Short review items

Oxidative folding of peptides and proteins

Johannes Buchner and Luis Moroder 

Cambridge, UK: RSC Publishing 2009 | 430pp | ?119.50 (HB) ISBN 9780854041480 

This book describes the enzymes involved in the correct oxidative folding of cysteine-containing proteins in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The copying of these enzymes for successful in vivo folding of proteins (including in vitro folding of synthetic replicates) and the role disulfide bridges play in the folding and stability of proteins and peptides are also discussed. 

Ab initio molecular dynamics: basic theory and advanced methods 

D Marx and J Hutter 

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press  2009 | 568pp | ?45.00 (HB) ISBN 9780521898638 

Ab initio molecular dynamics, which unifies molecular dyamics and electronic structure theory, is described in this volume. It covers a vast range of methods (assessing the merits and drawbacks of each) and their applications, from basic theory to advanced methods. It discusses the special features of the widely used Car-Parrinello approach and addresses various misconceptions currently found in research literature. 

Vibrationally mediated photodissociation 

S Rosenwaks 

Cambridge, UK: RSC Publishing 2009 | 204pp | ?69.95 (HB) ISBN 9780854041558 

This book is devoted to the effect of vibrational pre-excitation on molecular dynamics in the gas phase. In particular, it deals with the influence of this excitation on the dissociation of molecules (ie on the branching ratio between the dissociation products and its dependence on the vibrational state being excited). The effect in the gas phase has been extensively studied both theoretically and experimentally and encompasses diverse areas of chemical physics. 


Philip Ball 

Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press 2009 | 190pp | ?14.99 (HB) ISBN 9780199237975 

Following on from his book Shapes  (see review in Chemistry World, May 2009, p65), Philip Ball’s second book in his series on the science behind Nature’s beauty explores the physical and mathematical principles that underlie the regular forms and arrangements which arise from flow and motion. Atmospheric flow on Jupiter, sand flow in dunes and liquid flow in whirlpools and convection currents are all discussed. As in his previous book, ShapesFlow  brings together biology, physics, physical chemistry, art, astronomy and other disciplines. 

Quantum tunnelling in enzyme-catalysed reactions 

Rudolf Allemann and Nigel Scrutton (eds) 

Cambridge, UK: RSC Publishing 2009 | 385pp | ?119.50 (HB) ISBN 9780854041220 

This book gives an up-to-date account of the field of enzyme catalysis and hydrogen-tunnelling. It covers computational, kinetic and structural analysis of hydrogen transfer and the synergy in combining these methods. The book describes new theoretical frameworks for H-tunnelling reactions and indicates how experimental and computational studies have provided evidence to support these new models for biological catalysis. The book is an excellent primer for those new to the field of biological catalysis of hydrogen-transfer. Early chapters introduce basic concepts and models, which underpin more detailed discussion of theory and experimental approaches, with reference to key case studies.

Polarization holography 

L Nikolova and P S Ramanujam 

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press 2009 | 239pp | ?60.00 (HB) ISBN 9780521509756 

Fabrication and characterisation of azobenzene-based materials for polarisation holigraphy are described, followed by a description of other materials used in this process first reported by Sh D Kakicheshvili from Georgia (then part of the USSR) in 1989. Its applications to display holography and optical storage are discussed.