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Book Review Synthetische Arzneimittel (Synthetic Drugs). S. Ebel

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ic data pertaining to the processes are also invariably instructive.
The balance between the various chapters does not always
seem to be maintained. Pharmaceutical and medical topics
occupy more space than would be expected from the title of
the work. For example, it could be asked whether the section
on chemotherapeutics deserves more space than that on coal
and coal conversion processes. Articles on computers or even
contact lenses (each 20 pp.) do not strictly belong in a handbook of chemical technology.
It is also noticeable that recent European process developments are frequently missing. For instance, there is no mention of the process for manufacturing carbon tetrachloride
from chlorinated residues (high pressure chlorolysis) in the
article about chlorocarbons. No account is given on recent
advances in the coking and fluidized bed combustion of coal.
In this respect, the American authors could perhaps do a
little more to present an international picture.
R. Steiner [NB 490 IE]
Synthetische Arzneimittel (Synthetic Drugs). S. Ebel. Verlag
Chemie, Weinheim 1979. x, 631 pages, bound, DM 98.00.
In this textbook and handbook the chapters are arranged
according to pharmacological indications. Within each chapter there is a brief introduction, followed by sections on synthesis, stability, biotransformation, and finally examples of
The concise introductions omit details and concentrate on
essentials, taking into account the more recent developments
and modern views on the action mechanism. Throughout,
they are so useful and pleasant to read that it is easy to overlook the few instances of over-informal phrasing (e.g. “chlordiazepoxide and diazepam hold an almost scary proportion
of the market”, p. 225).
The lucid presentation of basic chemical structures and
variable groups has been achieved excellently by means of
the two-tone printing; the same is true of the use of color to
emphasize the metabolically newly formed groups.
It is also gratifying that in the case of drugs with several
designations the page number is given in the index after every name, thus saving one the trouble of searching for the
“right” name. The errors-including printing errors-are
limited in number and should be easy to correct later. Thus,
the hypoglycemic action of sulfonamides had already been
discovered in 1942 (p. 466); some cardiac agents with a calcium antagonistic action (Nifedipine, Segontin, Verapamil)
are more than just coronary dilators (p 444/5); azole antimycotics do not act as histidine synthesis inhibitors, but affect
steroid synthesis (p. 572).
Although the book is striking in its wealth of material on
drug metabolism, it lacks a chapter that would actually appear indispensable for such a textbook, namely one dealing
with the principles of the biotransformations (hydrolysis, oxidation, etc.); such a section would make it easier for the student to recognize the salient points amidst the plethora of
data. In addition, “the feel for the success of a chemical synthesis” (see cover notes) would definitely be better demonstrated if the formula section were curtailed in favor of a few
It may well be that the aims of a textbook (clear presentation of the basics, critical delimitation of outdated and modem preparations) and a handbook (comprehensive collection
of data) are difficult to combine in a single work of this size.
The reviewer read this very consistent and fluent book with
pleasure, and is of the opinion that it tends rather toward beAngew. Chem. Znt. Ed. Engf. I9 (1980) No. 3
ing a handbook however, it deserves to be given greater recognition as a textbook too.
Hans Joachim Kabbe [NB 495 IE]
Molecular and Crystal Structure Models. A . Walton. Ellis
Horwood Ltd., Chichester/John Wiley and Sons, London
1978. 201 pages, bound, E 9.00.
Anne Walton has written the first book of consumer information for professional model users. It is the reference work
for the teacher wishing to illustrate his lectures with molecular models.
The book rightly foregoes a comprehensive philosophical
and didactic discussion of the subject, which can be found
elsewhere, and instead describes a good 80 (!) commercially
available molecular and crystal structure model systems with
a high degree of accuracy often with the aid of photographs.
It gives the scale, the available parts, the technical characteristics, the preferred fields of application and more besides.
No prices are quoted, only the phrases “cheap”, “fairly
cheap”, “rather expensive”, and “expensive”. The reader will
find space-filling models for molecules (12 systems) and crystals (26), ball-and-stick models (25), skeleton models (lo), orbital models (S), such for macromolecules and dynamic models. Further chapters provide a guide for making these models oneself and introduce molecular pictures (“planar models”). The appendix lists manufacturers and suppliers.
One could wish for a separate classified bibliography. Because of its encyclopedic nature, only regular supplements
and revisions will preserve the undisputed value of this book
in the future. A critical comparative evaluation of similar
models would be a worthwhile feature. And to extend the
train of thought logically, when will a competent team get together to recommend one or two model systems most suitable for the private user? The germs for the crystallization of
this idea are already there (e.g. K. Beyermann: Molekulmodelle. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1979).
Werner Offermann, Fritz Vogtle [NB 498 IE]
Radicals. D. C. Nonhebel, J. M. Tedder, and J. C. Walton.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1979. 200 pages,
bound, E 5.50.
Since in most textbooks the chemistry of radicals is only
touched upon, the present pocket-size book clearly fills a
gap. In 17 chapters the authors discuss the theme in an introductory qualitative way, but with up-to-date information
that covers the full scope of the field. There are subsections
on physicochemical methods (ESR, CIDNP) and chemicalengineering aspects (combustion, oxidation, polymerization),
on organic reaction mechanisms, on modern preparative
methods, and even on the significance of radicals in biological systems. The only addition that the reviewer would like
to have seen is a chapter on bond dissociation energies.
Particular praise is due for the highly appropriate way in
which the authors have selected their material from the wide
range o f possibilities, the careful restriction to qualitative application of theory, the sensible selection of modem examples, and the clear style and careful classification. No book
can be more highly recommended as an introduction to the
field. The most important recent reviews and monographs
are cited and point the way to a deeper understanding of radical chemistry. Original references are not given.
Christoph Riichardt
[NB 493 IE]
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