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Book Review Kurze Anleitung zur Berechnung von -Elektronensystemen (A Short Introduction to the Calculation of -Electron Systems). By J. D. Roberts. An extended translation of УNotes on Molecular Orbital CalculationsФ by F. Wille

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Ketene acetals should also be included in a subsequent
edition; a single example only is referred to in the chapter
“Epoxides” (p. 484).
Under the subject “Conversions of oxonium salts” synthetic
methods involving pyrylium salts are mentioned briefly (pp.
352-358 and 363-365). On the other hand, acid- and basecatalyzed ring-opening reactions of epoxides are described
twice (p. 42ff. p. 448ff.). Perhaps this is inevitable in a work
written by several authors. Among the transformation reactions of epoxides, the preparatively interesting removal of
the oxygen atom by triphenylphosphine with the formation
of an olefin may deserve a comment. I n the treatment of the
methods of oxetane preparation by cycloaddition of olefins
to ketones (p. 503) there is no mention of the photochemical
formation of oxetanes (Paterno-Biichi reaction) from olefins
and carbonyl compounds; this method is of preparative
interest and in many cases proceeds stereospecifically. In
relation to the dihydrofuran-diene adducts (p. 559) in the
chapter o n the preparation of five-membered cyclic ethers,
some remarks concerning the stereochemistry of the adducts,
such as have been made in the case of similar compounds
on page 641, would be entirely appropriate.
Further, it would seem useful to the reviewer to adopt the
IUPAC nomenclature (pp. 559, 641, 643, 647), because
finding of the compounds discussed in collected works from
the subject index would then be made easier.
These few critical remarks are the only ones to have occurred
t o the reviewer during a careful reading, in which he was
assisted by Dr. H.-D. Scharf. In view of the abundance of the
material presented and discussed, this is proofof the qualityof
the work. The volume is a rich mine of chemical knowledge.
F. Korte
[NB 640 IE]
Biochemie der Vitamine (Biochemistry of the Vitamins). By
Th. Bersin. Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Frankfurt/
Main 1966. 1st Edit., vii, 296 pp., 16 figures, DM 44.-.
The author, who was compelled to undertake this venture by
his early work on the subject, attempts to describe the biochemical function and the therapeutic use of vitamins for the
benefit of physicians and dieticians. Such a work cannot be
more than a literature review, with more or less successful
attempts at systematization, and certainly cannot be original.
The book is divided into a general part, in which much of the
material is distorted though not actually incorrect, and a
special part, in which the various vitamins are discussed in an
old-established manner. A large quantity of material, divided
into biosynthesis, mode of action, therapeutic action, and
analogs, is compressed into a relatively small space, but
the discussion is frequently not sufficiently critical. In many
cases matters cannot be regarded in such a n unambiguous
and schematic way. It would indeed be delightful if they were
as certain as they appear to be from this presentation to the
uninitiated reader (e.g. in the methionine synthesis and the
mode of action of mercaptopurine). No definite function of
vitamin BIZ has been established in higher plants; the vitamins formed by intestinal bacteria are scarcely a source of
The unbalanced treatment of the material is a particularly
striking weakness. Trivia are given importance by a few
words (orbitals, nonpolar, translational motion); Americanisms (absorption instead of resorption) and nonstandard
units (yy, mcg) are simply adopted. Strange nomenclature
and interpretations (mongolism as mutation) seem dubious.
Apart from incorrect references ( Wolley, Jacobs, etc.) the
references to the authors own work (e.,q. Function of the nucleic acids: Vitalstoffe 8 (1963) 5) and the style are irritating.
On the other hand, the book contains a great deal of carefully
collected and useful material. The medical material will seem
interesting to the chemist and the chemical material to the
L. Juenicke
[NB 586 IE]
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. / Vol. 7 (1968) / No. 2
Kurze Anleitung zur Berechnung von Tc-Elektronensystemen
(A Short Introduction to the Calculation of x-Electron
Systems). By J. D. Roberts. An extended translation of
“Notes o n Molecular Orbital Calculations” by F. Wille.
S . Hirzel-Verlag, Stuttgart 1966. 1st Edit., xi, 165 pp..
paperback, D M 19.80.
The “lecture notes” type of textbook, with its economic
presentation, whose availability up to recent times has been
unfortunately restricted predominantly to English-speaking
countries, is here available in an exemplary form. The
didactically sovereign, easily understandable, and sometimes
unorthodox manner, which follows that of the basic Roberts
lectures, including those given in Munich in 1962, introduces
the student to the Huckel molecular orbital theory (HMO)
as the simplest quantum-mechanical approximation procedure - “to be able to make MO calculations while swinging
in a hammock beside a mountain lake”. N o extensive mathematical knowledge is assumed, and numerous exercises
provide an opportunity of becoming familiar with quantities
such as charge and bonding order, free valence, and delocalization energies. Further chapters deal with the application to
aromatic, heteroatom-containing, or nonplanar electron
systems, and t o the prediction of chemical reactivities. In
conclusion, the quantities neglected by the H M O theory are
discussed critically. There is a n appendix consisting of
worked examples, two original publications, and a bibliography. The German text is lucid; the number of misprints
is tolerable (e.g. cis-butadiene (p. 5 5 ) is always treated as
linear in the H M O scheme without making additional assumptions, “>” on p. 93 should be “<”. The chapter dealing
with determinant factorization with the help of group theory
has been extended to the general case, although only twodigit symmetry elements are used. A successful introduction
to determinant algebra has been added as a further appendix.
Numerical solutions of all exercises and an introduction to
the use of the now available H M O tables would have been
equally desirable. The book, provided with a preface by
R . ffuisgen, can also be recommended to the beginner as a
simple introduction to H M O theory and its application to
H. Bock
[NB 638 IE]
organic compounds.
Techniques in Protein Chemistry. By J. Leggett Bailey. Elsevier Publishing Company, -&msterdam-London-New York
1967. 2nd Edit., xiv, 406 pp., 118 figures, 53 tables, Dfl.
The very rapidly developing methodology of protein chemistry reached a comprehensive level a few years ago. Standard methods are now available for characterizing and purifying the proteins themselves and their degradation products.
In many cases these may have to be combined in different
ways or even modified, but when used together they generally
succeed in elucidating structure. Some of these procedures
may well be replaced by superior techniques, but this book
attempts to select several proved and particularly well developed methods. Moreover, it chooses procedures which
are applicable to research where purification o r sequence
analysis is only occasionally employed.
The limitation to reliable manipulative techniques such as
paper chromatography, ion-exchange chromatography, and
fingerprint procedures for amino acids and peptides, N- and
C-terminal sequence determination, column chromatography,
strip electrophoresis, dialysis, and molecular sieve separation
of proteins, splitting of disulfide bonds and sulfhydryl
determination in protein together with certain important
basic methods such as protein, nitrogen and tryptophan
determination, finds expression in a n arrangement hardly
changed from the first edition. The final chapter deals with
methods of synthesizing simple peptides such as the enzymologist selects as substrates.
New developments in this field account for the substantial
increase in size of the second edition. Here again J. L. Bailey
has succeeded in selecting successful and reliable new devel-
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