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Book Review Organic Reaction Mechanisms. By R. Breslow

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question arises whether further treatment after such a short
time is justified. In spite of considerable overlap between the
two articles the reviewer accepts the duplication: first, because elucidiation of substitution of this type is in very rapid
development (90 % of the experimental contributions belong
to the last ten years); and, secondly, because of the extraordinary thoroughness of Shepherd and Fedrick’s article
(about 800 references).
The good repute that “Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry”
earned by the first three volumes will certainly not be diminished by Volume 4.
Th. Kauffmann [NB 496 IE]
Agar Gel Electrophoresis. By R . J . Wieme. Elsevier Publishing
Company, Amsterdam-London-New York 1965. 1st edit.,
425 pp.. 116 figs., 25 tables, bound, D M 61.50 (about
An explanation of the physical basis of electrophoresis and a
review of suitable gels are followed by a description of the
methods used in practice for zone electrophoresis on agar gel,
e.g. fully enclosed gel and agar plates that contain a layer of
agar gel or agar sol. Analytical electrophoresis is the kernel
of the exposition, which describes in detail the methods used
with agar plates. Three types are differentiated: electrophoresis with a voltage drop of 5 V/cm or of 15 V/cm, and
electrophoresis in liquid agar sol. The literature is comprehensively and critically surveyed, so that this monograph
serves as a handbook of methods. Moreover, analysis of the
pherograms is explained in detail: localization of the zones in
dried agar film by physical and, particularly, by chemical
methods (specific color reactions) and their quantitative
evaluation are treated in detail. In addition the interesting
methods for localization of substances having enzymatic
properties are described, and finally precipitation by antiserum (immuno-electrophoresis). In conclusion an exposition
of the application of agar plate methods for the separation of
a diversity of substr tes occupies 171 pages, particular attention being naturally p id to proteins and enzymes.
The author’s wide experience is eviden in many sections of
the book. All who use electrophoresis will benefit from reading this excellent book and it is t o be hoped that it will help to
show the enquiring research worker the manifest advantages
of agar gel electrophoresis. For the next edition, which can be
confidently anticipated, the reviewer would like t o express a
few wishes: The methods used with agar plates (normal
voltage, high voltage, and agar sols) are carefully described
under these three variants, and it would be very useful if the
relative results achieved by them were explained for electrophoresis of one normal serum, with illustrations of the colored
pherogram and also of the usual protein diagram.
There is no one ideal method of electrophoresis - each method has its advantages and disadvantages, whose relative importance is determined in part by the problem set. The present
book enables the advantages of agar gel electrophoresis t o be
exploited, and thanks are due to the author for describing his
field of work.
W . Bockerniiller
[NB 497 IE]
Organic Reaction Mechanisms. By R . Breslow. W. A. Benjamin, Inc., New York-Amsterdam 1965. 1st edit. ix +
232 pp., numerous figs., paperback $4.35.-, bound $7.10.
The gap between a textbook and the original literature is
great. For a study of organic reaction mechanisms this gap can
be bridged by R . Breslo w’s original and didactically successful contribution. In seven chapters (Bonding in Organic Compounds ; Reaction Mechanisms and Reaction Rates ; Nucleophilic Aliphatic Substitution; Ionic Elimination and Addition
Reactions; Aromatic Substitution; Reactions of Carbonyl
Compounds; Reactions Involving Free Radicals) the reader
is introduced to nearly all the basic facts and aspects of
reaction mechanism. Even difficult subjects, such as MO
treatment of conjugated compounds, transition state theory,
electronegativity, hybridization, and general acid catalysis
are presented simply and clearly. The experiments o n which
theory is based are always emphasized. The discussions of
“special topics” which follow each chapter include the most
recent advances and familiarize the reader with such research
areas as Hiickel’s rule, enzyme catalysis, carbonium ion
rearrangements, cycloadditions, x-complexes and aromatic
substitution, redox reactions, and polar kffects in radical
Production and formulae, with a few exceptions (p. 224), are
excellent. As regards content, exception can be taken only t o
the identification of resonance with valence bond theory on
p. 9, for according to HeilbronnBi the former is closer t o MO
Students will benefit from this book in their preparation for
advanced ex inations, and all others for refreshing their
memory, since only textbook knowledge of organic and physical chemistry is required. An attraction, but also a problem,
of the book is the brief, concise presentation: this makes reading it a pleasure, but is too demanding for the beginner.
C. Riichardt
[NB 500 IE]
Fortschritte der Arzneimittelforschung [Advances in Drug
Research]. Vol. 8. Edited by E. Jucker. Birkhauser Verlag,
Basel-Stuttgart 1965. 1st edit., 530 pp., numerous figs. and
tables, bound, D M 115.- (about $29.-).
This volume, like earlier ones, contains comprehensive reviews of problems in drug research.
G . Woolfe devotes 42 pages to “The Chemotherapy of Amoebiasis”. After a short introduction t o the test methods
used in vivo and in vitro, there is a discussion of the chemistry,
pharmacology, and clinical use of emetine and the newer effective antibiotics and chemotherapeutic substances (Paromomycin, Biallylamicol, Entobex, Mantomid, Diloxanide, and
Mebinol). Although the new substances represent an advance for the physician and the patient, emetine and dehydroemetine are still essential for extraintestinal infections (198
references). - “Biochemical Effects of Drugs Acting o n the
Central Nervous System” are reviewed by L. Decsi in 100
pages. The first part is devoted t o metabolism in the central
nervous system and chemical transport. There follows a discussion of the biochemical action of substances that excite or
depress the central nervous system. The final discussion indicates that there is as yet no satisfactory conclusion in spite of
the extremely large number of publications in this field (1841
H . Uehleke reviews “Biological Oxidation and Reduction o n
Nitrogen of Aromatic Amino and Nitro Compounds” in 62
pages. The mechanism and reaction products are discussed
first. The second section deals with the toxic action of the
products, and in particular with the formation of methemoglobin and with the role the products can play in cancer formation by carcinogenic aromatic amines (473 references).“Narcotic Antagonists” are reviewed by S. Ascher and L. S .
Harris (58 pages). They report first on the chemistry of antagonists t o morphine and substances of similar activity. After
a short discription of the methods usually used t o determine
antagonist action, attention is directed t o the relations between chemical structure and activity and t o the pharmacology and clinical use. This review (223 references) closes with
a criticism of the receptor theory as explanation for the effect.
- M . W. Whitehouse devotes 106 pages t o a comprehensive
review of “Some Biochemical and Pharmacological Properties of Anti-Inflammatory Drugs”, referring to the often unsolved problems of the pathology and therapy of “rheumatic”diseases. A short introduction on the experimental
methods of testing anti-inflammatory or antirheumatic activity is followed by a discussion of presently known effects
o n the biochemistry of the organism and of relations between
chemical constitution and activity. A review of the known
changes in the biochemistry of the organism due t o rheumatic diseases, and consideration of the conclusions that can
be drawn from the results reported, close this contribution
(404 references).
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit.
VoI. 5 (1966) / No. 9
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