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October 1, 1955

The Chemistry of Micro-Organisms

JAMA. 1955;159(5):531. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960220121028

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This book grew out of a series of lectures "at one of the large London Polytechnics" on the metabolism of micro-organisms. The people who attended the lectures were scientists, but usually they had had little training in bacteriology and biochemistry. Because he tried to reach these people, Bracken's book is an excellent introduction to the subject. There are chapters on culturing micro-organisms in the laboratory, the place of bacteria and molds in nature, the commercially important antibiotics, and the synthesis by micro-organisms of pigments and of various organic compounds arbitrarily discussed (for ease of presentation) in a chapter on aromatic compounds and in one on aliphatic and heterocyclic compounds. The short bibliographies list chiefly British reference books and journals, but they are either common in libraries in the United States or their counterparts can be found easily. The typography and binding are good, and the index seems to be complete.

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