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Book Review Phospholipids. Chemistry Metabolism and Function. By G. B. Ansell and H. M

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to the view of the reader just how many physico-chemical
aspects are encountered in organic chemistry here. The book
can therefore be recommended to all students to aquaint
themselves with this field of research.
H.-H. Perkampus
[NB 3861244 lE]
Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology. Plastics,
Resins, Rubbers, Fibers. Edited by H . F. Mark, N . G.
Gaylord, and N . M . Bikales. Vol. 1 : A to Amino Acids.
lnterscience Publishers, a Division of John Wiley & Sons.
New York-London-Sydney 1964. 1st edit., XVIII
pp., numerous illustrs. and tables, price of single volume
G 18.15.0 (about $ 51.50), subscription price f 15.0.0
(about $ 41.50).
In view of the rapid development of polymer science and
plastics production within the past decades and of the
accompanying divergence of individual aspects of the subject, a complete survey of the field is highly welcome. The
present series will comprise about twelve volumes appearing
at a rate of at least two per year. About one thousand individual contributions written by acknowledged authorities
are planned.
The editors’ aims are clear from the following comments. The
production and the physical, chemical, and toxic properties
of all monomers will described together with their polymerization behavior. The production, properties, processing,
and fields of application of polymers will be discussed. Finished articles, e.g. rubber goods, and economic questions will
also be dealt with. Wherever appropriate, theoretical considerations are also to be interspersed.
This first volume contains 31 contributions. Eachcontribution
contains a detailed bibliography (including patents) ; particularly many references are given under the keywords
Abrasion Resistance (1 87 citations, not including general
references), Acids and Derivatives, Aliphatic (198), Acrylic
Ester Polymers (447), Acrylonitrile Polymers (333), Adhesion
and Bonding (156), Amines (176). The literature is covered
to 1962 (inclusive), in some places to 1964. Several tables
and figures contain previously unpublished results, mostly
made available by chemical companies.
A table (51/2 pp.) gives a detailed list of the symbols and
abbreviations used in the work. However, the list is not
consistent. F o r example, the symbols for kinetic and thermodynamic quantities are missingand there is no mention that
x can mean “conversion” as well as “degree of polymerization” (DP) or that the D P can also be denoted by n or y or
that c indicates the concentration. The average degree of
polymerization is denoted by DP, but the number and weight
averages of the D P are designated x,, and x,.
Some space could have been saved here and there, e.g. by
reduction of the size of some figures or by omission of
simple formulas in tables; moreover, in the reviewer’s
opinion, descriptions of methods for producing saturated
compounds of low molecular weight ( e . g . alcohols, acids, and
esters) or for preparing alkali metals need not have been
included in this encyclopedia.
Since the r-values of copolymerization depend on the temperature and on the reaction medium, indications of these
should have been given in all the tables or in the text, but
these are often omitted. On p. 512, the boiling point given
for methanol is 0.3 OC too high.
Temperatures are sometimes given in Centigrade and sometimes in Fahrenheit degrees, so that conversions have to be
made for comparison. T o simplify this matter, a centigradeFahrenheit conversion table should be included as a loose
insert in a future volume. Conversion tables for area, volume,
and mechanical units might also be added.
A few proposals might be mddc of features for inclusion in
the last volume in order to simplify use of the book.
1. In the contributions on individual polymers and monomers, the same concepts and properties are often given in
more than one place. Comparison of the data for various
products is made difficult by the fact that one does not know
where to look for numerical data. It is therefore suggested
that the last volume contain a n index of key words including
such headings as r-values for copolymerization, conversion
temperatures, @-temperatures, solubilities, solubility parameters, types of polymerization, graft and block polymers
(subheadings: production, properties), transfer constants,
statistics, methods for characterizing polymers (subheadings:
structure, molecular-weight distribution), etc. 2. Many
substances (monomers, polymers, auxiliaries, etc.) are
mentioned in many contributions, but then mostly in
different connections. Consequently, many searches for
specific information of certain substances will remain futile.
Hence, in order to find data on substances throughout the
whole work, a substance index would be very useful. 3. A
list of important technical terms in several languages would
be most helpful. Some readers will frequently encounter
translation difficulties, especially in the field of rheology, or
relative to mechanical properties and plastics processing.
Numerous clear structural formulas are given (in Equation 24
on p. 60 and at the foot of p. 735 there are errors in the
equations which d o not however change the sense); the
reproduction of the figures is good.
After perusal of the first volume, the reviewer feels that he
can recommend the work to those engaged in the field of
0. Fuchs
[NB 390/248 IE]
Phospholipids. Chemistry, Metabolism and Function. By G. 3.
Ansell and H . M . Hawthorne. B. B. A. Library. Vol. 3.
Elsevier Publishing Co., Amsterdam-London-New York
1964. 1st edit., XI11 + 439 pp., 56 figs., 39 tables, linen
D M 61.50 (about $ 15.50).
In 14 chapters the authors give a really comprehensive survey
of the current status of our knowledge in the field of phosphatides. It was only the development of new synthetic and
analytical methods within about the past 15 years that made
it possible to achieve a more intimate knowledge of this class
of compounds, whose importance still cannot be fully
appreciated at present. This realization is expressed primarily
in the chapter on the theory of the functions of phosphatides,
which is relatively short,probablyfor this reason. However, the
authors give a detailed discussion of the structures of phosphatides and of analytical and preparative methods for their
identification and isolation. Finally, after all the known facts
about the biosynthesis and degradation of phosphatides are
presented, a description o f the phospholipids from individual
organs and tissues or subcellular components is given. It is a
moot point whether the father brief treatment given to the
interesting and characteristicfattyacids,especially thoseofglycerophosphatides, is justified or not. Here the authors were
undoubtedly led by the consideration that much has already
been written on this topic elsewhere.
Since both authors work on the experimental biochemistry of
phosphatides in animal organisms, they have restricted their
presentation to this field and have not included vegetable
lipids. This necessarily reduces the readership of the book.
However, since any such book was not hitherto available,
this new publication is particularly welcome and will therefore
be gratefully greeted by many biochemists, clinicians, and
other scientists.
Hitdegard Debzich
[NB 3691227 IE]
The Biosynthesis of Steroids, Terpenes, and Acetogenins. By
J . H . Richards and J. B. Hendrickson. Frontiers in Chemistry. Edited by R . Bredow and M. Karplus. W. A. Benjamin Inc.. New York-Amsterdam 1964. 1st edit., X
416 pp., a few figures and tables, linen S 20.35.
In this book, possible and established routes for the biosynthesis of two classes of natural products are described.
The first class comprises the acetogenins, which can, in
principle at least, be formed by head-to-tail condensation of
acetate units, with or without subsequent rearrangement or
Angew. Chem. interiiat. Edit.
Vol. 5 (1966)
1 No. I
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chemistry, book, metabolico, ansell, function, review, phospholipid
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