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Book Review Reallexikon der Medizin und ihrer Grenzgebiete. (Practical Dictionary of Medicine and Related Subjects.) Vol. 1 A-Carfimatum. Edited by G. Thiele and H. Walter

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as kilo-cals per gram mole”, since this footnote is simply
wrong. At the same time, these objections concern superficialities, which d o not detract from the reliability topicality,
and breadth of the information packed in this handbook.
H . Griinewrrld
[NB 765 IE]
The Merck Index. An Encyclopedia of Chemicals and Drugs.
Published by Merck & Co., Inc. Rahway, N.J./U.S.A.
8th Edit. 1968, 1728 pages, bound S 15.00.
A new edition of the Merck Index, the eighth since I t first
appeared in 1889, was published a few months ago. For
those who d o not know this extremely useful and reliable
encyclopedia, it should immediately be pointed out that it is
not a list of products marketed by the American Merck
Company. In addition to a 1133 page encyclopedic index of
chemicals and drugs, it devotes almost 100 pages to the description of 460 name reactions, and contains a further 40
tables that are of importance to chemists in general and
particularly t o those employed in the drug industry.
The central part of the book is the encyclopedic section, which
is, not inappropriately, headed “Monographs”, and which
contains entries for more than 9500 chemicals and drugs.
The entries usually begin with the trivial names of the substance in question, and then list all other systematic and nonsystematic names, the Chemical Abstracts nomenclature
being indicated by the use of bold-face italics. The empirical
formula, molecular weight, and percentage composition by
elements are followed (with literature references) by data o n
occurrence, isolation, structural elucidation, synthesis, and
the principal physical properties of the compound and of
some important derivatives; information on medical use and
toxicity is also given in more than 4800 cases. Structural
formulas are naturally also included (almost 5000 are given
altogether), and special mention should be made here of the
clearly legible type.
The reviewer knows the Merck Index from years of almost
daily use. A regrettable feature of earlier editions was the
absence of a formula index to the encyclopedic section. This
omission has now been rectified, since the eighth edition contains a formula index, as well as the comprehensive (42000
entries) cross index of names.
For those who already know the Merck Index, nothing more
need be said. T o those who d o not yet know It, this volume
must be recommended as a worthwhile addition to their
library.
H. Griinewald [NB 766 IE]
Taschenbuch fiir C h e d e r und Physiker (Handbook of
Chemistry and Physics). (D’Ans/Lax), Vol. 1: Makroskopische physikalisch-chemische Eigenschaften (Macroscopic physicochemical properties). Edited by E. Lax, in
collaboration with C. Synowietz. Springer-Verlag. BerlinHeidelberg-New York, 1967. 3rd and completely revised
edition, xvi: 1522 pp.. bound D M 68.00 / US $ 17.00.
The familiar “D’Ans-Lax”, which now appears in its third
edition, is no longer in a single handbook, but is in three
volumes, volume 1 of which is now ready, after the publication of volume 2 in 1964. While volume 2 contains all the data
o n organic compounds that are important to chemists, volume 1 is devoted t o the tabulation of macroscopic physicochemical properties. (Volume 3, still in preparation, is apparently mainly for the use of physicists.)
The first volume of this work is divided into seven chapters.
Chapter 1 gives a survey of systems of measurement, units
and standard dimensions for macroscopic properties, and
atomic quantities. Here the user will find the symbols employed further on. The second chapter contains tables in which
the various macroscopic properties of the same substance are
presented, the emphasis being laid on the mechanical propAngew. Chem. internat. Edit.
Vol. 8 (1969)
No. I
erties. This is followed by tables of thermomechaiiical properties and equilibria of homogeneous (chapter 3) and heterogeneous (chapter 43 systems. Interfacial properties form the
content of chapter 5, while the thermodynamic properties of
elements and compounds as a function of temperature, pressure, and composition are dealt with in chapter 6. Finally,
chapter 7 gives data onviscosity, diffusion, thermal conductivity, and kinetics of chemical systems.
Within a little over 1500 pages in octavo format, this volume
offers all the desired information o n each subject. It does so
in a clearly understandable fashion that can only be called
exemplary. The units are given for every measured value, and
for each symbol included in tables or equations the user finds
a n explanation without a long search. It would be pleasant
if the example set by this volume were taken as a model for
tabular representations, of whatever kind and wherever
printed.
H. Griinewald [NB 767 IEJ
Reallexikon der Medizin und ihrer Grenzgebiete. (Practical
Dictionary of Medicine and Related Subjects.) Vol. 1: ACarfimatum. Edited by G . Thiele and H . Walter. Urban &
Schwarzenberg, Munich-Berlin-Vienna 1967. 1st Edit.,
xix + 799 pp.. %ose-leaf binding with plastic cover,
D M 140.-.
Urban & Schwarzenberg, whom the chemist associates with
“Ullmanns Enzyclopadie der Technischen Chemie”, have
now embarked o n the publication of a practical dictionary of
medicine estimated to run to about 4800 pages and more
than 200000 entries. The editors in chief are G. Thiele and
H . Walter, the imposing list of external collaborators numbers almost 300 names, and in view of the publisher’s lexicographic tradition the work is anticipated with big expectations.
The first instalments are now available and already provide
an indication of the essential features of the lexicon. Further
volumes are to follow at annual intervals, and the overall
work will be a six-volume loose-leaf collection in conveniently
used and very robust folders. The advantage of this arrangement is that it is possible at any time t o insert addenda and
revisions and to keep the work u p t o date without having to
produce a whole new edition. As regards the contents, the
editors do not wish to restrict medicine to therapeutics in the
strict sense, but aim a t extending the framework to include
all adjoining fields of importance for medical practice and
teaching (an accompanying brochure names 22!). Here, the
work becomes interesting to the biochemist, particularly the
worker engaged i n clinical or physiological chemistry. It will
not serve him as an exhaustive source of information on
problems within his own specialized field, but he can hope
to obtain reliable information about subjects at the fringe of
related fields.
To review this book as a chemist one turns perforce to those
entries that concern one’s own subject in the knowledge that
this cannot lead t o a valid view of the’ whole. This approach
results in the pleasant feeling of finding the information
reliable. Understandably, this dictionary is tailored to the
needs of the medical man, i.e. it is less concerned with material properties of interest to the chemist than with providing
data about the biological action, metabolic properties,
medicinal uses, and side effects. For this reason structural
formulas have generally been omitted, although some are
in fact given.
By contrast, the terminology used for the chemical compounds
seems unfortunate to the reviewer. The statement, in the
notes on the use of the dictionary, that “Drugs and
chemical substances are where possible listed under the keywords used in the official pharmacopeia” is ominous, and
this forecast is indeed borne out. Under “Acetat” the reader
is referred to “Azetat”, acetic acid is listed under Acidum
aceticum, boron trioxide under Acidum boricum anhydric-
87
um (!) and of course oxalic acid under Acidum oxalicum.
At the same time, Acidum oxalaceticum is dealt with under
oxalacetic acid and Acidium propionicum under propionic
acid. Acetyl compounds receive similar treatment in that
they are all to be found under “Azetyl”. However, another
entry is “Azetyl-Coenzym A”, which more justly and “tradltionally” should be “A.-Koenzym A ‘ . This procedure becomes quite incomprehensible when one arrives at “Argininosukzinat” next to “Biocytin”, followed by “zytostatisch”.
The reviewer is baffled why confusion has been the aim in
precisely the field of chemistry that is in any case a difficult
one for the medical man t o master,-instead of an attempt 10
clarify this topic.
This calamity apart, the care used and effort made by the
editors to collate what is most important and most worthwhile from the mass of the medical literature and to arrange
it in an attractive and clear manner are quite admirable.
There is no doubt that this dictionary will be numbered
among the most important new publications.
H . Griinewald [NB 768 I € ]
Registered names, trademarks, etc. used in this journal, even without specific indication thereoL are not to be considered unprotected b y law.
0 Verlag Chemie. GmbH, Weinheim/Bergstr.
1969.
-
Printed in Germany by Druckerei Winter, Heidelberg
All rights reserved. N o part of this journal may be reproduced in any form whatsoever. e.g. by photoprint, microfilm, or any other means, without
written permission from the publishers.
Editorial office: Ziegelhauser Landstrasse 35, 6900 Heidelberg 1. Germany, Telephone 24975. Telex 46 1855 kemia d. Cable address: Chemieredaktion
Heidelberg.
.
Editor: H . Grrinewald Translation Editors: A. J. Rackstraw and A . Stimson.
Publishers: Verlag Chemie, GmbH (Presidents JGrgen Kreuzhage and Hans Schermer), Pappelallee 3 . 6940 Weinheim/Bergstr.. Germany. and
Academic Press Inc. (President W o / f e r J . Johnson), 111 Fifth Avenue, New York 3, N.Y.. USA, and Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square,
London, W. 1.. England.
Correspondence concerning advertisements should be addressed to Verlag Chemie. GmbH. (Advertising Manager W.Thiel), 6940 WeinheimIBergstr..
Pappelallee 3 Germany, Telephone Weinhejm (06201) 3635. Telex 4655 16 vchwh.
88
Angew. Chem. internat. Edit.
1 VoI. 8 (1969) 1 No. I
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