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Book Review Light Physical and Biological Action. Edited by H. H. Seliger and W. D. McElroy

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chaptcrs are devoted to amino acids, peptides and proteins,
carbohydrates and their derivatives, sterines, and steroids.
T!ie;e follows a discussion of metabolic products, the determination of which is important in the study of biochemical
processes or for diagnostic purposes, e.g. for the testing of
organ functions or for the determination of pathological
changes in function.
The majority of such problems involve the determination of
compounds in organic materials of plant or animal origin.
Consequently, if the iso!ation and purification operations are
not to be too expcmive, the specificity of the method plays an
importdncc role. The critica! notes in this connection, which
also deal with sensitivity, reproducit ivty, and possible errors
of e a c t individual method, therefore will be particularly
valuable to the user. Furthermore, a3 rn the previous volumes,
an Bttempt is again made together in the course of the color
reactions on which a determination is based. The literature
is systematically covered up to the end of 1962, and “a
number of important studies published in 1963 are also
taken into account”.
This volume of the manual again gives a n impression of
havin? been carefully compiled. The volume will be very
welcome in all laboratories in which such investigations are
cairied out, since, by obviating the need for laborious
literature searches, it greatly facilitates the choice of a
H. Eohme
[NB 554 IE]
[l] Cf. Angew. Chem. 75, 390 (1963).
121 Cf. Angew. Chem. 76,700 (1964).
Fortschritte der Arzneimittelforschung. Progress in Drug
Research. Progres des recherches pharmaceutiques, Vol. 9.
Edited by E. Jrrcker. Birkhauser Veda& Basel-Stuttgart
1966. 1st Edit., 414 pp., numerous ngures and tables, cloth
D M 88.--.
The 9th volume of the series[*] again presents detailed
reviews of important topics. H. J. Melching and C . Streffer
report (118 pp.) on work on “The influence of drugs on
the sensitivity of mammals to radiation”. After a short
introductory passage on the biochemistry of radiation
damage, the various groups of active substances are critically
discussed and a brief description of their action mechanism
closes the section. A discussion of “Structural considerations
o n psychopharmaceutics: attempted correlation of chemical
constitution and clinical effect“ is presented by K. Stach and
W. Piildingrr (61 pp.). The pharmacology and clinical use
of the drugs, with particular reference to the tricyclic diphenylamine and diphenylmethane derivatives, and the
relationships between chemical constitution and activity are
discussed. Special mention is made of the difference between
planar (ctlorproniazine type) and twisted (imipramine type)
ring systems. The article also contains sections on Rauwolfia
alkaloids, benzoquinolizines, and butyrophero ne and hydrazine derivatives. A report by R lfnwking on the “Chemotherapy of Filariasis” covers 27 pages A mncise description
of the types of Filarin that are important in clinical research
and of in vitro and iQ n v o evaluation methods precedes a
discussion of the chemotherapeutic agents of proven activity
in this field: diethyl-carbamazine, antimony, arsenic and
cyanine compounds, suramin, and bisquinolinium compounds. A very comprehensive article on “3,CDihydroxyphenylalanine and related compounds” is presei:ted by A . R .
Ptrtel and A . Brrr,yc?r(56 pp.). Comprehensive tables first give
the physical and chemical properties of the intermediates
and the yields in the synthesis of 3,4-dopa, its positional
isomers, and a number of derivatives. This Is followed by
analytical and pharmacological data on dopa. Finally, the
dopa decarboxylase inhibitors, particularly 3-methyldopa
are discussed and a brief section on 3,4-dihydroxyphenylserine concludes the article.
R . L . Smith contributes 54 pages on “The biliary excretion
and enterohepatic circulation of drugs and other organic
Atigew. Chem. intermit. Edit.
Vol. 6 (1967) / No. 4
compounds.” After a discussion of the mechanisms involved
in biliary excretion, the fate of the excreted products in the
intestines and their possible role as carcinogens are examined.
The author goes on to give a survey of the classes of substances that are predominantly excreted with the bile and the
constitutional factors involved. The article by K . Wiesner and
H. Fink on “Activity and side effects of metronidazol in the
treatment of trichomoniasis” presents a critical evaluation
of all the existing literature. For the reader’s guidance, the
numerical data from the various publications are reproduced
in tables (24 pp.).
The valuc of this work for orientation in the field of drug
research is enhanced by an excellent subject index for the
present volume and a n author and article index for the nine
volumes published so far. The presentation of the book is
0. Schairmann
[NB 557 IE]
once again excellent.
[*] Cf. Angew. Chem. 78, 831 (1966); Angew. Chem. internat.
Edit. 5, 854 (1966).
Compilation of Mass Spectral Data. By A . Cornu and R . Mussot. Published jointly by Heyden & Sons Ltd., London, and
Presses Universitaire de France, Paris 1966. 1st Edit.,
xv, 617 pp., cloth E 14.
Mass spectra, like I R spectra, are well suited to the characterizstion of organic compounds. Although many reference
spectra have been compiled in recent years, these exist
mainly in company collections and are not generally accessible.
In the present book, Curnu and Massot have compiled tables
of the data required for the mass-spectroscopic identification
of compounds (the intensity values of the ten highest peaks)
from a total of some 5000 spectra taken from such collections
and from the literature. It is easy to find a compound quickly,
since the tables are arranged according to the empirical
formula, the molecular weight, the strongest peaks, and the
source of the spectra.
Unfortunately, no line representations of spectra have been
taken into account in the compilation of the tables, though
this is the type of representation almost exclusively used by
organic chemists nowadays. Thus the collection does not
contain a single spectrum from the hundredor so fundamental studies by Djerassi. On the other, hand, the spectra
published several times in the API catalogue of mass spectra
also appear several times in the book for example, on pages
11B and 12B there are ‘five spectra of cyclohexene, distinguished only by a slight difference in the intensity values.
These differences are due to variations in equipment and
experimental conditions and are of n,o great experimental
importance. It was therefore unnecessary to give the intensity
values to a n accuracy of tenths of a percent, since such an
accuracy cannot be achieved in comparative work with
different instruments.
To summarize, it can be said that this collection of spectra
is very useful for the identification of thermally stable compounds (e.g. hydrocarbons, esters, and aromatic compounds),
the spectra of which could be recorded before 1960 by the
methods hsual at that time; however, the reader will search
in vain for spectra of such compounds as have been analysed
by mass spectrometry during the past five years. These
spectra already form a large part of the available data. This
defect could be overcome by the publication of a supple‘J. Spitrllrr
[NE 553 IE]
mcntary volume.
Light: Physical and Biological Action. Edited by H. H. Seliger
and W. D. McE1ro.v. Academic Press, New York-London
1965. 1st Edit., xi, 417 pp., several figures. $ 12.--.
The book is intended to give the beginner a general picture
of the problems and the state of photobiology. The first part
(Chapters 1 to 3) deals with the physical principles, and the
second part (Chapters 4 and 5 ) with the biological phenomena.
In Chapter 1, a n introduction on the nature of light is
followed by a discussion of the measurement of light, the
characteristics of various light sources, and the production
of monochromatic light. This is followed, in Chapter 2, by
a description of primary photophysical processes, starting
with energy level diagrams and electronic states, then
fluorescence and energy transport, and finally reactions in
gases and in solution. The chapter ends with a discussion of
the photographic process and examples of photochroism
and photoisomeric reactions. Chapter 3 deals with chemiluminescence in gases and liquids, and Chapter 4 with
luminescence in biological systems. After a description
of biological structures, Chapter 5 discusses photosynthesis.
This is followed by descriptions of the phenomenon of
vision, photoperiodism, phototaxis, and the action of UV
light on biological cells.
The book ends with seven appendices containing a number
of data and descriptions of instruments including the laser.
In view of the range of material covered, the choice of
examples is necessarily limited However, the selection of
subject matter is often not very suitable. For example, it is
superfluous t o describe photographic processes and their sensitization or lasers in this context, when protolytic reactions,
redox processes, and Rash photolysis are not dealt with. On
the other hana, a preparatory treatment of the problems of
energy transport is presented in the first part although this
phenomenon in photosynthesis is not even mentioned in the
second part. A better correlation of the physical and biological parts is to be hoped for in the second edition.
The treatment of biological structures deals with ideas that
were current in 1959, but not with the more recent results.
The chapter o n photosynthesis is too brief, and inaccurate in
places. On p. 86, the energies of the emission bands are given
H. T. Witt
[NB 551 IE]
Ligand Substitution Processes. By C. H. Langford and H. B.
Gray. From the series “Frontiers in Chemistry”. W. A.
Benjamin, Inc., New York-Amsterdam 1965. 1st Edit.,
viii, 111 pp., numerous figures, $9.35.
At a time of rapid progress in the study of ligand exchange
processes the appearance of this monograph, presenting a
modem interpretation of “classical” results, is to be welcomed.
An introductory chapter lays down a new principle for the
classification of ligand exchange reactions in which both the
mechanism established from kinetic studies and the molecular processes involved are taken into consideration. The
applicability of this classification, 4s auplied to the most
thoroughly studied complexes of P;(irl and of CO(III),is
demonstrated in the two following chapters. More recent
investigations o n other metals are also briefly mentioned,
but the methods of investigation are n o t discussed. Each
chapter ends with a summary and a list of original publications (up to 1965)
In view of the small size of the book, some knowledge of coordination chemistry and reaction kinetics is presupposed by
the authors. Nevertheless, the book is very clearly written
and excellently illustrated, and can be recommended even as
a n introduction to this special field.
2%. Kruck
[NB 569 IE]
Advanced Physical Chemistry. Molecules, Structure and
Spectra, by J . C . Davis j r . The Ronald Press Conipanv,
New York 1965. 1st Edit., x, 632 pp., numerous figures,
cloth $ 12.00.
Physical chemistry is not only an independent scientific
discipline, but also serves as a link between physics and
chemistry. One of the tasks of a textbook of physical chemistry is therefore to introduce the chemist to the physical
methods that are important to him, including those o f
theoretical physics. A few decades ago, thermodynamics was
undisputedly the most important field of theoretical physics
as far as chemists were concerned; nowadays, however, a
knowledge of molecular dynamics, quantum theory, statistical mechanics, and the theory of magnetism is becoming
increasingly important in chemical research. Accordingly,
at least half of the present textbook is it sort of “Theoretical
Physics for Chemists”. The adjective “advanced” in the title
means only that the subject matter goes beyond the usual
training in physical chemistry. No previous knowledge is
required, apart from some experimental physics and as much
mathematics as the average American reader might be
expected to possess.
The principles of classical mechanics and of quantum
mechanics are introduced in a rigorous form and are clearly
interpreted. The leader should be able to gain an understanding of operator calculus from this textbook. One chapter is
devoted to the fundamentals of statistical mechanics and its
relation to thermodynamics. Further chapters deal with the
theory of angular momentum, spin, and magnetic moments,
the approximatiorr methods of quantum mechanics, and the
theory of the absorption and emission of light. Special
attention is given to .molecular rotation (also with respect to
applications of microwave spectroscopy), the theory of
molecular vibrations (but stopping before normal coordinate
analysis), and the fundamentals of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The treatment of the relationship
between electronic structure and UV spectra is somewhat
short, and the theory of chemical bonding us really only
touched upon.
The book is well compiled from the didactic standpoint,
logically arranged, and as lucid as possible in its reasoning.
The main emphasis is always placed on the fundamental
relationships. Special applications are presented for illustration rather than as ends in themselves. A wealth of interesting
exercises (unfortdrately the mlutions are not given) enables
the reader t o check haw much he has understood.
In many places the reader may notice a lack of absolute
rigor or failure to mention details that are not unimportant.
The transitian from the Lagrange function to the Hamiltonian
function should (like the transitian from internal energy to
enthalpy in ttermodynamics) be substantiated. An important
point in the derivation of the Planck radiation formula is
that Bose statistics for light quanta are used. The derivation
given for the Boltzmann velocity distribution is not quite
rigorous. In Chapter 7, the term “hydrogen-like functions”
is used in a very unconventional sense. The Dirac 6 function
is incorrectly defined on p. 504. The statement (p. 454) that
VB functions are known as bond orbitals is also incorrect.
On the other hand, one finds many critical comments on the
concepts introduced. The author generally avoids oversimplified “proofs”.
Anyone concerned with or interested in molecular spectroscopy or questions of molecular structure in general will
find what theoretical principles he requires in this book.
W. Kurzelnigg
[NB 561 IE]
Conformational Analysis. By E. L. Eliel, N . L. Allinger, S. J .
Angyal, and G. A . Morrison. John Wiley & Sons,Inrz,
New York-London 1965. 2nd ed., xiii, 524 pp., numerous
illustrations, paper $ 15.00.
The object of stereochemistry is to correlate the spatial
arrangement of the atoms in molecules with the physical and
chemical properties of the latter. This undertaking formerly
met with only limited success, since the internal mobility of
the molecules, which seemed excessively complicated, was
disregarded. I t is now accepted that it is unnecessary to
consider all steric arrangements (e.g. conformations) of
mobile molecules. Many “pure” substances simply consist of
a few molecular species (mostly conformers), which (at
present) cannot be separated owing to their rapid interconversion.
Conformational analysis consists in the determination of the
composition of these mixtures by physical methods, and so
Angew. Cham. internat. Edit. 1 V d . 6 (1967) / No. 4
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