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diverse observations ofdifferent investigators and has included tabular data to corroborate the conclusions concerning the particular effects ofinsulin on the tissue. The material is organized in a logical manner and a short summary ofthe established experimental findings is presented at the end ofeach chapter. One ofthe points which Rrahl has developed in this review is that the action ofinsulin can be separated into two phases: an immediate effect occurring within a few minutes and demonstrable on muscle, adipose, and mammary gland tissue; and a delayed effect requiring several hours for the restoration ofnormal function in liver tissue ofseverely diabetic animals. In attempting to explain the mechanism ofaction ofinsulin in these two phases, Rrahl has speculated that insulin may be required to maintain the normal configuration oflipoproteins in the liver cell such as the lipoproteinsofthe cell wall, endoplasmic reticulum , and mitochondrial membranes.With insulin deficiency the changes in these lipoprotein structures could result in impairment ofglucose utilization and disruption ofthe function ofenzymes that may be associated with the membranes. In severe diabetes, he postulates that the delayed effect ofinsulin could be attributed to the time required for resynthesis and reorganization ofthese structural lipoproteins within the cell. Rrahl also postulates that the immediate action ofinsulin is to initiate an intermolecular arrangement in the lipoprotein membranes ofthe cell which spreads from the cell surface to the intracellular membranes resulting in selettive transport ofsugars and a decompartmentation in the cell favoring anabolic synthesis. As the author has indicated, experimental data is not available to confirm or deny these speculations. However, these hypotheses may serve as a stimulus for future investigations, since at leastmorphologictools suchaselectron microscopy are now available to investigate these proposed changes. The material within this review will be of value not only to those working in the specialized fields ofendocrinology and diabetes, but also to biologists in general since it represents a compilation and interpretation ofcurrent investigations of the action of a single hormone on cellular function and structure. Paul E. Lacy, M.D. Washington University St. Louis 10, Missouri The Origin ofRaces. By Carleton S. Coon. New York: Alfred A. Rnopf, 1962. Pp. xli+724+xxi. 32 plates, 84 drawings, 13 maps, 39 tables. $10.00. Even from the most objectively scientific point ofview, the study ofraces involves many uncertainties and legitimate differences of opinion. Beyond that, this subject is bedeviled more than any other by the near-impossibility ofmaintaining objectivity. To study humans with no bias at all one would have to be superhuman, and scientists themselves all belong to one race or another ofthe human species. Even ifthey have relative success in rising above their own biases, those who attempt the study ofraces inevitably expose themselves to virulent attacks not onlyfrom nonscientific or antiscientific ideological fanatics but also from fellow scientists with diffèrent and less controlled biases. Nothing could be more evident than that races do in fact exist, but even that statement of the completely obvious brings outcries from bigots ofthe right, left, and center. 268 Book Reviews Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Winter 1963 This emotional atmosphere tends to restrirt freedom ofinquiry. He who studies races is under constant pressure ifnot to falsify observations at least to omit some ofthem and to slant their interpretation. The pressures come both from those who want to believe that all races are equal and from those who want to believe in white, black, or yellow racial supremacy. Both sides are guilty ofstultifying inquiry, even though in a different sphere the motives ofsome are admirable and those ofothers are not. Ultimate solution ofracial problems has among its basic necessities a candid and valid view of racial differences and knowledge of how those differences originated. Men of truly good motives must welcome any honest contribution toward that end and must evaluate it, either in agreement or in disagreement, in terms ofevidence and logic. It was inevitable even before it was written that Coon's book would be a center ofcontroversy whatever it turned out actually to say. Now that it is published, the expected attacks are occurring, among them some from Coon's own colleagues, that do go beyond evidence and logic. Let me, then, say from the start that I...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 268-272
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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