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Book Review Das Nitrosamin-Problem. Edited by R. Preussman

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the volume began in August 1982, entries are probably
only accurate u p to this date.
Alone the collection of such a vast amount of data presents a difficult task to the editorial staff involved; publication of a compendium of research faculties around the
world that could be of real value to the chemical community is a problem which assumes gargantuan proportions.
Clearly not every chemical research institution can be covered. What is required is the judicious selection of institutions, comprehensive coverage of those selected, and a
critical appraisal to guard against the omission of reputable scientists from smaller institutions.
Unfortunately, however, it would appear that the zeal to
appear in print rather than to provide a balanced, fairly
comprehensive reference volume has been the guiding
principle in publishing Chemical Research Faculties 1984.
With the exception of its treatment of the English-speaking world, which is acceptable, coverage of research faculties in the rest of the world falls well short of expectations.
The book’s particularly disappointing coverage of continental European research institutions is conspicuous. By
its omission, one can only assume, for example, that the
editors are unaware that the ETH Zurich has a chemistry
faculty! Other institutions which fail to get a mention are
too legion to list individually; suffice it to say that of the
ca. 50 chemical institutions in the Federal Republic of
Germany only 21 appear. And of those, only a skeleton
faculty appears in many instances : according to the information presented, the chemistry faculty of the Universitat
Heidelberg has only one member! Similar fates are suffered, inter alia, by many chemical research faculties in
France, Italy, and Spain.
In summary, this book falls well short of providing a
well-balanced, useful directory for the scientific community and in no way justifies its extremely high cost. One
hopes that the shortcomings delineated here will be improved in a 2nd edition, for there is certainly a need for a
comprehensive reference work of this type.
Ian G . Neil [NB 653 IE]
Angewandte Chemie, Weinheim (FRG)
Das Nitrosamin-Problem. Edited by R . Preussman. A publication of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1983. xi, 326 pp., paperback, D M
This book quotes the detailed final reports of 30 scientists participating in the D F G program “Analysis and Formation of N-Nitroso Compounds”. Because of the importance of nitrosamines as possible carcinogens, about five
million DM have been made available for this research
over the last ten years. As a result of this intensive support,
suitable measures have been discovered for reducing their
formation, thus allowing the prejudice of the human organism to be lessened.
The individual reports have been assembled into ten
chapters. Each theme is introduced in a review by an expert. This concept guarantees that both a comprehensive
general presentation of the problems and a more detailed
treatment of specific questions is offered to the reader.
K . Heyns devotes his introductory remarks to a history
of the “nitrosamine problem” and reviews the present state
of research. The determination of very low concentrations
of these carcinogens in foods was, as is reported on by G .
Eisenbrand, only possible after the development of a
highly sensitive and specific method. From the review by
B. Spiegelhalder it can be seen that carcinogenic nitrosamines are not only detectable in foods but also in other requisites, medicaments, tobacco and tobacco smoke as well
as in the air of various industrial plants.
The first routine findings from foodstuff monitoring are
reported by R . Frommberger and H . Allmann for the Federal Republic of Germany and by G . Ellen and P. L.
Schuller for the Netherlands.
A solution of the “nitrosamine problem” is only possible with the possession of an extensive knowledge of the
chemistry and the formation of these substances. These
questions are treated by 13 authors in two voluminous
chapters (ca. 150 pages).
As the review articles of G . Eisenbrand and R . Loeppky
make clear, preventative measures could greatly reduce the
exposure of our bodies to nitrosamines.
However, because of the widespread occurrence of amines and nitrites-that is, the precursors of nitrosaminesin the environment it is impossible to avoid the formation
and intake of small quantities of these carcinogenic substances. This makes the remarks of R . Preussmann concerning the biological effect of N-nitroso compounds worthy of particular attention.
Luszlo Tbth [NB 633 IE]
Institut fur Lebensmittelchemie
der Universitat Frankfurt am Main
Copper Coordination Chemistry: Biochemical and Inorganic
Perspectives. Edited by K . D . Karlin and J . Zubieta. Adenine Press, Guilderland 1983. 488 pp., bound, $ 69.00.
This book is a summary of the “1st Conversation in
Copper Coordination Chemistry” held at Albany State
University from the 1st to the 4th of June 1982. It presents
a series of investigations concerning the role of copper in
biological and inorganic electron transport processes and
in general catalysis, as well as new developments concerning the chemistry of Cul and Cu” complexes with nitrogen- and oxygen-containing ligands. The two editors wish
to use this volume to effect a connection between classical
inorganic chemistry and biology. Bioinorganic chemists
seek to gain an insight into the complicated and multifaceted activities of proteins and enzymes by investigating
the structural and electronic properties of their active centers. Chemical and spectroscopic investigations of simple,
low molecular weight model complexes yield vital information when compared with the corresponding high molecular weight biologically active substances.
In his introductory survey E. Solomon characterizes
known Cu-enzymes and -proteins according to spectroscopic criteria and emphasizes the necessity of working out
the basics using inorganic complexes. Absorption transitions in the UVIVIS range, EPR, CD, and M C D as well as
the relatively new EXAFS spectroscopy were amongst the
spectroscopic techniques which found application here as
well as in the following contributions.
An EXAFS evaluation of the binuclear bonding center
of several derivatives of arthropod and mollusc haemocyanins by T. G . Spiro et al. begins the first section of the
book, which summarizes investigations of spectroscopy,
kinetics. structure and redox behavior. These include the
Angew. Chem. Inr. Ed. Engl. 23 (1984) No. 10
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