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crisp and crackling like hot bacon, and we can pardon an occasional lapse such as a triple negative "can t help but" or "bacteria" used as a singular noun. What one misses is the discovery ofany basis for value judgments or the admission that even science or at least scientific thought, inspired by intention, is partly subjective and dissolves in the process of studying itself. Molecules and mechanism, matter and energy, brain and mind, are no nearer to comprehension than before. Faced with the certainty of uncertainty and die utterly improbable fact of life and all its bewildering complexities, we come nearest the possibility ofunderstanding through die processes of diought and action called science. But beyond science lies philosophy, and beyond philosophy lies something or nothing, depending on one's views, feelings, and beliefs. Skirting the border of this undiscovered country beyond science, from whose bourne no one returns, Beck has made a useful survey but not a clear exposition of the paradoxical spiritual essence of science—subjective, inspired, and intangible—which most people miss as they see darkly die laboratories, the continual proliferating ofever more complicated apparatus, and the scientist as magician. William B. Bean State University ofIowa Chemical Anthropology: A New Approach to Growth in Children. Icie G. Macy and Harriet J. Kelly. Chicago: University ofChicago Press, 1957. Pp. xviii + 149. $3.75. In die age ofhighly differentiated morphological, physiological, and behavioral sciences , the term "anthropology"—science of man—has an almost antiquarian ring to it. Only die adjectives "cultural" and "physical," delimiting more narrowly the dieater of operations, make it really tolerable. Here now is one further specification, another adjective : "chemical." Chemical andiropology is conceived by the authors as an extension ofphysical andiropology, concerned widi chemical growth and its relationship to physical growth and physiologic function. The focal concept is body composition. The positive aspects ofthe volume are many. It presents a broad perspective ofinterdisciplinary research within which the changes ofstructure and function in die growing child are placed. It recognizes individualized biological time and the dynamic concept of life ("man is progressively modified in accordance with his particular biological schedule "). It restates vigorously the thesis that gains in body weight vary in chemical composition and thus constitute only a gross criterion of the storage ofnutrients. It outlines accomplishments in relating chemical growth to nutrient intake (reported in detail in Dr. Macy's diree volumes entitled Nutrition and Chemical Growth in Childhood [Springfield : Charles C Thomas, 1942, 1946, 1951]). The book will undoubtedly provide stimulus for further research on breakdown ofbody weight. Body composition represents a challenging problem for students ofhuman growdi and development. Basically, there are two approaches to the problem. (1) The chemical additions accounting for the enlargement oforgans and tissues may be described on the basis ofthe cumulative differences between nutrient intake and losses in urine and feces (and, under some conditions, in sweat); when the energy balance is computed widi the required 458 Book Reviews Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Summer 1958 precision, die caloric equivalent of weight differences can be estimated (cf. J. Brozek et al., J. Appl. Physiol, 10:412, 1957). (2) The amounts offat and the fat-free body mass may be estimated on the basis ofdeterminations ofbody density, total body water and its major fractions, basal oxygen consumption, and urinary creatinine excretion. The total body fat may be predicted from somatometric data (skin folds) and from soft-tissue roentgenograms. The strength ofthe work ofDr. Macy and her co-workers in Chemical Anthropology lies in the meticulous recording offood intake, followed by detailed chemical analysis of duplicate meals and combined widi die collection and chemical analysis of the excreta. The balance studies were made for periods of95, 225, and 55 days—a Herculean labor! The metabolic balances provided detailed information on the storage ofnitrogen (considered as evidence of protoplasmic mass, i.e., protein) and of minerals. A variety of anthropometric, physiological, and odier biochemical data were also collected. The subjects ofthe study were average healdiy children between the ages offour and twelve years. The authors mention die small size ofdie age group diat was studied and the fact that the present monograph is based primarily on data for boys. Most...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 458-459
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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