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Book Review Industrielle Anorganische Chemie. By W. Bfchner R. Schliebs G. Winter and K. H

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The monograph is divided into 19 chapters. The topics
covered by the first nine of these include methods in biosynthetic research, the genetic aspects of alkaloid metabolism and its regulation, the classification of metabolic sequences, and the localization of alkaloids in living cells
and its ecological significance.
Chapters 8 and 9 are concerned with the metabolism of
those amino acids which are important as alkaloid precursors. These chapters also introduce the principles of biosynthesis of alkaloids, leading u p to that part of the book
which treats the various classes of alkaloids. The classification is along biogenetic lines, treating in turn the alkaloid
groups derived from ornithine, Iysine, nicotinic acid, phenylalanine and tyrosine, tryptophan, anthranilic acid and
histidine, together with purine bases and alkaloids derived
from isoprene.
The clearly written and well organized text takes the
reader easily and directly through each topic, and the
many biosynthetic reaction schemes provided are a valuable help. It would, however, have been desirable for teaching purposes to clearly indicate in the diagrams those biosynthetic pathways which are not yet proven. This would
show at a glance the existing state of knowledge, and
might inspire young investigators to check these hypotheses by experimental work.
The external appearance of the monograph is attractive,
though the type quality leaves a little to be desired. While
the text, apart from the appendix, contains only a few
printing errors, there are some mistakes in the structural
formulas, which one hopes will be corrected in a second
edition.
This book gives a n excellent and detailed survey of the
biochemistry of alkaloids, and is as u p to date as is practicable in representing the current state of research. It is a
welcome addition to the literature on alkaloids, and is
strongly recommended for natural products chemists,
pharmacists and biologists. Nevertheless, its readership is
likely to be limited to some extent by the relatively high
price.
J . Srockigt INB 754 IE]
Pharmazeutische Biologie
der Universitat Munchen (FRG)
Industrielle Anorganische Chemie. By W. Biichner, R .
Schliehs, G . Winter, and K . H . Biichel. Verlag Chemie,
Weinheim 1984. xxiii, 645 pp., hardback, DM 108.00.ISBN 3-527-25069-2
“Industrial Inorganic Chemistry” is a textbook as well
as a reference work on inorganic products. The clear organization and the extensive index enable the book to be
used quickly and conveniently and make it possible for the
reader to obtain a survey over a diverse and important area
of chemistry.
The main chapters are: inorganic basic products, mineral fertilizers, metals and their compounds, silicones,
inorganic solid state materials and the cycling of nuclear
fuel. These chapters are subdivided according to chemical
criteria. For example, the chapter on inorganic basic products contains the sections: water, hydrogen, hydrogen peroxide and inorganic peroxides, nitrogen and nitrogen
compounds, phosphorus and its compounds, sulfur and its
compounds and halogens and halogen compounds. In
each of these sections the following topics are dealt with:
Anyew. Chern. Int. Ed. Engl. 25 11986) No. I0
distribution of raw materials, production processes, purification of products, economic significance and technical
applications. At the end of each section references give access to more detailed literature.
Production processes are described in close detail, discussing such aspects as the disposition of raw materials,
energy consumption and ecological problems. Metallurgical processes, with a few exceptions, are not discussed.
Particular attention is paid to economic aspects and to the
application of products. These are illustrated by numerous
tables, albeit containing data that is partly rather old.
In summary it can be said that this book covers a broad
scope in a clear and concise way. The excellent realization
of the book and the design with main and marginal columns justify the price of DM 108.00. It can therefore be
recommended to students, teachers, chemists, and colleagues from related disciplines.
J. Kohler [NB 723 IE]
Max-Planck-Institut fur Festkorperforschung,
Stuttgart (FRG)
Organomercury Compounds in Organic Synthesis. By R . C.
Larock. Springer, Berlin 1985. xi, 423 pp., bound, DM
268.00.- ISBN 3-540- 13749- 1
In recent years organomercury compounds have, despite
their toxicity, assumed increasing importance in organic
synthesis, primarily because of their selectivity. The present monograph, written by an expert in this field, is a
greatly extended version of an article in Angewandte
Chemie (1978) and a 1982 “Tetrahedron Report”. In addition to the preparation of organomercury compounds it
deals with the substitution of the mercury atom by hydrogen or halogens, the synthesis of compounds containing heteroatoms, and with dimerization, alkylation, acylation, carbonylation, and addition to alkenes and alkynes.
A newly added item is a particularly comprehensive chapter on carbene transfer reactions, a field in which much has
occurred since the appearance twelve years ago of the
“Houben- Weyl” work on organomercury compounds (Vol.
XIII/2b).
Solvomercuration-demercuration reactions have been
excluded, as these will be treated in a separate monograph
by the same author. The advance notice of the latter book
that is twice given in the preface would have been enough;
the author did not really need to repeat the advertisement
in twelve more places, including twice on p. 159, as his
work advertises itself!
The book is truly a mine of information for all chemists
engaged in preparative work, containing more than 2800
literature references, of which a considerable number are
from the Russian-speaking world. Rather then merely listing the various reactions, their advantages and disadvantages compared with other methods of synthesis are thoroughly discussed. The book is also eminently suitable as a
work of reference, especially on account of the twenty
summary tables which are distributed through the text.
Unfortunately a n author index, which would also have
been valuable in that respect, has not been included.
I could find very few typographical errors, although
there are what I would describe rather as unattractive
forms, e.g. the rendering of formulas for nitro compounds
as NO,-Ar instead of 02N-Ar. The presentation is outstandingly good, and the printing really excellent com943
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