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Some Recent Developments in the Chemistry of Phosphate Esters of Biological Interest

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  • Book Review
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics


BOOK REVIEWS of, say, the meaning and significance of first order differential equations or the use of series expansions for the approximation of functions. In general this small book will not be of great technical assistance to the non-mathematical reader. To those whose concept of mathematics begins to falter at the Henderson-Hasselbach equation, it may serve a purpose in showing that mathematics has nothing to offer in the life sciences. S. J. FRICKER SOME RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CHEMISTRY OF PHOSPHATE ESTERS OF BIOLOGICAL INTEREST. By H. Gobind Khorana. New York, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1961. x, 141 pp. $5.25. This book presents to a wide audience a series of lectures given by H. G. Khorana at the Rockefeller Institute in 1959. Few others could have matched the qualifications of the author to speak about recent developments in the chemistry of phosphate esters of biological interest. They have occurred to a major extent in Khorana's laboratory. The book is surprisingly comprehensive considering its small size and the rapid advances made currently in this particular field. It is nevertheless clearly oriented toward the author's special fields of interest. It starts with a classification of phosphate esters and a review of the methods for phosphate ester synthesis. A discussion of cyclic phosphate chemistry leads then to an account of the chemistry of the phosphate groups of nucleotides and polyucleotides. The book closes with a review of the syn- thetic applications of carbodiimides. This final chapter touches on their use in the synthetics of compounds not containing phosphorus. Primarily, the book is a reference monograph. It is replete with practical suggestions and comments on reaction conditions as they affect yield, selectivity, and stability. It is well documented with a bibliography at the end of each chapter. The coverage of literature is practically up to the minute. A general discussion of the mechanisms of the various reactions and of the factors affecting them is includ

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