The Physiology of Cestodes

by J. D. Smyth. xv + 279 pages, illustrated. W. H. Freeman and Company, 660 Market Street, San Francisco, California 94104, $9.00

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  • Department of Zoology University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002
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Dr. Smyth has written an interesting and valuable book, and it will provide background and important entries to the literature for anyone contemplating work in cestode physiology. It appears to have been written primarily for parasitologists since the introductory chapter is extremely brief. The author assumes that the reader is conversant with cestode classification and the specialized terms used by cestodologists. I would suggest that anyone not familiar with such subjects review the sections on cestodes in an introductory text before reading Dr. Smyth's book.

On the other hand, although there are three chapters each on metabolism and immunology, he assumes little previous knowledge of these subjects. For example, the glycolytic pathway, tricarboxylic acid cycle, pentose phosphate pathway, and electron transport system are all diagrammed, two pages are devoted to an explanation of Michaelis-Menten kinetics and about eight pages to elementary concepts of immunology.

Dr. Smyth is particularly well qualified to deal with certain subjects, and the chapters on these subjects are especially interesting and informative.