This 1994 book is based on a series of six lectures delivered at the University of Sienna under the auspices of the Lezioni Lincee. The content of the book reflects and delineates the author's career in biochemical research. The lectures revolve around the special role which bound carbohydrates play in nature. Also discussed are the properties of membrane glycoproteins, involved in the resistance of cells to drugs. The metabolism of sugars and sialic acids, which form a pivotal role in the author's research, are covered in detail. The book chronicles just some of the huge advances which have been made in biochemistry over the past few decades and will prove an invaluable and entertaining first hand account for researchers and graduate students.