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Book Review Selected Papers on Molecular Genetics. A Collection of Reprints with Introductory Material. Vol. 1 of the Series УPerspectives in Modern Biology Ч A Series of Reprint CollectionsФ. By J. H. Taylor

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and recipes for the preparation of important starting materials
complete the text. A useful author index (12 pp.) is to be contrasted with too short a subject index (5 pp.).
This readable book undoubtedly fulfils its object, as a n introduction into the chemistry of boron-nitrogen compounds,
and it provides stimulation for further development thereof.
However, the chemistry of the borazoles and BNC heterocycles, e. g . the borazarenes deserves more detailed treatment,
and so do the results obtained in the laboratories of W. M .
Michailow and V. I . Zacharkjn. It is mainly the work of the
last five years that is discussed. The reviewer does not always
agree with the authors’ views, and study of the book makes it
clear that more quantitative work is needed in order to
provide a firm thermodynamic, kinetic, and structural basis
for further discussions and t o place the present plausible
working hypotheses on a firmer basis.
H. Niith
[NB 465/318 IE]
Die Bestandteile der Lebensmittel (The Constituents of
Foodstuffs). Volume I of the Series “Handbuch der Lebensmittelchemie” (Handbook of Foodstuffs Chemistry).
Edited by J . Schormiiller. Springer-Verlag,, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York 1965. 1st Edit., xxviii + 1288 pp., 136 figs.,
linen D M 298.- (about $ 75.-). Subscription price
D M 238.40 (about $ 60.-).
After 32 years the first volume of the new edition of the Handbuch der Lebensmittelchemie (Handbook of Foodstuffs
Chemistry) has appeared, on the constituents of foodstuffs.
This long interval has had the inevitable consequence that
only the form of the old book is preserved, the text having
been largely rewritten, yet strict control by the editor has ensured that the total number of pages is somewhat less than in
the previous edition.
For treatment of the 24 chapters of this volume experts in
specialized fields have been enlisted as well as specialists in
general foodstuffs chemistry. References to the literature are
given at the end of each chapter, and some of the authors have
included references up to 1964.
Chapter 1 treats the history of food science from prehistory
to the 20th century. This review is certainly comprehensive,
including control and research, and has some very telling illustrations. In the next chapter 0. Hog1 expounds the objectives of foodstuffs science. The most important aim is to disclose and evaluate the composition of foods; the recognition
and removal of injurious components are recorded in further
sections of this chapter, and in a very shorf space but quite
comprehensively a further section treats the importance of
water as a food constituent, including its place in fresh and
preserved foods. Additionally H . Langendorf’ discusses inorganic cations and anions which are essential for the organism, sometimes in large quantities and sometimes in traces;
their function in metabolism is also noted; and five tables
give information about the content of essential ions in the
most important foods.
The chapter on amino acids, peptides, and other nitrogen
compounds seems to the reviewer to be too detailed: not only
the chemical properties and physiological importance, but
also the occurrence of rare amino acids, are reported, even for
products that are not foods. The same applies to the discussion of peptides, but the treatment of proteins is better related to the main theme. There is, however, no reference to
the manifold changes undergone by methionine or the unpleasant smell and taste that can result from its decomposition
products.
The chapter o n fats, lipids, waxes, and resins provides a short
but very valuable review. The most important saturated and
unsaturated fatty acids are described, and also glycerides,
phosphatides, sphingolipids, and other possible secondary ingredients. It should, however, be noted that :/-sitosterol (pp.
338 and 345) has meanwhile been recognized as a 1 : 1 mixture of p-sitosterol and campesterol. Finally the author describes the natural and technological changes undergone by fats.
Angew. Chem. internut. Edit.
,
Vol. 5 (1966)
Nu. 4
The isolation and composition of essential oils is treated by
K. Herrmann. The most important mono- and sesqui-terpenes
are mentioned, as well as other constituents such as acids,
esters, ketones, and sulfur compounds that determine the taste.
In the chapter on carbohydrates and glycosides Almut Klemer
describes the chemistry and analysis of sugars, and also sugar
esters, amino sugars, pectins, algal products, and carbohydrate-protein compounds. The chapter concludes with seven
tables giving the most important constants of these compounds. The authoress reports also on 0-,N-, and S-glycosides. A few inaccuracies have crept in concerning saponins :
or-amyrin is derived from ursane, and P-amyrin from oleanane (p. 527); aescin is a n oleanane derivative, its structure
having been determined in 1963 (p. 529); the triterpene acid
of ursane type is named ursolic acid (pp. 530 and 1284).
H. Endres discusses the most important tannins. Unfortunately, except for passing mention of the catechins of tea and
coffee beans, this chapter contains no reference to foodstuffs ;
but the omission is rectified to some extent in the next chapter
where K. Herrmann treats plant phenolics in foodstuffs.
The following chapter, by E. Beyer, describes the isolation,
constitution, and detection of natural dyes, in particular
carotenoids, quinones, flavanoids, anthocyanins, and some
porphyrins. It is expanded by R . Humm in a good review of
the chemistry of haemoglobin and myoglobin. The chapter
on carboxylic acids, esters, carbonyl compounds, and alcohols shows a welcome orientation towards the requirements
of foodstuffs chemistry. However, the formulae of the two
optically active tartaric acids (p. 778) d o not agree with the
latest information: the formula described as D-(+)-tartaric
acid i s that of r-(+)-tartaric acid, and that described as L-(-)tartaric acid is D-(-)-tartaric acid.
K. Myrbiick makes a valuable contribution to the general field
of enzymes. It is supplemented by H . Mohler’s description of
the importance of enzymes in foodstuffs technology and in the
formation of aromatic ingredients, also by H. Sommer’s report o n commercially prepared enzymes and their use in manufacture and analysis of foodstuffs. The chapter on vitamins
deals first with their stabilization and with procedures for
their analysis; it then treats the individual vitamins in alphabetical order, including their mode of action. There is, however, no mention of the artefact nature of cyanocobalamin in
the discussion of vitamin B12 or of the present-day preference
of vitamin D3 over vitamin D2. The chapter on chemical additives treats preservatives very thoroughly, including their
properties, uses, and modes of action. The discussion of dyes
for foodstuffs records both the old use of saffrom and curcuma, and the toxic effects of certain azo dyes. There follows
a list of permitted dyes in accordance with the data of the
Farbstoffkommission of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
In the last chapter S. W. Souci and E. Mergenthuler report on
all other chemical additives, such as antioxidants, synergists
and complex-formers, color improvers and bleaching agents,
thickening and gelling agents, surface-active materials and
materials having a physical effect, coatings, insecticides, and
herbicides. The list is comprehensive and provides a good
orientation on the properties of the individual compounds.
The book ends with a subject index running to 65 pages.
The publishers have produced the book to their usual high
standard. The printing is almost free from error, and the
formulae cannot be misinterpreted (with very few exceptions,
e.g. gossypol, p. 351). The editor and the publishers are to be
congratulated on a noteworthy achievement.
[NB 462!315 IE]
C. H . Brieskorn
Selected Papers on Molecular Genetics. A Collection of
Reprints with Introductory Material. Vol. 1 of the Series
“Perspectives in Modern Biology - A Series of Reprint
Collections”. By J.H . Tuylor. AcadeniicPress Inc., New York
1965. 1st Edit., xii+ 650pp., bound $ 9.-, paper back $5.95.
In few parts of biochemistry has development been as lively
during recent decades as in genetics with all its far-reaching
43 1
implications. It would be only too easy for those who take no
direct part in this work t o lose sight of the broad lines of the
development, only too easy for interest in questions that are
currently in the forefront to diminish attention to other problems. It was therefore a good idea to recall to memory the
milestones of progress by republishing selected papers from
the years 1913-1963 in their original form. I t is, of course,
not to be expected that a complete picture can be reconstructed from 46 publications. The editor was himself aware of this
difficulty and has therefore writter introductory prefaces to
the five sections of the book (Biochemical Genetics, The Nature of Genetic Material, D N A Structure and Replication,
Genetic Recombination, The Function of Genetic Material),
these prefaces showing the relation between the papers that
are reproduced and giving references to papers that have not
been included.
Clearly n o selection can be made entirely without arbitrariness. The editor has been a t pams to find that paper - or at
least a very early report - which has opened the door to each
development: truly no light undertaking! Nevertheless, after
reading this book, one is tempted to think, in periphrasis of a
well-known phrase, that “la biochemie de l’heredite est une
corresponds to the facts in
science anglo-saxonne” many but not quite all respects.
Yet the book is to be recommended, in particular to the student seeking an introduction into biochemical genetics.
H. Griinewald [NB 450/303 IE]
Biochemistry of Phenolic Compounds. Edited by J . B. Hurborne. Academic Press, London-New York 1964. 1st Edit.
X 618pp., 1 plate, several illustrations, 30 tables, G 6.6.0d.
A combination of several factors, such as the improvement
of physical methods of extraction, the isolation and elucidation of complex organic substances, the revival by Birch of
Collie’s acetate theory, the introduction of labelling with
14C, and the development of enzymology and microbiology,
has led in the past 20 years to an enormous growth of interest
in phenolic compounds of natural origin. It is now recognized
that the phenols and their derivatives are not insignificant
end products of the natural processes, but sometimes play
an important part jn the animal or plant metabolism. There
was therefore a real need for a review of the biochemistry of
natural phenols.
The present book contains 14 chapters written by 17 experts
of world-wide renown. The subjects discussed include: the
structures and reactions of natural phenols (Thomson, 29 pp.),
methods used for the isolation and identification of phenols
from biological material (Seikel, 39 pp.), the occurrence of
phenolic aglycones (Harborne and Simmonds, 45 pp.) and
glycosides (Harborne, 36 pp.), the genetics of phenols (Alston, 30 pp.) and their metabolism in animals (WiNiums,
40 pp.) and plants (Towers 40 pp.), the biosynthesis of
phenolic compounds (Neish, 50 pp.) and of lignin and the
tannins (Brown, 33 pp.), the enzymology (Conn, 31 pp.) and
physiology (Siegelmym,16 pp.) of the biosynthesis of phenols,
the physiology and pharmacology of phenols in animals
(Ramwell, Sherratt, and Leonard, 48 pp.) and plants (Cruikshank and Perrin, 27 pp.), and finally the taste of phenol
glycosides in citrus fruits (Horowitz, 24 pp.).
The literature up to the end of June 1962 has been taken
into account in most cases. More than 2000 references and
2200 n a m s in the index testify to the value of this book as a
reference work. Almost 900 structural formulae, some 1IS0
entries in the subject index, and 950 names in the excellent
class index will be very useful in searches for informatjon.
The scope of the book is possibly rather narrow. Many
purely chemical model experiments in connection with biochemical problems would have merited some mention, and a
detailed, separate chapter o n phenolic alkaloids would have
been welcome. No mention is made of the giberellins.
In its present form, however, the book must be recommended
to the phytochemist, the taxonomist, and the plant physiologist, and in short, to all biochemists who are concerned with
phenolic natural products. J. M . Harkin [NB 445/280 IE]
+
432
The Oligosaccharides. By J. Stanck, H. b e r n l , and J. Paccik.
Academic Press, New York-London. and Publishing House
of The Czechoslovak Academy of Science, Prague 1965.
1st Edit., 567 pp., numerous tables, linen $ 21.-.
“The Monosaccharides” cll by Stane’k and his collaborators,
published in 1963, has now been followed by the second part
of the comprehensive monograph, also in English. As is
stated in the preface, this is not merely a translation of the
Czechoslovak edition that appeared in 1962, but has been
partly rewritten, with incorporation of publications up to the
middle of 1964.
All who are interested in oligosaccharides, whether as chemists, biochemists, or biologists, will be glad that the authors
have undertaken the tedious task of a general oversight of the
oligosaccharide material that has accumulated over the years
and have brought order into the myriad of results. The number of references - nearly 4500 - shows how thoroughly they
have gone to work.
Division into many short chapters with their own lists of ref erences greatly clarifies the text, and the very numerous
formulae are a further help. Comprehensive tabulation of
oligosaccharide classes, arranged according to molecular
size, type of linkage, and type of derivative, made it possible
to keep the text short and precise. Particularly noteworthy
are a comprehensive table of oligosaccharides of natural
origin and a collection of the oligosaccharides that have been
obtained by enzymic degration and synthesis. Chemical syntheses and reactjons of oligosaccharides and formation of
derivatives of this class of compound are treated exhaustively,
as are oligosaccharides with a basic or acidic function and
even such a recondite class of compounds as the glycosylinositols. Moreover, several chapters are devoted to chromatographicandelectrophoreticmethods of analysis and separation.
However, the section on enzymatic synthesis could have been
rather more detailed, for the benefit of the reader particularly
interested in this field. The kinetics of interaction of enzymes
and oligosaccharides are not mentioned, and it is only the
kinetic study of these complex reactions that throws light on
the simultaneous synthesis, hydrolysis, and resynthesis of the
various combinations of reactants. Further, the titles “Transglycosylation of maltose, isomaltose, lactose, etc.” are unhappily chosen; it would have been better to collect these
sections under the titles “Transglucosylation, transgalactosylation, etc.” The sections on the use of physical methods
such as X-ray analysis and infrared spectroscopy for structure
determination of oligosaccharides are also rather too short.
However, these matters and a few erroneous references can be
corrected in a new edition which will certainly be necessary
within a few years.
Finally it can be stated that this book will be a welcome help
to chemists and biologists. Together with “The Monosaccharides” it can be included among the most valuable reference works for carbohydrate chemistry.
J. Lehmann
[NB 455/308 IE]
Advances in Physical Organic Chemistry. Vol. 2. Edited by
V. Gold. Academic Press. London-New York 1964. 1st
Edit., xii + 288 pp., numerous illustr., E 3.3.- (ca. $ 8.80).
The second volume of this series contains four sections : 1. C .
J. Collins, Isotopes and Organic Reaction Mechanisms
(84 pp.), 2. W. E. Whalley, Usebf Volumes of Activation for
Determining Isotope Reaction Mechanisms (65 pp.), 3 . H .
Zollinger, Hydrogen Isotope Effects in Aromatic Substitution (33 pp. , 4. A . P. Wou, The Reaction of Energetic Tritium and Carbon Atoms with Organic Compounds (87 pp.).
The first contribution describes in particular the less usual
applications of isotopes, e . g . the use of compounds with two
or more labels, the combination of isotope and kinetic experiments, and of isotope and stereochemical experiments. Fi_ _ __
[l] Cf. Angew. Chem. 77, 687 (1965); Angew. Chem. internat.
Edit. 4 , 723 (1965).
~
Angew. Chem. infernat. Edit.
/ Vol. 5 (1966) / No.
4
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