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Book Review Progress in Bioorganic Chemistry. Vol. 1. Edited by E. Kaiser and F. Kzdy

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Progress in Bioorganic Chemistry. Vol. 1. Edited by
E . Kuiser and F. K i z d y . John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New
1971, 1st Edit., ix, 369 pp., numerous
figures and tables, E7.-.
The less time a scientist has to consult the primary literature,
the greater the importance he will attach to the secondary
literature. Handbooks and progress reports give informations on advances in individual fields of science and provide
a stepping stone for those wanting to break into new
domains. Publishers of secondary literature are therefore
assuming a steadily increasing burden of responsibility.
“Progress in Bioorganic Chemistry” is the latest newcomer
to the field of biochemical secondary literature. The editors
understand bioorganic chemistry to be the discipline that
has evolved from the interaction between biochemistry
and physical organic chemistry. In their view the aim of
this new science should be to promote the understanding
of biological reactions on the basis of the reaction mechanisms of organic chemistry, in qualitative and quantitative
terms, as well as the relationship between the reactivity and
structure of the participating molecules, in other words
especially catalysts. When we are also told in the Foreword
that the chief representatives of this science describe
themselves as enzymologists, biochemists, kineticists, and
physical organic chemists, then we may conclude that this
“new” science fits the old concept of enzymology or enzymatic catalysis, and this domain is hardly new. After all,
this year will see the appearance of the 35th volume of
“Advances in Enzymology”, a series which makes claims
similar to those of the new series under discussion, and
which, moreover, is brought to us by the same publisher.
On the basis of the first volume it cannot be said that these
new progress reports fill a gap. Together with “Advances
in Enzymology”, “Advances in Catalysis”, “The Enzymes”,
and “The Proteins”, they extend the existing series, and
hence could in principle extend the information available
in the field of enzymology. Do they in fact do so? Regrettably, the answer on the strength of this first volume must be
largely no. Kirby and Fersht devote 82 pages to intramolecular catalysis. The 62-page article by Bvuice published
in “Enzymes” in 1970 deals to a considerable extent with
a similar field, and many of the references cited are identical.
Hamilton’s paper on “The Proton in Biological Redox
Reactions” likewise contains material which appeared in
the new edition of “Enzymes” or which will do so shortly.
The main section of the book, about half, consists of an
article by Coleman on the role of metal ions in enzymatic
catalysis. This field was reported by Vallee and Wucker a
year ago in even greater depth than in the present work
(“The Proteins”, Volume 5 ) and by Mildvan in the new
edition of “Enzymes”. (Why does Coleinun on p, 314 still
treat lactate, malate, and glutamate dehydrogenase as zinc
One puts down the first volume of “Progress in Bioorganic
Chemistry” with some dissatisfaction. Such extensive overlapping with other progress reports could have been
avoided, for the coverage of “Enzymes” and “Proteins” has
been known for a long time. This is a poor start for a new
series, and the editors will have to seek out more original
subjects in order to justify its existence. If they cannot do
that, then it would be better to discontinue the series.
Horst Sund
[NB 127 IE]
Organophosphorus Chemistry. Vol. 3. Specialist Periodical
Repprts. Published by The Chemical Society, London
1972. 1st ed., x, 303 pp., bound f 7.-.
The rapid growth of phosphorus chemistry can be seen
from the third volume of “Organophosphorus Chemistry”,
which covers the literature between July 1970 and June
197 1. The publication was again executed under the expert
direction of S. Trippert, who had the cooperation of eight
well-known British specialists as co-authors. 1254 references containing the results of 2055 authors have been
taken into account. The division of material that proved
successful in the earlier volumes has been retained : Phosphines and Phosphonium Salts (D. J . H . Smith, 29 pp.);
Pentavalent Phosphorus Compounds (S. Trippert, 1 1 pp.);
Halophosphines and Related Compounds ( J . A . Miller,
13 pp.); Phosphine Oxides and Phosphine Sulfides ( J . A .
Miller, 14 pp.); Acids ofTrivalent Phosphorus (B. J . Walker,
29 pp.); Acids of Pentavalent Phosphorus ( N . K . Hamer,
27 pp.); Phosphates and Phosphonates of Biochemical
Interest ( D . W Hutchinson, 28 pp.); Ylides and Related
Compounds (S. Trippert, 37 pp.); Phosphazenes ( R . Keat,
39 pp.); Free-Radical, Photochemical, and Deoxygenation
Reacti6ns (R. S. Dauidson, 18 pp.): Physical Methods ( J .
C. Tebbj,, 45 pp.).
The value of this series of books for many preparative
and also biochemical laboratories can therefore scarcely
be overrated, since despite strenuous efforts, the new edition
of “Kosolapoff‘ is constantly falling behind schedule and
the series “Topics in Phosphorus Chemistry” has ceased
The third volume of “Organophosphorus Chemistry”, like
its predecessors, makes a good impression in every respect,
and can be recommended to all interested specialists.
Leopold Horner
[NB 129 IE]
The Nuclear Overhauser Effect-Chemical Applications.
By J . H . Noggle and R . E . Schirmer. Academic Press,
New York-London 1971. 1st ed., xi, 259 pp., numerous
figures and tables, bound J 14.50.
Nearly all the textbooks on high-resolution magnetic NMR
spectroscopy that have appeared in recent years and are
suitable for chemists provide insufficient information on
spin-lattice relaxation and the closely related nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE). Until now there has been no synopsis
that both deals with the theory at a middle level and
clearly shows the possibilities and limitations of the
This gap has now been bridged by the present monograph.
A concise, clear introduction to spin-lattice relaxation by
consideration ofpopulation differences and transition probabilities and an explanation of the relaxation times are
followed by the derivation of the Solomon equation. Contrary to their expressed aim, the authors were evidently
unable at this point to avoid referring to Abragam’s “Principles of Nuclear Magnetism”at the start of the calculation.
Further mainly theoretical chapters deal with the
mechanisms of spin-lattice relaxation, the fundamentals
of the determination of internuclear distances, and conformational analysis with the aid of the NOE. A number
of sections in Chapter 5 (Experimental Methods), could,
Aiiqew. Chem. mremut. Edit.
1 Vol. I 2 ( 1 9 7 3 ) 1 N o . 10
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