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Chemical Synthesis: Studies in the Investigation of Natural Organic Products

Naturevolume 115page673 (1925) | Download Citation



NOT so very long ago authors of text-books on organic chemistry were in the habit of relegating their remarks on alkaloids, glucosides, tannins, and other natural products to the last few pages of their works, and these were not taken very seriously by either teachers or students. In the last twenty years or so all that has been changed, and there are now monographs in most languages on the more important of these products, and the larger text-books also devote some attention to them. Though information on such subjects is there fore more accessible than it was, Dr. Hepworth has rendered a conspicuous service to chemists by bringing together a summary of what is now known about natural pigments, carbohydrates, tannins, oils and fats, terpenes, polypeptides, simple natural bases and alka loids. By restricting his attention to the analytical and synthetical reactions, which have been most useful in elucidating the structure of the more important members of each group, he has been able to produce a readable account of the present position of the chemistry of these substances and an indication of the lines on which progress is still being made. There are slips here and there; for example, it is no longer correct to say that carene does not occur in Nature, and that sylvestrene is present in Indian turpentine oil. Atropine, hyoscyamine, pseudohyoscyamine, and hyoscine are not all isomers of the formula Cl7H33NO3, and the formula Cl7H21N02 does not represent scopolamine; but on the whole the book is remarkably accurate and up-to-date. It is also well produced, and graphic formulae are supplied wherever they are useful.

Chemical Synthesis: Studies in the Investigation of Natural Organic Products.

By Dr. Harry Hepworth. (Manuals of Pure and Applied Chemistry.) Pp. xx + 243. (London, Glasgow and Bombay: Blackie and Son, Ltd., 1924.) 20s. net.

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