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Book Review Lehrbuch der Pharmakognosie. Auf phytochemischer Grundlage. [Textbook of Pharmacognostics. The Phytochemical Basis]. By E. Steinegger and R. Hnsel

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It is not clear why there is a Section VIII A, because although
the data on DMSO and anhydrous sulfuric acid have already
been treated in Sections I-VII they appear here again, though
in somewhat greater detail. These details, as well as further
literature on the purification of solvents. electrical conductivity,
diffusion, density, viscosity, and transport numbers, which
are relatively new, are intended as a recent supplement to
Sections I-VII.
It would be preferable if Section VIIIB,
in which general references to the larger reference works are
given, also contained references to the appropriate German
books (e.g. Chemie in nichtwaarigen ionisierenden Losungsmitteln. Vieweg, Braunschweig 1960, in which electrochemistry
is emphasized).
Finally, Section IX contains lists of solvents and solutes, making this very welcome book a more than useful addition
to the bookshelf.
Jochtw Jandcr [NB 214 IE]
Lehrbuch der Pharmakognosie. Auf phytochemischer Grundlage. [Textbook of Pharmacognostics. The Phytochemical
Basis]. By E. Steinegyer and R. Hiinsel. 3rd Edit., Springer
Verlag. Berlin-Heidelberg-New
York 1972. xii, 557 pp.,
5 illustrations, bound DM 78.--.
This is the third edition of a textbook on theoretical pnarmacognostics, i. e. it contains almost nothing of the traditional
approach to practical recognition of drugs, no microscopic
morphology, no sections, no plant hairs, Ptc. There are only
occasional references to botany and to the distinguishing characteristics of drugs, and what is probably meant by the term
“pharmaceutical biology” in the new examination statutes
for pharmacists in the German Federal Republic appears
to have been neglected. For example, the term “assimilation”
does not occur, and in the description of the nucleic acids
and ATP the importance of these compounds in the context
of genetic information and energy metabolisni is not discussed.
By being restricted purely to the phytochemical description
of natural products, the 557 pages of text offer, on the other
hand, an impressive amount of descriptive matter. The work
is a virtual mine of information on natural products, especially
on the secondary plant products. The latest results of research
are recognized, selected according to pharmaceutical importance, and as far as possible with data on the pharmacology
and, when appropriate, on isolation and processing.
A modest plea is made for the inclusion of plant-derived
drugs with subtle and, in certain‘ cases undetectable, effects
in model tests (these are special areas which are of considerable
importance in Europe). Biosynthetic pathways are often given,
but, commendably, not taken as proven. The occasional
remarks on etymology and history provide pleasant relaxation
for the reader. (But Leonhartf Fuchs is introduced incorrectly
as a medical doctor from Frankfurt; he was in fact a professor
at Ingolstadt and later at Tubingen.) References to the original
literature facilitate the identification of sources. All in ail,
this is an interesting, valuable, and practical book, well worth
the money, and giving complete information on what is of
interest to the chemically-oriented pharmacist or physician.
Engelbert Graf
[NB 216 IE]
The Biochemistry of the Nucleic Acids. By J . N . Dac;idson.
Science Paperbacks. Chapman & Hall, London 1972. 7th
Edit., xiv, 396 pp., numerous figures, bound f 2.25.
Anybody who has long been concerned with nucteic a d s
will still remember the small book, from which he obtained
his first thorough and profound knowledge of this area 20
years ago, and which has remained a constant companion
Anguw. C’hrm. intrrnat. Edit.
1 Vol. 13 ( 1 9 7 4 ) 1 No. Y
with some updating revisions. In all its editions “Davidson”
has been a reliable guide to the increasingly complex field
which in other respects was becoming clearer. While formerly
the analytical composition and the physical chemistry of the
polar sugar phosphate skeleton, the base-pairing laws, and
finally the helical molecular structure were the undisputed
backbone of the field, now it is the biological functions during
the transformation of the genetic code into proteins and
enzymes that are in the foreground. The predominant part
of the book is therefore devoted to the molecular conformations of ribonucleic and deoxyribonucleic acids, the biosynthetic processes taking place in the replication and transcription, as well as the anabolism and catabolism of nucleic acid
components.
From decades of experience the author has mastered the
subject, and the most recent literature has been carefully
chosen, with a wide selection in each chapter. Clear and
informative diagrams in addition to impressive illustrations
further assist understanding. The presentation is often simplified. but always balanced and critical. There are no obvious
mistakes but, as can be expected, information has accrued
or become out of date. The text is clear and lucidly written
and does not present difficulties even for beginners. so that
this guide can be considered to be the best comprehensive
introduction for biologists and chemists to the biochemistry
of the nucleic acids and should be read by as many as possible.
L. J~rrrzickr [NB 218 IE]
Struktur und Bindung - Atome und Molekiile. By G. Grossmann,
J . Fubian. and H.-W. Kummer. Lehrbuch 1 of “Fachstudium Chemie”. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1973. 232 pp..
stitched, DM 25.00.
Struktur und Bindung - Aggregierte Systeme und Stoffsystematik. By J . Sieler, E. Butter, G. Haucke, G . Kiihn, and A .
Martin. Lehrbuch 2 of “Fachstudium Chemie”. Verlag
Chemie, Weinheim 1973. 212 pp., stitched, DM 25.00.
Controlled Action Drug Forms. By J . C. Colbert. Vol. 24 of the
series “Chemical Technology Reviews”. Noyes Data
Corporation, Park Ridge 1974. XII, 337 pp., bound.$36.00.
An Introduction to Conservation of Orbital Symmetry. A Programmed Text. By A . J . BeNumy. Longman Group Ltd.,
London 1974. X. 77 pp., stitched, f 1.50.
Foams. By J . J. Bikerman. Vol. 10 of the Series “Applied
Physics and Engineering”. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 1973. IX.
337 pp., bound, DM 61.60.
Acid Sulphate Soils. 18. Publication of the International
Institute for Land Reclamation and Improvement. Wageningen 1973. Vol. I : Introductory Papers and Bibliography.
Vol. 11: Research Papers. Edited by H. Dost. Vol. I : XIV,
295 pp. ;Vol. I1 : 406 pp.-Proceedings of the International
Symposium. 13-20 August 1972, Wageningen.
617
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