Concise Dictionary of Chemistry

Concise Dictionary of Chemistry

97 Concise D i c t i o n a r y o f C h e m i s t r y p p 304. O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P u b l i c a t i o n s , O x f o r d a n d N e w Y o r...

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Concise D i c t i o n a r y o f C h e m i s t r y p p 304. O x f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P u b l i c a t i o n s , O x f o r d a n d N e w Y o r k . 1985. £7.95 ISBN 0-019-866143-6 A dictionary is a highly organised potential guide to unfamiliar territory. The present one is concerned with chemistry although about 25% of the three-thousand-or-so entries in it are words or phrases a teacher of biochemistry might use in teaching this discipline. The selection of biochemical entries however seems to be quite arbitrary. Thus ligase is included but not lyase or hydrolase or transferase, pentose but not pentose phosphate pathway, prolactin but not other hypophyseal hormones, protamine but not histone. Each entry is direct and clear, with few misprints or errors in structural formulae (that of tryptophan is one). SI units and I U P A C terminology are used throughout so that one is reminded often that succinic is really butanedioic acid, fumaric is butenedioic acid, and glycerol is propan-l,2,3triol, although (mercifully) only the traditional names are given for the amino acids and vitamins. Entries for eponymous tests, laws, apparatus also give the full name, date of birth and death, and nationality of the person concerned and add to their interest. This dictionary makes no attempt to be comprehensive, but is good value especially for non-scientists and high school, firstyear college or university students who want quick explanations of commonly used chemical terms. F Vella

in the developed countries, is that there is hardly an area of biochemistry where HPLC is not used - - and this (as far as I could find) does not get a mention. Consequently this third edition has a rather classical flavour to it. It is of course very difficult to get together a compendium of this type in a discipline that has expanded so rapidly. The groupings of compounds inevitably are somewhat subjective. Adrenaline and noradrenaline, for example, come under 'Amino acids, amines, amides and peptides' rather than under 'Pharmacologically active compounds'. This latter contains a selection of compounds of little interest to very many biochemists, and surely the Merck Index would be the place to look up the properties of these. Pharmacological agents does not include peptides (eg oxytocin, enkephalin), which appear under peptides. Most compounds are listed under their trivial names with the chemical name under 'synonyms' (eg Oxalic acid/ethanedioc acid) but some, eg methanol, are the other way round. Some formulae seemed to be in heavier type than others (see page 2 for example) presumably because they have been reset or redrawn from the previous edition. Overall then, a very useful attempt at an almost impossible task, but nowhere near as reflective of biochemistry in the 1980s as one might have expected. E J Wood

E n g l i s h - C h i n e s e Glossary of B i o c h e m i s t r y (Second Edition)

Data for Biochemical R e s e a r c h (Third Edition) by R M C D a w s o n , D C E l l i o t t , W H E l l i o t t a n d K M Jones. p p 580. O x f o r d Science P u b l i c a t i o n s , O U P , O x f o r d . 1986. £35/$59 ISBN 0-19-855358-7 The first edition of this book appeared in 1959 and the second in 1969. The third now has larger, but fewer pages than the second. The authors say in their Preface that they aimed to supply information in a form sufficiently concise to be kept in the laboratory, and that no attempt was made to be comprehensive. They have tried " . . . to occupy the central ground of possible interest to all biochemists." The blurb on the back cover says that the range has been widened to cover newly developing aspects and that much was deleted from earlier editions to be replaced by new material of current importance in biochemistry and molecular biology. In fact the concession to the latter is minimal, there being no lists of restriction enzyme spec'~ficities, etc. Maybe this is better tabulated elsewhere, but I doubt that molecular biologists would find a lot of use for this book. The 'new' sections include Plant Growth Regulators, Chromatography now includes affinity media, and Reagents now includes 'protective agents' (eg BSA as well as DTT) and reagents for protein modification. There is also a new section on Gel Electrophoresis, but it is only 4 pages long, includes no methods, but simply gives recipes for acrylamide solutions, and staining methods, and a list of useful references. Gone are Manometry and Macromolecules (eg ' R N A mol wt 10,000-2 × 106, white powder') and of course there are many additions and reorganizations in the individual 'compounds' sections. Overall the book will be useful to biochemists in the laboratory, but not much more useful than the second edition. The authors have retained the format, and much else, that I suspect will not be of great use to the average biochemist. There is a lot about ion-exchange and gel filtration media, for example, but most of this can be found in the (free) manufacturer's literature that our bookshelves bulge with. There is also a great deal on methods for detecting biochemical compounds on paper and thin layer chromatograms, and quite a lot on buffers for paper electrophoresis and the behaviour of sugars on paper chromatography. This has not changed appreciably since the second edition. What has changed in most laboratories, at least BI()CHEMICAL

EDUCATION

15(2) 1987

This glossary is published by Sing Hua Publishers, Beijing (1984) and contains about 11,000 definitions (pp 176). A sample page is reprinted below (reduced).

A M~quoso

~ ~-~'~/~, 3-lP.,'~-D- ~'

aberration ~131~ C2~]~ abetalipoproteinemla ~ J 3 j ~ I~~. abietic acid ; [ ~ : ~

abluent ] ~ [ ~ *~l~i~:~

abomasum ~ I ~ t W C ~ 3 abortifacient E ~ ; P~I~~J abortion ~ p abortive transduction ~ y ~ J ~ abscisic acid ] ~

~scisln ]L~.~~

,bs~nthol - ~ , - ~ : ~ ( ~ ) ~ t absolute specificity ~ J ' ~

absorbance (A) ~ absorbate (~.) ~ q ~ absorbency (A) ~ e

accelerate globulin (AcG) (accelerin; factor Va; factor VI) ~

accelerin (accelerator globulin; factor Va; factor Vl) ~ ] ~ l ~ l ] ~ l ~ j

~:~;

~i~.l~ ~Vaj ~ Ih [] ::~.VI

acceptor (:~)~:~ (:~)~:~r

acceptor-RNA(tRNA) 2 ~ RNA acceptor site ~ : ~ . ~ accessory chromosome ~ g ~ accessory pigment m(~J)~.~ acclimatization ~ - ~ - ~ acetul ~lllj~ acetaldehyde ~l~ acetal phosplmttde ~ 1 ~ 1 ~ 2-acetamidofluorene 2- ~ acetamidoglucul ~ ] l l ~ acetate (1:1~. ( 2 ~ I k , J ~ acetate-activating enzyme ~ [ ~

absorbent ~ absorption ~ ( ~ ) acetazolamide ~,~J~(~)J~ absorption coefficient q ~ absorption spectrometry ~:Y~;~It~ acetic acid ~

acetin ~ ~ j ~ acetoacetate C 1 3 ~ [ ~ absorption spectrum q ~ abstraction ~13~[~ C23-~_J]~'~(3~]-~

(23~,~,

aceto~cetate decarboxylase

~'.~i~

acacia ~ aculc(a)emia ~:~j I~1 aculcerosis ~i~:~~

acetoacctate thiokinaso

~7".~

~m aceto~cetic acid ~ acetoacetic ester T . ~ ( ~ ) ~ acetoacetyI-CoA ~ ~ i ~ F ~ A