1
Camp. Biochem. Physiol. Vol. SlA, No. 2, pp. 455-457, 1985 Printed in Great Britain 0300-9629/85 $3.00 + 0.00 0 1985 Pergamon Press Ltd BOOK REVIEWS The Mystery of Life’s Origin-Reassessing Current Theories-by C. B. Thaxton, W. L. Bradley and R. L. Olsen. 228 pp. 1984. Philosophical Library, New York. $14.95. The development of living systems by chance, by necessity or by design has been the subject of debate for many years. In general, the criticisms of the current “chance” ideas have been made by non-scientists but the present volume, written by a chemist, an engineer and a geochemist, carefully examines the different theories for the origin of life. The authors consider that the primitive earth had an oxidizing atmosphere and that this would inhibit the devel- opment of polymers from the low concentrations of mono- mers in the prebiotic soup. They give an interesting and thermodynamically argued account of the limitations of the currently accepted theories, that is well worth reading since future progress can only be made by examining the limitations of present-day views. Aging and Cell Structure. Volume 2--edited by J. E. John- son. 223 pp. 1984. Plenum Press, New York. $42.50. This is the second volume of a two volume set (the first volume being published in 1981). The accent of the present volume is on in vitro aging. There are chapters on: (1) The ageing cell surface of fibroblasts, (2) In vivo and in vitro comparison of chauges in cell components, (3) Regulation of life span of in vitro fibroblasts, (4) Ageing at the neuromuscular junction, (5) Age change in human oral tissue, (6) Morphological changes in ageing mammalian pancreas. The volume is well illustrated with excellent EM pictures showing age-related changes in the different structures and many of the in vitro changes parallel to those found in vivo. Biology and Chemistry of Plant Trichomes-Edited by E. Rodriquez, P. Healey and I. Mehta. 255 pp. 1984. Plenum Press, New York. $39.50. Plant trichomes are the hairs, scales and papillae that form on the plant epidermis. This volume describes the structure of the different trichomes, their histochemistry, ecology, and the materials secreted by the trichomes. Isoprenoids such as the monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and diterpenes are common metabolites found in trichomes. Some plants also have t&homes containing methylated flavonoids, lignans, alkylated phenolics and quinones that may act in the defence of the plant against insects. In some cases the insects obtain the isoprenoids from the plant and may use them in defence. The monoterpene alpha pinene occurs in the secretion of various insects and depending on the species and concen- tration can act as an attractant or a toxin. Myrcine and camphrene are used in the defense secretion of termites. Camphene contributes to the alarm pheromone of ants. Camphene is toxic to Musca domestica and to larch saw fly larva. Nepetalactone, a major component of catnip (Nep- eta), is an active repellant to many insects and can alter the aggressive behaviour of ants. Caryophyllene inhibits the hormonally controlled development of Pyrrhocoris. The glandular trichomes of the plant Cannabis s&vu contain delta 9-THC, and other cannabinoids. The volume provides many examples of the interaction of physical and chemical properties of the trichomes with insects and other animals. Polymers in Medicine. Biomedical and Pharmacological ApplicationsEdited by E. Chiellini and P. Giusti. 420 pp. 1983. New York, Plenum Press. $57.50. This is the proceedings of an International Symposium on Polymers in Medicine held in Sardinia in 1982. The devel- opment of polymer chemistry and physics has led to the construction of polymers that can have active groups at- tached that, like pyran (divinyl ether maleic anhydride co-polymer), will stimulate macrophage activity and act as an immunopotentiometer. The anti-carcinogenic activity of a range of polymers is discussed in relation to their acute toxicity and sensitivity to bacterial endotoxin. Polymers can be bound to specific drugs and alter the release rate of the drug arld so control the pharmacokinetics of the drug action in viva. Peptides can be linked to catecholamines and alter the potency of the catecholamine, though still leaving it sensitive to the antagonistic action of, say, propanolol. Enzymes can be bound to polymers and establisk a controlled therapeutic action. _ The other maior line of medical application of polymers is in the use 0; prosthetic systems-such as heart Galves, arteries, artificial skin, replacement for bone, plastic lenses for the eye, etc. Major developments are taking place and this volume discusses many of them. A Chicai Companion to Biochemical Studies, 2nd Edn, by V. Schwarz. 162 PP. 1984. W. H. Freeman, New York. _, $14.95. This book takes specific clinical cases such as lactase deficiency, glycogen storage disease, hyperlipidemia, myo- cardial infarction, diabetes, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, etc. and discusses their underlying biochemical defects and the results of such defects. Each example is well presented and at the end of each case there is a series of questions. For example, it is pointed out that the enzyme aldose reductase has a high Km (a low affinity for sugar). It requires a high concentration of glucose, such as is present in untreated diabetes, for aldose reductase to come into action and in doing so it will cause depletion of NADPH in the lens which leads to damage of the lens tissue and to opacity (cataract). High concentration of galactose in the plasma (galactosemia) will be reduced by aldose reductase to galac- titol with consequent loss of NADPH and the formation of cataracts. The book is well written and thought-provoking. It will do much to stimulate medical students in their appreciation and understanding of biochemistry. Physiology and Biochemistry of the Domestic Fowl, Volume %-Edited by B. M. Freeman. 436 pp. 1984. Academic Press, London. $79.95, 655. Readers will be aware of the original three volumeS on this topic edited by Bell and Freeman in 1971. These volumes have been brought up to date by a further two volumes (4 and 5). Volume 5 contains chapters on (1) Absorption from the alimentary tract, (2) Metabolic role of vitamins, (3) Pituitary gland, (4) Thyroid gland, (5) Endocrine pancreas, (6) Cal- cium metabolism and its regulation, (7) Cardiovascular system, (8) Blood groups, (9) Lymphoid system, (10) Steroid hormone production by the ovary, (11) Yolk formation, (12) Male reproduction, Appendix: Biochemical and phys- iological data.

Biology and chemistry of plant trichomes

  • Upload
    lamngoc

  • View
    223

  • Download
    5

Embed Size (px)

Citation preview

Camp. Biochem. Physiol. Vol. SlA, No. 2, pp. 455-457, 1985 Printed in Great Britain

0300-9629/85 $3.00 + 0.00 0 1985 Pergamon Press Ltd

BOOK REVIEWS

The Mystery of Life’s Origin-Reassessing Current Theories-by C. B. Thaxton, W. L. Bradley and R. L. Olsen. 228 pp. 1984. Philosophical Library, New York. $14.95.

The development of living systems by chance, by necessity or by design has been the subject of debate for many years. In general, the criticisms of the current “chance” ideas have been made by non-scientists but the present volume, written by a chemist, an engineer and a geochemist, carefully examines the different theories for the origin of life.

The authors consider that the primitive earth had an oxidizing atmosphere and that this would inhibit the devel- opment of polymers from the low concentrations of mono- mers in the prebiotic soup.

They give an interesting and thermodynamically argued account of the limitations of the currently accepted theories, that is well worth reading since future progress can only be made by examining the limitations of present-day views.

Aging and Cell Structure. Volume 2--edited by J. E. John- son. 223 pp. 1984. Plenum Press, New York. $42.50.

This is the second volume of a two volume set (the first volume being published in 1981). The accent of the present volume is on in vitro aging.

There are chapters on: (1) The ageing cell surface of fibroblasts, (2) In vivo and in vitro comparison of chauges in cell components, (3) Regulation of life span of in vitro fibroblasts, (4) Ageing at the neuromuscular junction, (5) Age change in human oral tissue, (6) Morphological changes in ageing mammalian pancreas.

The volume is well illustrated with excellent EM pictures showing age-related changes in the different structures and many of the in vitro changes parallel to those found in vivo.

Biology and Chemistry of Plant Trichomes-Edited by E. Rodriquez, P. Healey and I. Mehta. 255 pp. 1984. Plenum Press, New York. $39.50.

Plant trichomes are the hairs, scales and papillae that form on the plant epidermis. This volume describes the structure of the different trichomes, their histochemistry, ecology, and

the materials secreted by the trichomes. Isoprenoids such as the monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and

diterpenes are common metabolites found in trichomes. Some plants also have t&homes containing methylated flavonoids, lignans, alkylated phenolics and quinones that may act in the defence of the plant against insects. In some cases the insects obtain the isoprenoids from the plant and may use them in defence.

The monoterpene alpha pinene occurs in the secretion of various insects and depending on the species and concen- tration can act as an attractant or a toxin. Myrcine and camphrene are used in the defense secretion of termites. Camphene contributes to the alarm pheromone of ants. Camphene is toxic to Musca domestica and to larch saw fly larva. Nepetalactone, a major component of catnip (Nep- eta), is an active repellant to many insects and can alter the aggressive behaviour of ants. Caryophyllene inhibits the hormonally controlled development of Pyrrhocoris. The glandular trichomes of the plant Cannabis s&vu contain delta 9-THC, and other cannabinoids.

The volume provides many examples of the interaction of physical and chemical properties of the trichomes with insects and other animals.

Polymers in Medicine. Biomedical and Pharmacological ApplicationsEdited by E. Chiellini and P. Giusti. 420 pp. 1983. New York, Plenum Press. $57.50.

This is the proceedings of an International Symposium on Polymers in Medicine held in Sardinia in 1982. The devel- opment of polymer chemistry and physics has led to the construction of polymers that can have active groups at- tached that, like pyran (divinyl ether maleic anhydride co-polymer), will stimulate macrophage activity and act as an immunopotentiometer. The anti-carcinogenic activity of a range of polymers is discussed in relation to their acute toxicity and sensitivity to bacterial endotoxin.

Polymers can be bound to specific drugs and alter the release rate of the drug arld so control the pharmacokinetics of the drug action in viva. Peptides can be linked to catecholamines and alter the potency of the catecholamine, though still leaving it sensitive to the antagonistic action of, say, propanolol. Enzymes can be bound to polymers and establisk a controlled therapeutic action. _

The other maior line of medical application of polymers is in the use 0; prosthetic systems-such as heart Galves, arteries, artificial skin, replacement for bone, plastic lenses for the eye, etc. Major developments are taking place and this volume discusses many of them.

A Chicai Companion to Biochemical Studies, 2nd Edn, by V. Schwarz. 162 PP. 1984. W. H. Freeman, New York. _, $14.95.

This book takes specific clinical cases such as lactase deficiency, glycogen storage disease, hyperlipidemia, myo- cardial infarction, diabetes, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, etc. and discusses their underlying biochemical defects and the results of such defects. Each example is well presented and at the end of each case there is a series of questions.

For example, it is pointed out that the enzyme aldose reductase has a high Km (a low affinity for sugar). It requires a high concentration of glucose, such as is present in untreated diabetes, for aldose reductase to come into action and in doing so it will cause depletion of NADPH in the lens which leads to damage of the lens tissue and to opacity (cataract). High concentration of galactose in the plasma (galactosemia) will be reduced by aldose reductase to galac- titol with consequent loss of NADPH and the formation of cataracts.

The book is well written and thought-provoking. It will do much to stimulate medical students in their appreciation and understanding of biochemistry.

Physiology and Biochemistry of the Domestic Fowl, Volume %-Edited by B. M. Freeman. 436 pp. 1984. Academic Press, London. $79.95, 655.

Readers will be aware of the original three volumeS on this topic edited by Bell and Freeman in 1971. These volumes have been brought up to date by a further two volumes (4 and 5).

Volume 5 contains chapters on (1) Absorption from the alimentary tract, (2) Metabolic role of vitamins, (3) Pituitary gland, (4) Thyroid gland, (5) Endocrine pancreas, (6) Cal- cium metabolism and its regulation, (7) Cardiovascular system, (8) Blood groups, (9) Lymphoid system, (10) Steroid hormone production by the ovary, (11) Yolk formation, (12) Male reproduction, Appendix: Biochemical and phys- iological data.