Ion transport through biological membranes

Ion transport through biological membranes

BOOK REVIEWS 559 vigilance states in human EEG experiments. PinSsch (Ziirich) reported on miniaturized digital memories for the coding of biological...

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BOOK REVIEWS

559

vigilance states in human EEG experiments. PinSsch (Ziirich) reported on miniaturized digital memories for the coding of biological signals ( b o d y temperature, pulse rate, m o t o r activity). McKinnon (Oxford) presented a pocket-size tape recording unit using standard 4-track analogue tape casettes for the storage of EEG, ECG, blood pressure and other physiological parameters recorded during 24 h. Borb~ly (Ziirich) applied this system to longterm telemetric EEG experiments. The b o o k provides a good insight into the state of the art of telemetric technology and its applications in experimental and clinical biomedicine. The presence of a subject index would have facilitated the search for specific information. A L E X A N D E R A. BORBI~LY Institute of Pharmacology, University of Ziirich (Switzerland)

Ion transport through biological membranes. -- M.C. MacKey, Lecture notes in Biomathematics. Managing Editor: S. Levin, Vol. 7. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin--Heidelberg--New York, 1975, 240 p., DM 25.00). As expressed by the editors, the aim of this series is to report new developments quickly, informally and at a high level. This should counteract the experience that, in the present daily rush in the accumulation of scientific data, a seriously edited h a n d b o o k is only partially up to date when it is published; this may justify the publishing of books on specific topics in the hastily edited manner of this one. This, then, summarizes the major advantage and disadvantage of this book. The text is in part identical with lectures given in a department of physics and of physiology. For a review in this Journal one has first to state that the author presumes a high standard in mathematics and biophysics. The b o o k is divided into three parts. Part I deals with the electrical properties of the

membrane and the Hodgkin--Huxley axon. Part II reports a b o u t classical electrodiffusion with preference to the constant field theory. Part III covers more personally the author's theory, which is a microscopic kinetic theory model based on the dynamics of binary collisions, i.e., a discussion of the relationship between conduction changes and the probability of the collisions of ions. The b o o k presents an enormous number of data and it shows h o w to make use of kinetic models in understanding the membrane processes. It is often hard to read because of some confusion in the use of symbols; an extensive list of symbols is missing. Whether the author is expecting t o o much from students might be questioned: in one of the exercise problems which are found at the end of most chapters, he asks the student to find for himself a solution for electrolyte mixtures (7.3), the solution of which was the o u t c o m e of a well-known paper. Even if the student would like to try it, he could not find this paper in the list of references. This is just one example of the hasty editing already mentioned, which has to be accepted as a compromise for the purpose of the series. M.R. KLEE Max Planck-Institut fiir Hirnforschung, Frankfurt (W. Germany)

Subarachnoid hemorrhage and cerebrovascular spasm. -- R:R. Smith and J.T. Robertson (Edi-

tom). (Thomas, Springfield, Ill., 1975, 268 p., $ 26.50). The role of cerebral vascular spasm in causing neurological deterioration after subarachnoid hemorrhage due to ruptured aneurysm has recently been called into question by several authors. Nevertheless, neurosurgeons generally remain convinced on the basis of experience with individual cases that vasospasm plays an important role in the natural history of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Therefore, the publication of this book, summarizing current