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Book Review Propellanes. Structure and Reactions. By D. Ginsburg

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BOOK REVIEWS
Propellanes. Structure and Reactions. By D. Ginsburg. Monographs in Modern Chemistry, Vol. 7. Edited by H. F. Ebel.
Verlag Chemie, GmbH, Weinheim 1975. 1st Edit., viii, 272
pp., ca. 600 formulas,bound DM 138.-.
Ten years of propellane chemistry-is that a reason for
writing a book about it? The author himself gives the best
reply: the monograph is written so well that the question
never even occurs to the reader.
A pioneer in this field of research, Ginsburg reports on
the worthwhile results of 365 publications that appeared up
to 1974. In this hecovers a wide field and makes it convincingly
clear why propellanes are the ideal molecules for studying
many types of problems (bond fluctuation, aromaticity, homoconjugation, stereoelectronics, ring strain, dualism of photoinduction and thermal excitation, conservation of orbital symmetry, etc.). The reader finds all that is worth knowing about
the synthesis, structure, and reactions of this fascinating class
of substances. The book offers at the same time a glimpse
into the preparative organic laboratory, for experimental
details are discussed in detail when they are necessary for
an understanding of the problem.
The particular attraction that endows this book with exceptional status is the courage repeatedly to leave pure chemistry
aside. The marginal comments scattered here and there display
a personal style and provide intellectual satisfaction.
The book contains an unusually large number of structural
formulas; reading at a glance is thus made much easier. (That
a few printing errors have crept in can be forgiven in a
first printing.)
The book has given the reviewer valuable pointers for his
own research. For those interested in alicyclic chemistry it is
a true mine of information. Anyone new to the subject itself
but finding pleasure in an elegantly formulated and highly
stimulating text will also find his money well spent.
Giinther Maier [NB 376 IE]
Isoelectric Focusing. Edited by N . Catsimpoolas. Academic
Press, New York-London
1976. 1st Edit., xii, 265 pp.,
bound, $ 23.50.
The intention behind this work has been to validate the
vigorous development of the isoelectric focusing(1F) method
and to report new variants and the present state of knowledge.
The book is aimed at users of the method who require an
introduction and/or more information about it.
A defined individual theme is treated in each of the nine
chapters. The authors are experts in their field who can provide
valuable indications for the uses of IF from their own experience.
After a highly interesting review of the history and the
future prospects of IF, with a brief description of the physical
principles ( A . Kolin), detailed theoretical-mathematical considerations of the method are given in Chapter 2 (37 pp., If.
Rilbe). There follows a section on carrier ampholytes (0.
Vesterberg), which outlines inter alia their synthesis and physicochemical properties and contains indications of the biological and biochemical aspects (e.g . interaction with proteins).
In three further chapters the application of I F to gel-stabilized
carrier systems is described. There is a general presentation
of the technique ( A . Chrambach and G . Baumann), and special
mention must be made of the description of two-dimensional
working (combination of gel electrophoresis with IF) in
Chapter 5 (C. W Wigley) and of the comprehensive treatment
ofthe preparative application of I F in granulated gels (Chapter
420
6,48 pp., B. J . Radola). In these last two contributions precise
experimental details are given together with numerous
examples of separations. A section on its own ( J . Bows)
is devoted to I F in free solution, and there critical indications
can be found about evaluating separation results (artefacts).
Specialized applications are continuous working (Chapter 7,
J . S. Fawcett) and “Trans-IF’’ (Chapter 9, N . Catsimpoolas);
both these make great demands on apparatus.
The book makes no claim to comprehensive treatment of
its theme and the numerous techniques, yet it provides much
useful information.
Kurt Hannig [NB 374 IE]
Mikrobiologie (Microbiology). Vol. 13 of the further education
series “Medizin und Werbung”. By H . Nolte. Karl Demzter
Verlag, Grafeling 1976. 1st Edit., 78 pp., D M 1 1 .SO.
According to the publishers, this further education series
is intended to provide essential basic information. This must
be taken with a pinch of salt, for one cannot expect miracles
in a booklet of 41 pages of text. O n delving into the work,
however, one cannot fail to wonder at the way in which
the “basic information’’ has been presented. In the clumsily
and unscientifically written and arbitrarily assembled sections
on general and medical microbiology factual errors and unnecessary verbiage just about balance each other. A section
“Metabolism of Bacteria” that is devoted exclusively to an
extremely vague description of alcoholic fermentation in
yeasts (!) and the statement that metabolites are the substances
(enzymes, hormones, vitamins!) responsible for trouble-free
occurrence and control of metabolism speak for themselves.
Technical terms, if used at all, are not explained. In four pages
of suspect hand-drawings the bacterial cell enjoys a representation in which an enzyme is sketched in (!)-it is presumably
a mesosome, for m the indicating arrow for “nuclear substance”
points to an empty space. Five pages of terminology include,
inter alia, DNA =complex, high-molecular protein, RNA =
ribose = pentavalent sugar, cytoplasm = living substance
of the cell = semifluid fine-grained mass. Finally in 26 pages
of “programmed learning” one is invited to check what beauties
one has retained from the text. For example, one must fill
in that plants form carbohydrates from COz by photosynthesis
(=formation of chlorophyll with the aid of light energy).
The reviewer cannot recommend this pamphlet (indeed,
must advise against reading it), and must contradict the author
in at least the one point where he states that everything
in nature has its sense.
Hans Bender [NB 373 IE]
Anorganisches Grundpraktikum (Basic Practical Course in
Inorganic Chemistry). By C. Mahr and E . Fluck. Verlag
Chemie, GmbH, weinheim 1976. 5th completely new,
revised edition, XI, 460 pp., 84 figs., 6 tables, paperback,
D M 39.80.
This book is divided into three parts. The first of these
introduces experimental methods and apparatus by means
of experiments and explanations, and the fundamental laws
of chemistry in aqueous solutions are treated: 1. Conductivity
of electrolyte solutions, indicators, neutralization, etc.; 2.
Chemistry of complexes; 3. Solubility product; 4. Redox potentials, galvanic cells, electrolysis, etc.;5. Reaction rate, catalysis.
In the second part the authors turn to the preparation,
reactions, and detection of nonmetals and their compounds
and ions, and then to the properties and reactions of the
Angew. Chem. l n t . Ed. Engl. 16 (1977) No. 6
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