Venoms: chemistry and molecular biology, AT Tu

Content: Volume 89, number 2 Venoms: Chemistry and Molecular Biology
by Anthony T. Tu John Wiley and Sons; New York, 1977 x + 560 pages. Ј25.90, $43.00
May 1978
There are numerous specialized books on animal venoms and toxins available, like reports on symposia and congresses, the three volume set edited by Bfichefl et al., 'Neuropoisons' by Simpson et al., the monumental mongraph by Halstead on poisonous and venomous marine animals and others. There are also popular booklets, e.g., Habermehls 'Gift-Tiere und ihre Waffen'. However, for about 20 years no updated, comprehensible book existed, which would specially interest, e.g., undergraduates for this field of research. Now A. T. Tu had the courage to write a full-sized, single-author book an animal venoms. Beyond any doubt, Tu is fully qualified for this difficult task. He is author of numerous publications on snake venoms and his seminars are well known for their ludicity. Since about 80% of papers on animals venoms deal with those of snakes, 27 of the 32 chapters of his book are devoted to this subject. The monograph starts with a chapter on low molecular substances. The following eight chapters summarize our present knowledge on the enzymes of snake venoms. The next part covers general qualities of
vernoms in relation to the zoological taxonomy, aspects. The remaining 5 chapters deal with the vernoms of scorpions, spiders bees and wasps, ants and of the lizard Gila monster. Only venoms with wellknown chemical structure are considered. There are no data on vemoms (or toxins) of cnidaria, echinodermata, mollusca, arthropods not mentioned above, venomous rays and pisces or mice. There are indices by subjects and species, but not by authors. The approx. 2300 references are amazingly weU up-to-data. Author and publisher obviously hastened to come out with the book. There are some misprintings, like page 436 'herapin' instead of 'heparin' and hidden errors, e.g., page 524, line 7 'Intern. Encyclo. Pharmacol., Spring Verlag' should be replaced by 'Handbook of Pharmacology, Vol. 48, Springer-Verlag'. Most parts of the book are well comprehensible for students, it is enjoyable to read and very helpful as a source of information and literature for the specialist. Heribert Michl
Bioenergetics of Membranes Edited by L. Packer, G. C. Papageorgiou and A. Trebst Elsevier; Amsterdam, New York,1977 x + 538 pages. Dfi 150, $61.25
This book consists of the contributions presented at the International Symposium on Membrane Bioenergetics, held on the Greek island of Spetsai. The Symposium was attended by a wide cross-section
of scientists working onmembranes in diverse systems. Perhaps the most useful feature of such a meeting is the opportunity it affords for discussion and constructive criticism. It is thus unfortunate to find that, 365


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