The Chemistry of Life


IT is a difficult task to write a book about a technical subject in non-technical language without floundering hopelessly in a mass of words. The author has overcome this by simply explaining these technical terms when they must be mentioned. The underlying idea is that biochemistry is the understanding and interpretation of living processes on the basis of chemical transformations which are capable of precise measurements. Recent methods used as tools by the biochemist, such as ultra-centrifugation, dialysis, electron microscopy, labelling with isotopes and respiration methods, are described. Mention is made of enzymes, hormones, evocators, genes, chemotherapy, viruses and bacteriophage. A useful feature is a glossary of technical terms, although it is doubtful whether understanding, for example, of the terms 'crystalloid' and 'purine' is increased by defining them respectively as "soluble substances of low molecular weight" and "a class of organic substances containing nitrogen with a characteristic molecular structure".

The Chemistry of Life

An Easy Outline of Biochemistry. By Dr. J. S. D. Bacon. (Thinker's Library, No. 103.) Pp. ix + 118. (London: Watts and Co., Ltd., 1944.) 2s. 6d. net.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.