of view. Fittingly, there
follows a brief and yet exhaustive section on intracellular
fibrous proteins and keratinization (K. M. Rudall).
Together, the two subvolumes cover the fields considered in
a series of varied, competent, and contemporary articles.
M. Florkin and E. H. Stotz have once again succeeded in
bringing out a work that continues this remarkable monographic text- and hand-book in the expected manner. Without doubt these eminently successful volumes again deserve
the highest praise; they maintain the excellent quality of their
L. Jaenicke [NB 741a IE]
Comprehensive Biochemistry. Volume 27 : Photobiology,
Ionizing Radiations. Edited by M. Florkin and E. H . Stotz.
Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam-London-New
York 1967. 1st Edit., xvi, 356 pp., 104 figures, 23 tables,
Dfl. 55.00 / 114 s.
This extensive handbook of biochemistry now enters the
realm of molecular biology proper with the fifth section,
which is to embrace eight volumes. The present volume 27
shows that radiation effects of the most wideIy varying kinds
are approachable from a biochemical angle and are no longer
the exclusive domain of radiologists and physiologists, and
analyzes the detection and biochemical and biophysical
applications of radiations of all kinds. The first seven chapters, which deal with photobiology as such, are certainly of
the standard expected of this competent work.
Photomechanical reactions of plants are described in the
contributions on phototropism (K. V. Thimann), photosynthesis (L. N . M. Duysens and J. Amesz), phytochrome and
photoperiodism (S. B. Hendricks and H . W . Siegelman); the
treatment of photosynthesis is, however, rather categorical,
this probably being attributable in part to a desire to avoid
duplication of material in earlier volumes, and hardly considers the outstanding work of H. T. Witt. On the other hand,
J . K. Serlow gives a detailed and most useful account of the
effects of ultraviolet radiation on proteins, nucleic acids
(pyrimidine dimerization), and nucleoproteins. However, a
more rigorous treatment of fundamentals, and of photochemical and photophysical primary processes as an introduction, which will certainly be missed by the biologist,
would have been welcomed.The other chapters are concerned
with biochemistry of vision (C. D . B. Bridges), bioluminescence in various organisms (F. H. Johnson), and the
photosensitization of biological material ( M . I. Simon). One
will miss references to the important work done o n quinonecatalyzed photooxidation in this section.
In spite of the broad field covered in comparison with the
preceding articles, the final chapter by P. Alexander and J. T.
Lett on the effects of ionizing radiation on biological macromolecules gives more the impression of a n appendix, and by
no means provides a n adequate treatment of the available
knowledge in this field, particularly more recent work. However, one can always argue about how much space should be
devoted t o these things in such a comprehensive work: they
could even occupy a separate volume. On the whole, this
book gives a well balanced impression and summarizes a
topic that has been the ground of various diverging disciplines for much too long. The literature has been covered up
to 1966, thus making this volume a highly informative and
desirable standard work.
L. Jaenicke [ N B 741b IE]
the presence of others is treated too briefly. The author often
limits himself t o a literature reference, without going further
into the analytical directions or the relevant range of concentration. This last part, which deals specifically with
applications (40 pp.), should be enlarged. The volume of
literature quoted certainly justifies a wider treatment.
The bibliography, which comprises 950 citations up t o about
1966, has been compiled very carefully. References that are
difficult t o obtain, and older reports of symposia, have been
conscientiously recorded.
For those concerned with the apparatus side of atomic absorption spectroscopy, the present book with its ample collection of material will be an excellent aid. For the practising
analyst confronted every day with new problems that he
might wish t o solve by this method, the present volume offers
too little that would give information and advice in the
In spite of these limitations, this is still the most comprehensive monograph on the subject. The rather one-sided emphasis
or preference for some aspects does not diminish the great
service that the author has rendered in making a considerable
contribution to the further diffusion of a new analytical
J . Ringhardfz INB 755 IE]
Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and Analysis by Atomic
Absorption Flame Photometry. By J. Rnmirez-Mutioz.
Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam-London-New
York 1968. 1st Edit., xii, 493 pp. 156 figs., 23 tables,
bound, Dfl SO.-.
The analytical technique of atomic absorption spectroscopy,
which has been described in four monographs in English
within the space of two years, deserves special consideration.
The present work is one of those four monographs and, from
its size, the fullest. The author, who is a spectroscopist
employed by a firm of instrument makers, divides his book
into five chapters which are unfortunately very uneven in
treatment. Within this framework, the fundamentally simple
theory of atomic absorption spectroscopy is mentioned only
briefly but quite sufficiently. Most of the space is taken up by
description of instrumental details. I t is in this section that
the danger exists that, without a critical selection, which is
lacking in this work, the details may obscure the whole.
Light sources and burners are certainly important parts of
the apparatus, but it is not justifiable t o devote a fifth of the
book t o them. The very wide expositions on sensitivities and
detection limits unfortunately d o not clarify these important
aspects of analysis. The experimental methods, so long as
they deal with general details like solutions for calibration,
preparation of diluted solutions, and calculation of the
results, are treated very fully. On the other hand, there is no
special reference t o the possibility of interference and its
The actual application of atomic absorption spectroscopy
t o the quantitative determination of particular elements in
Clathrate Compounds. By V. M. Bhntnagar, S . Chand & Co.,
Delhi-New Delhi-Jullundur-Lucknow-Bombay-CalcuttaMadras 1968. 1st Edit., viii, 244 pp., many Figures and
Tables, Rs. 20.00 1 3 8.00.
The book is a - not completely exhaustive - collection of the
literature concerning inclusion compounds, in which the
various types of inclusion compounds (urea, gas hydrates,
deoxycholeic acids, cyclodextrins, etc.) are reviewed. Unfortunately, the extremely interesting theoretical aspects of
bonding in these substances are not discussed at all. The division of the subject matter appears arbitrary. For instance,
the term clathrate compound (title of the book) is not defined
until page 60 of a total of 132 pages of text. The bonding,
the essentially new feature of these compounds, is dismissed
in a single sentence:
. . . .very weak forces like those of H
bonds and of the van der Waals type, which are normally not
capable of joining molecules together, may contribute to
hold the two components in the inclusion compounds together”. That is rather meager! The catalytic action of inclusion compounds, and inclusion compounds in biochemical
reactions and in protein chemistry, are not considered at all.
The claims made in the foreword - “This book is designed
t o gather together in one place the total literature pertaining
t o clathrate compounds”, or “it will be the first book to give
a detailed catalogue of all the work on clathrates from the
origin to date” - appear t o the reviewer t o be at least unjustified. The book contains no subject and author index.
Technical production is poor. The information that it contains can probably be obtained more readily and more
cheaply from review articles written by competent researchers.
‘ I . .
F. Cramer [NB 743 IE]
Registered names, trademarks. etc. used in this journal, even without specific indication thereof, are not t o be considered unprotected by law.
0 Verlag Chemie, GmbH. Weinheim/Bergstr.
- Printed in Germany by Druckerei
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AJl 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
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Editor: H . Griinewald
. Translation Editors: A . J . Rackstraw and A . Stimson.
Publishers: Verlag Chemie, GmbH (Presidents liirgen Kreuzhage and Hans Scherrnerf. Pappelallee 3. 6940 Weinheim/Bergstr., Germany. and
Academic Press Inc. (President Walrer J . Johnson), 1 1 1 Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y., USA, and Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square,
London, W I . , England.
Correspondence concerning advertisements should be addressed to Verlag Chemie, GmbH. (Advertising Manager W. Thiel). 6940 Weinheim/Bergstr.,
Pappelallee 3, Germany. Telephone Weinbeim (06201) 3635. Telex 4655 16 vchwh.
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit.
Vol. 7 (1968)/ NO. I 1
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