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Book Review Gas Chromatography Principles Techniques and Applications. By A. B

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Rapid developments in this field will of course mean that
now there are even more recent variants of instruments,
which no longer have the faults of their predecessors, and
this inevitably overtakes a carefully compiled book such
as this. Examples of omissions due to this factor include
a detailed account of the electrofocusing technique, rapid
analysis of enzymes in acrylamide gel, the more recent gel
electrophoresis methods, the theoretical derivations for
particle weight determination of proteins by gel filtration,
and many others. But the material that is here is first class
and extremely useful for any practising biochemist. The
individual sections of the hard cover compilation are to be
issued as separate paperbacks, which is very sensible, since
any experimenter who is using or thinking of using these
methods will want the appropriate book at hand. It would
also be a good idea if these were just as sturdily bound as
the main volume, since it is probable that they will be handed
around from one worker to the next.
L. Jaenicke
[NB 982a IE]
Laboratory Techniques in Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology. Vol. 2. By T. S. Work and E. Work, NorthHolland Publishing Comp., Amsterdam 1970. 1st ed.,
408 pp., bound, Dfl. 75.-.
The second volume of “Laboratory Techniques” consists
of two very timely sections : automatic enzyme determination, and the principles of cellulose-exchanger chromatography.
D. B. Roodyn, known as the author and editor of a whole
series of extremely valuable monographs, here presents a
review of over 200 pages of the techniques by which serial
analysis and series of analyses needed in modern clinical
and biochemical laboratories can be automated and programmed. Although as far as equipment is concerned the
author places most emphasis on the Technicon Autoanalyzer, his presentation is by no means one-sided, since
he tries to bring out the fundamental principles and to be
just to the other methods. This is extremely well done.
Descriptions are given of continuous and discontinuous
sampling, single and multiple enzyme analyses, serial
characterization of the physicochemical parameters of
enzymes, data processing, and presentation of the results.
In an appendix a FORTRAN program for a general enzyme
analysis system is given, together with a summary of all the
published automated enzyme determinations up to 1968.
For all his enthusiasm for his subject, the author’s presentation is critical and balanced. This is a book by a practical
man for the practical man, who will here find an advisor
reliable in every respect.
Before any chemical research can begin, the substances to
be used or investigated must be purified. For complex
biological materials and macromolecules, ion exchangers
based on cellulose have very recently been introduced and
have proved themselves extremely useful. E. A . Peterson
is one of the pioneers in this field. His 170-page monograph
results from the wealth of experience he has accumulated
over the past 15 years. It begins with a description of the
cellulose ion exchanger, and then turns to the theoretical
foundations of chromatography and the effect of varying
the parameters. The next sections, of special value from
the practical viewpoint, deal with selection of the chromatographic conditions, preparation of the exchanger, packing
and charging of the columns, the actual way in which
586
elution is carried out, and treatment of the eluate. Finally,
some current biochemical applications of importance are
described. Here too valuable tips are given and the commercially available instruments are listed. The wealth of
information given will enable even the novice chromatographer to approach his task with a certain amount of
confidence and to make sense of his findings.
In both parts of this book the clear presentation, the circumspect and practical arrangement of the material, and the
excellent appearance are particularly praiseworthy. This
book should be available to every biochemist.
L. Jaenicke
[NB 982b IE]
Gas Chromatography, Principles, Techniques and Applications. By A.B. Littlewood. Academic Press, New York
1970. 2nd. Edit., 546 pp., 152 figures, DM ca. 90.-.
The second edition of Littlewood’s book, like the first, is
divided into three general sections on principles,techniques,
and applications of gas chromatography. The strength of
the book lies in the particularly clear and lucid treatment
of the theory in Chapters 1-6. However, the discussion
of the theoretical relations separately from the applications
in the last few chapters will occasionally make it diilicult
for the analyst using the book to find explanations for
practical observations that he is unable to interpret.
Moreover, a comprehensive treatment of the diverse
applications of gas-chromatographic methods can scarcely
be achieved in the space of one textbook. Applications
should be discussed in a textbook only to make the relations easier to understand and to facilitate the use of the
special literature. This task is approximately fulfilled by
the last part of the book.
As far as the second part of the book is concerned, the
reviewer is of the opinion that it would have been better
to place the emphasis on other phenomena and relations.
The theory and construction of detectors such as the
thermal conductivity cell and the argon detectors are
described in too much detail. The analyst nowadays buys
an instrument or an important part of an instrument, such
as a detector, and will only rarely be able to make technical modifications and improvements. The properties of
a detector that play a large part in determining the reliability and accuracy of quantitative analyses, such as sensitivity, dead volume, linear dynamic range, drift behavior,
and calibration factors are important in this connection.
The treatment of the argon detectors, with the possible
exception of the electron capture detector, in no way
reflects their practical importance, which is decreasing.
Chapters 9 and 10 could have been shortened in favor
of Chapter 11 in particular. Reaction gas-chromatographic
methods and combined methods, column changing techniques, and automation of the analysis and of the evaluation are more important than some relations discussed in
Chapters 9 and 10.
Finally, the reviewer would ask the publisher to make the
print clearer and to draw more attention to important conclusions and basic principles by the use of bold type and
indentations. To sum up, we can only say that the strength
of the book lies in the clear and easily understandable
treatmeni of the theory, though the book can also provide
some important hints for practical problems.
Gerhard Schomburg [NB 973 IE]
Angew. Chem. internal. Edit. 1 Vol. I0 (1971) No. 8
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