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Book Review Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology. Vol. 1. By B. W. Agranoff J. Davies F. E. Hahn M. G. Mandel N. S. Scott R. M. Smillie and C. R. Woese edited by F. E

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B O O K REVIEWS
Table of Ion Energies for Metastable Transitions in Mass
Spectrometry. By J. H. Beynon, R. M. Capnoli, A. W . Kundert and R. B. Spencer. Elsevier Publishing Company,
Amsterdam-London-New York 1970. 1st Edit., 506 pp.,
bound, Dfl. 70.00.
“Metastable ions”, i.e. ions which decompose on the way from
the ion source to the collector, play an important role in the
investigation of mass-spectrometric decomposition processes
because they yield information o n cleaved-off particles. Metastable ions lead to the formation of relatively broad bands in
the corresponding mass spectra. However, the low intensity of
such bands makes them difficult or impossible to detect.
To facilitate the task of detecting metastable ions Beynon, one
of the authors, has evolved an elegant method: normal ions from
the ion source of a double-focusing apparatus pass through the
field-free space with a kinetic energy E into the electrostatic
sector field. In contrast, metastable ions, which are decomposed
in the field-free space, carry only the fraction F = Em2/mlof
the kinetic energy of the parent ions, ml being the mass of the
parent ions and m2 that of the daughter ions. These ions can
only pass through the retarding potential if the voltage V in
the electrostatic sector field is reduced to the value Vm2/ml.
If the voltage is continuously changed from 0 to V, one obtains
a spectrum of the kinetic energies of all metastable transition
processes. Since in this case there is no overlap with the normal
spectrum, this technique constitutes a very sensitive method for
investigating metastable ions.
With the aid of the present tables the corresponding metastable
transition processes can easily be determined from the kinetic
energy values, which can be read off directly. This book will
therefore be an indispensable and time-saving tool for all laboratories in which IKE (ion kinetic energy) spectra are used
for the study of metastable ions.
Spiteffer [NB 923 IE]
Disinfection. Edited by M. A. Bernarde. Marcel Dekker, Inc.
New York 1970. 1st Edit., xiii, 466 pp., $ 24.50.
This book demonstrates that disinfection still belongs to an underdeveloped area of research. In many cases ultraconservatism
- “disinfection rituals” - stands in the way of the few new possibilities in the field of disinfection. In practice, disinfection IS
primarily a question of money and of suitable staff.
The book is aimed at all people working in research, hygiene,
and the foodstuffs industry who are interested in new discoveries
in the field of disinfection. Nineteen authors have contributed
to the book, most of them giving detailed reports on specialized
fields. The collaboration of the team of authors, however laudable in itself, sometimes leads to overlapping and unnecessary
repetition.
One is inclined to divide the book into a theoretical and a practical and technical part. The first part would have been improved
by condensing some parts and expanding others. Bacterial metabolism and mechanisms of action should perhaps have been put
in one chapter and the sites of action of the common disinfectants
and (in somewhat more detail) those of some antibiotics could
have been included in the metabolism and biosynthesis schemes.
A few basic theoretical aspects could also have been transferred
from the practical and technical section into the theoretical section which is rounded off with chapters on disinfection kinetics,
the destruction of resistant bacterial spores and viruses, the
scope for the application of gas disinfection, and the disinfection
problem per se (American hospitals).
Further reports on disinfection procedures in hospitals (Japan,
USSR) form the transition to the practical and technical section.
From this point on the book assumes something of the character
of a practical manual (which the editor wanted to avoid). Disinfection in the milk industry is treated in too much detail; there
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit. / Vol. 10 (1971) / N o . 2
is also a lot of information on the disinfection processes in the
foodstuffs, fish, and drinks industries.
The layout of the book is attractive. Some points of confusion
and a few printing errors should have been avoided.
Hans Bender [NB 920 IE]
Progress in Molecular and SubcellularBiology. Vol. 1. By B. W.
Agranoff,I. Davies, F. E. Habn, M. G. Mandel, N . S. Scott,
R. M. Smillie, and C. R. Woese, edited by E E. Hahn.
Springer-Verlag,
Berlin-Heidelberg-New York
1969.
1st Edit., vii, 237 pp. 32 figures, bound, DM 58.-.
Molecular biology has pleged itself, like a kind of religious
society, to a “central dogma” according to which DNA alone
regulates all life processes; it is always seeking new frontier regions in which to carry out its mission and establish regularities
that can be explained by physical phenomena. The law that derives from the central dogma is that of the “information flow”
(nothing is added to the clarity of this concept by the fact that
it is used so loosely and its meanings are so obviously varied),
controlled according to time, place, and quantity by membranes,
hormones, and nerve cells. Thus, after molecular genetics and
many other things, the study of nervous processes has now
caught the interest of molecular biologists.
The series “Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Microbiology” begins in a very promising way. The editors have commissioned several skilled and knowledgeable authors to write
within a wide, general framework. In a very well constructed section C.R. Woese deals with what intellectual and heuristic implications the solution of the genetic code had for molecular
biology. B. W. Agranoff has contributed a stimulating chapter
on the role of macromolecules in the cerebral function. H e
comes to the conclusion that the higher animals have a natural
behavior repertoire which is “1earnt”in a similar way to immune
body formation. A typical chapter on subcellular biology is that
which deals with the autonomic biosynthesis of chloroplasts,
written in lucid detail by R. M. Smillie and N. S. Scott. An
information molecule controls the formation of a complex structure: taking 5-fluorouracil as an example, H. G. Mandel describes what happens when artificial blockages and defects are
incorporated into such information molecules, while J. Davies
investigates the natural band width of the replication mechanisms.
All of these sections are informative and well presented, although many doubts remain as to the persuasive power of so
many ephemeral arguments. However, it is only recently that
exceptions to the central dogma and to the reliability of the
translation mechanisms have become known. The present book
is successful in its intention and will also serve to familiarize the
chemist with the thinking and the problems of the molecular
biologist.
L. Jaenicke
[NB 924 IE]
Quantenmechanik und Tbeorie des Molekiilbaues (Quantum
Mechanics and the Theory of Molecular Structure) By W.M.
Tatewski. Verlag Chemie GmbH, Weinheim/Bergstr. 1969.
1st Edit., 126 pp., numerous figures, stitched, DM 19.50.
The title of this book is misleading; it is not a n introduction to
current theory on chemical bonds and the electronic structure
of molecules. The author has instead set out to show, on the
basis of quantum mechanics, how well founded the concepts
and laws of classical structure theory are and where they can
be applied. He comes to the conclusion that at present it is not
possible in the case of polyatomic molecules to derive either
exactly or even approximately the concept of chemical bonding
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