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Book Review Grundlagen der Biochemie I and II (Fundamentals of Biochemistry). By O. Mfller

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The synthesis and reactions of heterocycles containing a P-NN linkage are reviewed by J.-P. Majoral. The heterocycles
are classified according to the number of ligands at the phosphorus atom. Examples of compounds containing di-, tri-,
tetra-, and pentacoordinated phosphorus are the heterocycles
of type (1) to ( 4 ) . The reactions listed include primarily
clear Systems; Reality and Illusion of Benzyne Intermediacy.
Acc. Chem. Res. 11, 283-288 (1978); 65 references]
[Rd 40 IE]
those in which the coordination number of the phosphorus
changes and/or a new heterocycle is formed. [Synthesis and
Reactions of Heterocyclic Compounds Containing a P-NN-Linkage. Synthesis 2978, 557-576; 89 references]
[Rd 41 IE]
The synthesis of plycyclic systems by intramolecular ring closure via a benzyne derivative (2) generated in situ is the subject
of a report by S. V Kessar. The synthetic principle of the
reaction is illustrated in the scheme; Y is an atom such as
C, P, Si or preferably N, which can carry a negative charge;
X is e.g. C1. A detailed study has been carried out on the
synthesis of phenanthridine, which is obtained from a dihydro
precursor of type (3). [A Novel Route to Condensed Polynu-
The lectins have been comprehensively reviewed by I. J . Goldstein and C. E. Hayes. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins (glycoproteins) which occur in plants and animals; these
compounds were previously referred to as e. g. agglutinins,
hemagglutinins or phytohemagglutinins. An example of the
specificity of the lectins is the ability of lima bean extracts
to agglutinate exclusively erythrocytes of type A, i. e. this
lectin can distinguish the blood groups whose determinant
groups are carbohydrate chains. The biological function of
the lectins is still not absolutely clear. Lectins are used, e.g.
for blood group determination and for the detection of macromolecules which contain carbohydrates. Membrane-bound
carbohydrate-containing structures can be investigated with
lectins of defined specificity. [The Lectins: Carbohydrate-binding Proteins of Plants and Animals. Adv. Carbohydr. Chem.
Biochem. 35, 127-340 (1978); 875 references]
[Rd 42 IE]
Grundlagen der Technischen Elektrochemie (Fundamentals of
industrial Electrochemistry). By E. Heitz and G. Kreysa.
Verlag Chemie GmbH, Weinheim-New York, 1977. 1st
edit., xiv, 290 pp., 69 figs., 20 tables, paperback, DM 48.00.
Since electrochemical methods are now gaining ground in
many sectors of chemistry, we must welcome this book, which
discusses the electrochemical aspects of industrial chemistry.
This is a guide for experimental work. The first chapter
deals with experiments involving the most common measuring
techniques. The next chapter is devoted to material, charge,
and heat transport. Most of the experiments come under
the heading of electrochemical reaction technology. The following chapter covers electrode kinetics, kinetics in electrochemical reactors, separation systems in electrochemical cells,
optimization and experimental design, problems of structural
materials and corrosion, and model experiments concerning
the industrial control of reactions. Finally, a long appendix
covers electrochemical and industrial fundamentals, calculation exercises and the results and discussion of experiments.
The individual chapters have a logical structure: the authors
first mention the most important relevant literature, explain
the basic concepts, and give instructions for useful experiments.
The latter are particularly well chosen, for they illustrate
equally well the fundamentals and the industrial applications.
The authors have incorporated their vast practical experience
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 17 ( 1 9 7 8 ) Nu. 10
into the presentation of the. experiments. We can only agree
with their suggestion that one or another experiment should be
included in industrial chemistry or physical chemistry practicals. This manual certainly fills a gap and can be recommended
to everyone interested in the application of electrochemical
H . Baumgiirtel [NB 425 IE]
Grundlagen der Biochemie I and I1 (Fundamentals of Biochemistry). By 0.Miller, Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart,
1977. Istedit., vol. I: Biochemische Reaktionen (Biochemical
Reactions), xiii, 393 pp., 58 figs., 40 tables, paperback, DM
24.80. Vol. 11: Stoffwechsel der Organismen (Metabolism
of Organisms), x, 345 pp., 115 figs., 78 tables, 1 folding
table, paperback, DM 24.80.
A new pocketbook on biochemistry has been published,
which is planned for three volumes (the last volume, on metabolic regulation, has not yet appeared) each costing almost
DM 25.00. The total price is therefore DM 75.00, which in
itself invites comparison with the major standard works. It
is ambitious, for it is intended-as the preface says in both
volumes-"for students of biochemistry and related subjects
such as microbiology, botany, zoology, medicine, pharmacy,
agriculture, food chemistry, chemistry, and physics, who want
to learn the fundamentals of general biochemistry in a short
time. It is also intended as a self-study aid for chemists and
biologists in industry and in schools”. Such a textbook could
hardly be more ambitious, and it must therefore be judged
by like standards. The American textbooks, which are much
admired with good reason, set about their task with great
enthusiasm and gusto and are aimed at a limited audience-yet
they give much to many. They present exemplary science
in unpretentious colloquial language; they are admittedly not
always right by model-school standards, but they are always
stimulating, with suggestions, examples and digressions, give
us the feeling that something has finally “clicked”, and show
things in a different light. We find in them with delight and
satisfaction all that makes biochemistry such a fascinating
subject: its position between two sciences, encompassing the
horizons of both chemistry and biology, and a system of
adaptable coordinated hierarchies, which was elaborated by
the study of evolution and gives us something to ponder
over even in the case of non-biological material. But none
claims a “didactic concept” based on “remarkable successes”,
or “comprehensive treatment” ... “based on the systematic
discussion of reaction types”, behind which the student finds
the usual pushbutton approach of chemical cramming schools.
Enthusiasts will miss in these volumes (but also in the American
textbooks) explicit references to sophisticated metabolic reactions with ylides, hybrid ions, and organometallic compounds,
or to one-electron oxidations, transition states with carbonyl
groups, and covalent catalysis, to mention but a few. If such
examples are found, they come where they are least expected;
we find there also suggestions as to how reaction mechanisms
can be deduced from kinetic measurements, isotope-exchange
reactions, chiral transformations, etc., as well as ideas of what
a preparative chemist can learn from biochemical reactions
about catalytic tactics and biomimetic strategy. The author
also specifies the function of biochemistry as an intellectual
exercise-ground and a means for investigating intermolecular
interactions and mechanisms of catalysis, but does not mention
it as being a rational basis for molecular pharmacology and
a challenge to synthetic chemists. On the other hand, we
do find a useful classification of enzymatic reactions according
to their course and occurrence, and lists and formulas of
memory-taxing substances isolated from cells and tissues.
However, there is nothing here that we have not heard quite
often before; at this above-average price and with its exorbitant
claims, this is not a book that is long overdue.
L. Jaenicke [NB 427 IE]
Modified Cellulosics. Edited by R. M . Rowel1 and R. A . Young.
Academic Press, New York 1978. xii, 361 pp., bound, $
23.00.-ISBN 0-12-599750-7
Introductionto Stereochemistry.By K . Mislow. W. A. Benjamin,
Reading 1978.6th impression. xii, 193 pp., paper, $ 11.50.ISBN 0-8053-7101-X, pbk.
Intermolecular Forces. By 7: Kihara and S. Ichimaru. John
Wiley & Sons, New York 1978. vii, 182 pp., bound, E
9.50.-ISBN 0-471-99583-5
Die Bestandigkeit von Kunststoffen und Gummi. By B. Dolezel.
Edited and supplemented by C.-M. uon Meysenburg. Carl
Hanser Verlag, Miinchen 1978. xii, 684 pp., bound, DM
320.00-ISBN 3-446-12394-6
Progress in Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 4. Fundamental Aspects
of Organic Mass Spectrometry. By K . Leusen. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1978. xiii, 312 pp., bound, DM 88.00.-ISBN
Grundlagender Dimensionierung des Gas/Fliissigkeit-Kontaktapparates Bodenkolonne. By J. Stichlmair. Verlag Chemie,
Weinheim 1978. viii, 187 pp., paper, DM 48.00-ISBN
Statistische Versuchsplanung. By G. Retzlafl, G. Rust, and J.
Waibel. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1978. 2nd revised Edition. xi, 21 1 pp., bound DM 58.OO-ISBN 3-527-25779-9
Biostatistics:A Foundation for Analysis in the Health Sciences.
By W W Daniel. John Wiley & Sons, London 1978. 2nd
Edition. 504 pp., bound, ca. E 12.65.-ISBN 0471-02591-7
Registered names, trademarks, etc. used in this journal, even without specific indication thereof, are not to be considered unprotected by law.
0 Verlag Chemie. GmbH. D-6940 Weinheim, 1978. h i n t e d in West Germany by Zechnersche Buchdruckerei, SpeyerJRhein.
All rights reserved (including those of translation into foreign langmges). No part of this issue may be reproduced in any form - by photoprint, microfilm, o r any other means - nor transmitted or translated into a machine language without written permission from the publishers. Only single copies ofcontributions, or parts thereof, may be reproduced for personal use. Copies
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Editorial olfice: Boschstrasse 12, D-6940 Weinham, Germany, Telephone (06201) 14036. Telex 4655 t 6 vchwh d.
Editor: H. Griinewald . Translation Editors: A. J. Rackstraw and A . Slimson.
Publishers: Verlag Chemie, GmbH. (Managing Directors Jurgen Kreuzhoge and Hans Schrrmer) Pappelallee 3, D-6940 Weinheim, Germany
Correspondence concerning advertisements should be addressed to Verlag Chemie, GmbH (Advertising Manager R. J Roth) Pappelallee 3. P 0. Box 1?60:1280, D-6940 Welnhem, Germany
Telephone Weinheim (06201) 14031. Telex 465516 vchwh d.
Anyew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1 7 (1978) N o . 10
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