Current interest in biochemical mechanism of disease processes has resulted in the need for a biochemistry textbook oriented toward molecular biology, medical genetics, and metabolic control processes. Although Orten and Neuhaus are among the first authors to proceed in this direction, they stopped short of this goal. Their book largely retains the classical approach of most biochemistry texts—basic chemistry of the carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleotides, vitamins, hormones, and inorganic substances, followed by discussion of the metabolic roles of these classes of compounds.
The first seven chapters make this text distinctive; descriptions of biochemical characteristics of living matter merge with a discussion of biochemical morphology of the cell. A brief overview of interaction of metabolic pathways precedes a rather thorough presentation of the present state of knowledge of biochemical genetics, embracing structure, biosynthesis, and functions of nucleic acids and proteins. Many diagrams, molecular models, and photographs clearly illustrate the material presented.