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A Textbook of Biochemistry

Nature volume 158, pages 728729 (23 November 1946) | Download Citation



THIS addition to an already lengthy list of textbooks biochemistry which have appeared recently, ftp the most part in the United States, is, we maifcf s|ay at once, very well done. A glance thrQugnyts pages shows the very extensive changes wh y have come over the biochemical scene in recent years. The older books began with rather lengthy accounts of the necessary background of organic chemistry, and sometimes physical chemistry; leading to a description of those compounds which are of importance as the products or intermediaries of vital processes. The materials of which living organisms are constructed now occupy the centre of the stage, and this book, which excellently illustrates the trend and direction of the science, spends very little time on the organic and physical background. Indeed, in the preface the author states his belief in no uncertain way: ' 'The central theme and the chief goal of biochemical study is an explanation of the real chemistry of life. While the chemistry of foods and of dead tissues is helpful corollary material, the essentials are the reactions of living protoplasm. Accordingly emphasis in the text has been given and major space allotted to such subjects as the constitution and activity of enzymes, the intermediary reactions of anabolism and catabolism and the vital significance of hormones and vitamins".

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