trailing the engineers in exploitation of ultrasound, while the medical profession have tamed it so that it can be used in general hospital practice. This excellent book is a must for all potential and current users of ultrasound in chemistry. R. S. Davidson Developments in Solvent Extraction. Edited by S. A/egret. Pp. 221. Ellis Horwood, Chichester. 1988. f30.00,
It is fairly common now to find the proceedings of meetings published in book form. The present work, from a series in Analytical Chemistry, is a compilation of the presentations given at an International School on Solvent Extraction held in Barcelona in 1984. There are twelve chapters in the book, contributed by well-known workers in the field, and only the minority of these can be said to be directly relevant to analytical chemistry. Indeed, the chapters on ‘Designing liquid-extraction equipment’, ‘New Reagents’, ‘Industrial Applications of Solvent Extraction’, and ‘Solvent Extraction in the Nuclear Industry’, relate to commercial processesof interest to chemical engineers and minerals-processing scientists. The book is wrongly titled and few established workers in the field will find material representing developments. Indeed, the chapters on ‘The Thermodynamics of Solvent Extraction’ and ‘Kinetics of Solvent Extraction’ contain references to only their authors’ publications. Thus the work in these areas has not been adequately reviewed. A chapter on ‘Graphical Treatment of Liquid-liquid Extraction Data’ would be of interest to analytical chemists but no treatment is given which might be useful to an engineer who might wish to design a solvent extraction process. The disparate nature of chapters and the varying quality of the work make it unlikely that individual scientists in the field would purchase this collection of papers. M. A. Hughes Pharmaceutical Technology: Drug Stability. Edited by M. H. Rubinstein. Pp. 167. Ellis Horwood, Chichester. 1989. f32.50.
This is the third volume in a series dealing with recent advances in aspects of pharmaceutical technology. As the title implies, the unifying theme is the need to ensure that drug preparations are stable and that they remain so until taken by patients. Otherwise the ‘same dose’ may produce different responses after storing for different periods of time. Approximately equal space is devoted to consideration of physical stability - exemplified by the phenomenon of crystal growth which may alter the therapeutic activities of certain drugs - and of chemical stability where, for example, untoward chemical changes, such as oxidation, may cause loss of potency of a drug or produce adverse side effects in patients.
The papers making up this volume range from a broad review of the use of cyclodextrins as stabilizing agents in drug formulations to measurements of dielectric properties as a method for following moisture absorption and hydrolysis. Despite inevitable variations in the presentations - one or two of the papers seem superficial and only tenuously related to the theme - the book is generally informative and overall wellproduced. It should find a place with earlier volumes in the series on book shelves in the pharmaceutical industry and in academic institutions N. Pilpel Comparative Physiology of the Vertebrate Digestive System. By C. E. Stevens. Pp. 300. Cambridge University Press. 1988. f35.00, US$49.50.
ferment of activity. This edition, although only 10% longer, has much new material which incorporates important new developments such as X-ray crystallography (especially of the reaction centre of purple bacteria) and the application of molecular biology. A great deal of information is expounded in a concise and lucid style, although occasionally a little too succinctly for clarity. The general approach is more unified than in previous editions, but some background material, for example basic molecular biology, might have been omitted in favour of an introductory outline of thylakoid electron transport and a more detailed exposition of the chemiosmotic properties of chloroplasts. A fuller treatment might also have been given of the varied mechanisms by which the chloroplast is able to dispose of excess light energy - under natural conditions photodissipation is almost as important as photoassimilation. I regret the disappearance of the table of fundamental physical constants, but welcome the continued inclusion of detailed information on pigments. Can we look forward to a fourth edition that will be able to put protein structure and its interpretation at the centre of the stage?
This publication was designed as a reference book for zoologists and veterinarians. I have serious reservations whether it will achieve this objective, however, as the referencing is poor and much of the material available elsewhere in more comprehensive and competitively priced texts. D. S. Bendall I found the book somewhat unbalanced in its content even though the author gives interesting discussion on neurohumoral and endocrine control of absorption. There is a in Genetic strong comparative element throughout the Polytene Chromosomes discussion albeit that we read about too Research. By V. Sorsa. Pp. 289. Ellis many obscure species. More detail on better Horwood, Chichester. 1988. f39.95. known representative species would have Giant chromosomes have been a great been preferred. source of interest and knowledge to cytologThe omission of the liver from the discus- ists since their discovery. Professor Sorsa’s sion of the physiology of the gastro-intestinal volume reviews our observations and undertract is unfortunate, as this organ shows standing of polytene chromosomes thorconsiderable evolutionary changes and spe- oughly. cific adaptations to diet, season, and endocriThe first half of the book deals with the nological patterns. Gastrointestinal changes definition, distribution, relationship to other in hibernation is an interesting subject to chromosome types, structure, organization, zoologists. It is perhaps unfortunate that the and function of the polytene chromosomes. author has not given space to current re- There then follow three chapters reviewing search on the control of cell proliferation in methods used in the microscopical, functionthe gut and patterns of cell loss. al, and molecular study of them. The final In summary, I am not sure which group of three chapters deal with mutagenesis, mapstudents will find this publication of value. ping, and evolutionary changes in the The loose terminology and misleading state- chromosomes. Each chapter is subdivided ments will upset many of the more seasoned into a number of sections which lead neatly exponents of the gastrointestinal tract. The from one to the other and which must facililine drawings are adequate but could well tate the easy use of the book as a reference have been supplemented by some more work. photographs. Clearly, this author had much Each chapter is copiously and comprehenmaterial to write about, but has tended to sively referenced and in the later sections cover too much ground, giving information there is a very useful differential citation on exotic animals like the gizzard shad, system, with references which have already hog-nosed bat, and the Tasmanian tiger, to appeared in previous chapters being clearly the detriment of better known species such indicated to their first appearance. In the as the common dogfish, pigeon, or common final six chapters, which include much rat to which most students of zoology have methodology, key papers on techniques are access in their academic endeavours. marked with an asterisk. Many of the techniA. B. G. Lansdown ques are illustrated by procedural diagrams. Although these are mostly useful there is, to Biochemistry of Photosynthesis. 3rd my mind, an overabundance of various stipEdn. By R. P. F. Gregory. Pp. 257. 1989. plings and many might have been more clear Wiley, Chichester. f21.95. as line drawings. The photographs and drawings of chromosomes are of excellent quality A gap of 12 years separates the second and and are informative, clearly labelled and third editions of this well-known, useful textbook, during which the subject has been in a described.