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Book Review Struktur und Funktion der Proteine (Structure and Function of Proteins). By R. Dickerson and I. Geis

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physical phenomena which can be utilized in analytical
chemistry. The relationship between measured physical
values and structural units is demonstrated with the aid
of selected examples and in tabular form. This limitation to
the purely analytical aspects makes the book an ideal
introduction to these techniques for chemistry students.
Owing to the good selection of examples and tables the
work will also prove useful to the preparative chemist who
wishes to use the methods described for product characterization.
J . B. Pawliczek [NB 55 IE]
Struktur und Funktion der Proteine (Structure and Function
of Proteins). By R . Dickerson and I . Geis. Verlag Chemie
GmbH, Weinheim/Bergstr. 1971. 1st ed., vii, 120 pp.,
134 figures, 10 tables, bound DM 32.-.
The text of this book by R. Dickerson presents the quintessence of the enormous growth that has become possible
in science over the past 14 years through the X-ray analysis
of the structures of proteins. The book begins with a
description of simple bonding, and the approach of the
crystallographer who can “see” many of these things in his
X-ray structure analysis, is immediately evident in the
interpretaion here. Via the description of fibrous structural
proteins, in which even weighty subject matter is incorporated with playful ease into a readable and fascinating account,
the book passes to the crowning achievements of X-ray
structure analysis, i. e. the description of the enzymes whose
tertiary and quaternary structures are now known, and of
their mode of action. It ends with a chapter on more complicated interactions of proteins, on antibodies and the
complement system.
Electron micrographs of current interest in this field are
reproduced in this part in a very striking and understandable manner.
The book can be recommended for students, but there is no
doubt that specialists in the field of protein chemistry will
also be able to learn from it. The description of the interaction of many proteins in the serum complement system
is itself a masterpiece of a feuilletonistically interesting and
at the same time extremely accurate account of a very
complicated situation.
The second author is I. Geis, and it is clearly only through
the cooperation of these two specialists that the excellent
presentation by which this book is characterized has been
possible. The hand of this master artist of molecular biology,
whose unmistakable brilliance must now be known to
every biologist and biochemist, can be discerned on every
page of the book, in cleverly selected drawings, in structural
formulas that give a clear picture of spatial relationships,
in skillfully shaded diagrams, and in careful but extremely
striking arrangements of drawings and photographs.
Hugo Fasold
[NB 58 IE]
Physikalische Chemie in Experimenten - Ein Praktikum
(Physical Chemistry in Experiments-A Practical Handbook). By H.-D. Forsterling and H . Kuhn. Verlag Chemie
GmbH, Weinheim/Bergstr. 1971. 1st ed., ix, 505 pp.,
348 figures, 23 tables, bound DM 38.80.
Owing to the rapid development of instrument techniques,
which is having a particularly pronouncedeffect on physicochemical investigation methods, the older German-lanAngew. Chem. internat. Edit. 1 Vol. 11 (1972) / N o . 7
guage standard works on physico-chemical practical work
are now quite out of date. The appearance of a book that
takes into account the use of modern instruments is therefore very welcome.
The book is divided into the following sections :the working
principles (with a short description of the most important
instruments and an introduction to the evaluation of
experiments), the main part, which contains about 80
experiments, and an appendix on physical quantities and
units as well as some special experimental techniques. A
list of references and an index complete the book.
In reading the book, one finds a number of well-known
experiments, but these are largely carried out with modern
instruments. However, there are also many extremely
instructive new experiments, particularly from the fields of
spectroscopy,photochemistry, and quantum chemistry.The
related fields of macromolecular chemistry and biochemistry are also represented by a number of very fascinating
experiments. In this connection, as one of many, mention
should be made of a model experiment on the evolution
of self-organizing systems, which is to be carried out
with a digital computer, and which is very impressive
in its didactic conception. Provision is also made in some
experiments for the use of analog computers, which the
student can construct for himself with the aid of detailed
Many passages in the theoretical explanations that accompany the experiments show that the authors place
particular value on an intuitive presentation. As can be seen
from the preface, this effort has led to the avoidance of the
use of the chemical potential in thermodynamic calculations. However, the reviewer is doubtful whether the use
of cyclic processes promotes intuitiveness.
The layout and printing are good. However, it is to be
feared that the binding will be unable to withstand for long
the treatment received by practical handbooks. The
inevitable printing errors of a first edition are not excessive
in number.
The reviewer, whose long experience has made him well
aware of the special problems of a practical handbook of
physical chemistry, can wholeheartedly recommend this
book to students, assistants, and laboratory supervisors.
The book should be particularly valuable in re-equipping
a physico-chemical laboratory.
W Eichenauer [NB 59 IE]
Dictionary of Science and Technology-German-English.
By A . F. Dorian. Elsevier, Amsterdam 1971. 1st Edit.,
viii, 879 pp., bound Dfl. 95.00.
Since the beginning of the 1950’s there has been a succession
of specialist dictionaries for various subjects and languages. This situation reflects not only the demand that
exists but also the frequent inadequacy of the existing dictionaries. The specialistgenerally has no need of a dictionary
in his own narrow field since he will be keeping abreast of
latest developments in foreign journals and can assimilate
new terms as they occur without any special effort. Difficulties arise in neighboring fields. In place of a collection of
small dictionaries for each individual subject, Dorian now
offers the whole vocabulary of science and technology in
one volume extending into the boundary fields of economics and law insofar as they are of interest to the scientist
and technologist.
As the author states in the preface it is no simple task to
cover all these topics with the same degree of thoroughness.
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