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Book Review Mycotoxins. Chemical Biological and Environmental Aspects. (Series Bioactive Molecules Vol. 9). By V

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cellulose, up to its complete carbonization, are discussed in
the light of spectroscopic and chromatographic evidence.
However, the number of different variables involved in the
pyrolysis process is so great that it is probably not realistic to
expect a clear relationship between chemical changes of the
fiber matrix and the structural and mechanical properties to
emerge here.
Chapter 5 is the longest and the most important as regards
detailed information content; it deals with the preparation of
doped C-fiber materials, with special attention to the effects
of different additives on the pyrolysis process. Although the
effects occurring during the different stages of the process
are many and varied, the authors succeed very well in deriving a systematic relationship between the chemical properties
of the additives and their effects on the pyrolysis process.
Chapter 6 is entitled “Surface Modification of C-Fibers”.
The main emphasis is on the introduction of ionic groups in
relation to ion-exchange applications, and on chemical and
thermal methods for increasing the adsorptivity of C-fibers.
Compared with this, the surface modification of C-fibers
to improve their adhesion properties in polymer and metal
fiber-reinforced composites is treated rather too briefly. Also
in the applications described in Chapter 7 the authors limit
their account mainly to low-modulus fibers and their typical
applications in the areas of adsorption, catalysis and medical
science. Uses of C-fibers in composite materials are treated
briefly, and for applications of high-modulus fibers the reader is referred to already existing reviews.
Although this monograph does not cover all aspects of the
chemical modification of C-fibers, it is a useful survey within
this specialized field. The qualities of the book that impress
are its high information content and the many literature
references, which in some parts raise it to the standard of a
handbook. It can be strongly recommended for the readership intended by the authors.
Worfgang Meyer [NB 1085 IE]
Max-Planck-Institut fur Polymerforschung,
Mainz (FRG)
Mycotoxins. Chemical, Biological and Environmental Aspects. (Series: Bioactive Molecules, Vol. 9). By V. Betina.
Elsevier, Amsterdam
1989. 438 pp., hardcover,
HFI 295.00.--ISBN 0-444-98885-8
The book gives an overview of the most important mycotoxins, their occurrence, their structures and physicochemicat properties, the fungi that produce them, their biosyntheses and their biological activities.
Chapter 1 covers very briefly, but also in a way understandable even to non-microbiologists, some aspects of the
taxonomy and chemotaxonomy of mycotoxin-producing
fungi. Mycotoxins and their producers are summarized very
clearly in four tables, with indications of the chapters in
which they are treated more thoroughly.
Chapter 2 covers general aspects of secondary metabolites, which include mycotoxins. The most important topics
and theories are introduced and discussed.
Chapter 3 summarizes the most important biological effects of mycotoxins. In addition to the toxic effects on man
and mammals, their effects on insects, plants and other microorganisms are discussed. The relevance of biological
screening is also discussed. Chapter 4, on modes of action,
describes many different sites of action and metabolic pathways that are affected by mycotoxins. Unfortunately there is
not much critical evaluation of published results. A distinc214
0 VCH Verlagsgesellschafl mbH, W-6940 Weinheim, 199i
tion between primary and secondary effects would have been
helpful to the non-specialist. Chapter 6 briefly describes
some ecological aspects of toxins and the organisms that
produce them. With regard to methods of detection, biological tests are described in most detail.
In the second half of the book, covering 12 chapters, the
most important mycotoxins are described, and arranged by
chemical structure or biological action. The aflatoxins,
sterigmatocystins and versicolorins, the ochratoxins and related compounds, citrinin, the tricothecenes, patulin and
other small lactones (penicillic acid, mycophenolic acid,
butenolide, citreoviridin), zearalenone, the cytochalasans,
rubratoxins, anthraquinones, tremorgenic mycotoxins (including penitrems and paspaline) and epipolythiopiperazine3,6-diones such as gliotoxins and chaetocins, are all comprehensively described.
The chapter “Miscellaneous Toxins” deals very briefly
with PR toxin, secalonic acid D, viridicatum toxin, cyclochlorotine, cyclopiazonic acid, moniliformin and fusarin C.
For each mycotoxin, information on the organism that produces it, its occurrence, the biosynthesis of the toxin, its
isolation and physicochemical characterization, its structure, biological activity, mode of action and ecological aspects is set out very clearly.
The book has several merits; it is easy to follow, well-organized, and contains essential information for all the toxins
listed, covering the literature up to 1988 inclusive. The mycotoxin producing organisms are listed separately in the index.
It is almost unavoidable for a book of this size to also contain some flaws. The formula of one of the tautomeric forms
of mycophenolic acid (p. 244) is incorrect. Beside the formula for moniliformin there is an extra unrelated group.
Overall, this book serves as an up-to-date compilation of
the most important mycotoxins. It can be recommended as
a reference work, as an introduction to the subject, or as an
accompaniment to lectures. Unfortunately the variety of biological effects are often only listed but not evaluated, which
reduces the value of the book for the non-biological reader.
Timm Anke [NB 1094 IE]
Lehrbereich Biotechnologie
der Universitat Kaiserslautern (FRG)
Biomineralization, Chemical and Biochemical Perspectives.
Edited by S. Mann, J. Webb and R. J. P. Williams. VCH
Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim/VCH Publishers, New
York 1989. xiv, 541 pp., hardcover, DM 274.00. ISBN 3-527-26750-6/0-89573-672-1
Reports on international conferences about aspects of
biomineralization appear at nearly regular intervals of four
to five years. A particularly important contribution on this
topic was that of the 1981 Dahlem conferences (Lve Science
Research Report 23). Up to then biomineralization had been
understood to be a process involving the formation of insoluble calcium compounds. In addition biomineralization had
come to be regarded as a biological phenomenon that also
includes pathological aspects such as the formation of stones
in the body, and demineralization processes (osteoporosis,
caries). Since 1983, however, the term biomineralization has
started to undergo a change of meaning to include the area
of “biological metal accumulation”, and appears to be becoming a part of “bioinorganic chemistry”. Thus the original meanings of the terms are gradually becoming blurred.
The bood reviewed here is well produced and appeais at
an opportune time, especially in view of the fact that, in
addition to the emergence of the aspects mentioned above,
0570-0833~91i0202-02i4$3.50+.25/0
Angew. Chem. h i . Ed. Engl. 30 (1991) No. 2
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