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ducts on the blood-pressure of animals and man, and country, and served as a standard for the increased on the improvement of blood-pressure apparatus for extent of scientific training, rendered possible by the physiological and clinical observation on man. He changes then taking place in physiological staffs and will shortly also be engaged with Dr. Samuel Rideal laboratories. In writing this book Dr. Waller in investigating the influence of various gases on the rendered an important service not only to physiology blood-pressure in man. Some of this work has already but also to medical education. found expression in this term's course of lectures by In 1895 began a series of researches based on the Şir Lauder Brunton. Mr. G. P. Mudge is engaged Weber-Fechner law, the electrical response of the in work which will bear on the theory of transmission retina to the stimulus of light, the mechanical reof acquired characters. The laboratory is, in fact, not sponse of muscle to electrical stimulation, the electrical only a consistent school making its influence rapidly response of medullated nerve to electrical stimulation, felt in work of a particular character, but also a leading to the general conclusion that where we can laboratory offering highly appreciated advantages to plot physical cause along an abscissa, and physicindependent workers.
logical effect along ordinates, an S-shaped curve is the The laboratory owes no small share of the fact result. of its existence and present energetic life to the The foregoing experiments involved an examination director, Dr. Augustus Waller. His prescience and of the electrical response of nerve under the influence alertness, and the confidence felt by the authorities of anæsthetics, and led to the systematic employment and by his colleagues and friends in a scheme which of nerve to gauge the activity of a large number of had obviously enchained the full measure of his reagents, a method having been devised for exciting personal interest, must in this connection remain the nerve at regular intervals and recording its negaaccountable for many things. The value of his services tive variation by photography. is best assessed after a consideration of the inde- Three mainly important conclusions resulted from fatigable years which he has spent in fruitful this method of work—that CO, is evolved in nerve furtherance of the science of physiology. His first during tetanisation, that the inexhaustibility of nerve paper, a contribution to the study of cardiac and vas- and retina is due to an extremely rapid disintegration cular innervation, was published from Ludwig's and reintegration in their tissues, that the effect of laboratory, in 1878. His remaining contributions, anæsthetics on nerve may be taken as a measure of many and all well known, have been published as their effect on the human subject, and the method may a consequence of work carried out within London therefore be employed for studying the limits of safety itself; and with the scientific life of this city of chloroform dosage. The important fact was educed Dr. Waller has been identified since 1879. “The that safe anæsthesia requires the continuous adminis graphic record of the propagation rate of the pulse tration of a mixture of chloroform and air at an wave,
“ The recurrent pulse," "Measurements of average percentage of 1.5—not below 1 per 100 and not the length of systole and diastole with different pulse above 2 per 100. Many of the facts of physiological frequencies," are titles of some of these earlier interest made known by these researches are to be papers, reminding, us of our indebtedness to Dr. found in a course of lectures delivered by Dr. Waller Waller for valuable contributions to our knowledge at the Royal Institution, and published in 1897 under of the circulation. In 1881 he secured the thanks the title of “ Animal Electricity.” Short, and freed of all workers upon the phenomena of the central from technicalities as it is, this book is unique and nervous system by his contributions to the study of permanent, and, as a classic, needs no commendation. tendon-reflex. In 1881 he devised and first made use The “Characteristic of Nerve," “ Veratrine and of the method, now generally adopted, for the photo- Protoveratrine." are titles of other papers of physical graphic record of electrical currents. His work upon and physiological interest. electrotonic currents in the nerves of the human body, From a study of the electrical response of the evecarried out with the assistance of Dr. De Watteville, ball (retina) to the admission and exclusion of light 1882, forms one of the foundation-stones of the art Dr. Waller passed to a consideration of its response of electro-therapeutics. This and his subsequent to electrical stimulation. This very, marked and record of the electrical changes accompanying the vigorous response he named the retinal blaze, and this beat of the human heart, 1887, serve to render the led to a general study of the “ blaze-currents " of the first decade of Dr. Waller's experimental work ever eyeball and of other living plant and animal tissues: memorable in the annals of " Animal Electricity," the importance of this phenomenon as an exact and and were made the basis of two ceremonies of critical measure of the processes occurring in living mutual honour. Dr. Waller was invited to Berlin tissues can scarcely be overestimated. As a sign of by Du Bois-Reymond to demonstrate the electrical life, its observation (0.g. for vitality of seeds) may be changes due to the heart-beat, and the Academy of of practical advantage. Science at Bologna—the birthplace of animal elec- Within recent years Dr. Waller's energies have also tricity-presented him with the award of the Premio been largely directed towards the problems connected Aldini sul Galvanismo. The Academy of Science of with chloroform anæsthesia, and the apparatus deParis also showed its recognition of the interest of signed and inspired by him promises to lead not only these observations by its award of the Prix Montron. to a further knowledge of the subject, but also to check
In 1885, Dr. Waller laid a basis for the study of the lamentable waste of human life so often caused “ fatigue," by recording his discovery of the site of by faulty and inaccurate methods of chloroform peripheral fatigue. He again facilitated the study of administration. this phenomenon by the invention and use of the The little that has been said may serve to show “ dynamograph,” and contributed important papers that in this Institution and its officers the l'niversity upon the “ Sense of Effort.” In these papers 'Dr. has already much upon which it may be con. Waller dealt with matters on the border-line between gratulated. It is surprising to examine the financial physiology and psychology, and here also is placed basis upon which this scheme has already been other work of his of admitted importance upon carried io such a pitch of usefulness. When the colour contrast, hearing, weight discrimination, the scheme was first mooted, in March, 1901, no íunds functional attributes of the cerebral cortex. In 1891, were available for its support. The only asset was Dr. Taller published his “ Text-book of Human the promise made by the foremost physiologists in Physiology:" . This book marked an era in the London deliver courses of lectures, without methods of physiology classes throughout the I emolument, upon the branches of physiology with
which they most conversant. The Senate vironment are so different from those which take place favoured the scheme, and Sir Walter Palmer, by a at lower levels as to raise great hopes that persistent timely gift of 20001., rendered available the space researches in such Alpine laboratories may carry us which the Senate had assigned for the laboratory. / far towards solving the intricate problems of the The University supported the scheme with a grant relation of chemical and physical changes of living of 300l., and has since provided an annual grant of substance to the energies of life. It may be added 400l, for five years, conditional upon the acquisition that such researches may be expected to explain, and of 6ool. per annum from other sources.
Upon this so to afford practical guidance as to the beneficial annual subsidy of 1000l., it is estimated that the sanitary effects of life at high altitudes on many present activity of the laboratory can be sustained. diseases. So far the support obtained from outside sources, the Most of the memoirs, as might be expected, record 3oool. required for the five years, 1904-1909, is studies on the respiratory exchange and on the conrepresented by 20001. subscribed by Mr. G. W. Palmer dition of the blood at the high altitude as compared and Mr. A. Palmer. The sum asked for has there with what is. found at an ordinary low level; and in fore not yet been collected; when collected, it should some of them the effects of artificially lowering barobe noted, it will not serve to maintain the laboratory metric pressure at Turin are compared with the effects upon a scale commensurate with its activity and of the natural low pressure on Monte Rosa, accompromise. Thus the estimated expenditure of 1000l. panied as the latter is with other conditions. per annum includes no provision for the honoraria of lecturers, or for additional assistants, or
these are of great interest to the physiologist, and to research scholarships.
for him chiefly; but one memoir may perhaps attract the The sum of 50,000l., it is attention of the general reader, and that is the one estimated, would suffice for the accomplishment of by Mosso and Galeotti on the physiological effects of this greater object.
alcohol at high altitudes. These observers found that
dose of alcohol, 40 c.c. of absolute alcohol
adequately diluted, which at Turin brought about a THE MONTE ROSA AND COL D'OLEN
condition' bordering on drunkenness produced, on INTERNATIONAL LABORATORIES.
Monte Rosa, so far as subjective sensations were con
cerned, hardly any effect at all. I may add that the SOME OME time ago (NATURE, April 17, 1902, vol. Ixv. present volume does not record all the observations
P. 568) I directed the attention of the readers of made in the expeditions of 1903, a second volume Nature to the international laboratory, the Capanna being about to appear shortly. Nor are physiological Regina Margherita, which had been established on researches the only ones which have been carried out; the Gnifetti peak of Monte Rosa by Prof. Mosso, important meteorological and physical inquiries have of Turin, through the generous aid of the Regina also been conducted. Madre of Italy. Already much valuable work has been done in that laboratory, and if this has been In spite of every effort to make the accommodation chiefly of a physiological kind, though provision at the Gnifetti laboratory as complete as possible in is made in the laboratory for physical and meteor- the circumstances, those circumstances offer many ological as well as other investigations, the reason is obstacles to continued successful observations. The to be sought partly in the fact that Prof. Mosso is period during which study is possible is short, and a physiologist, partly in the special interest attaching the hardships of living and working at such a high to the physiological problems presented by living altitude are such as cannot easily be borne by many beings at high altitudes.
persons otherwise capable of carrying out fruitful inIn August and September, 1903, two physiological vestigations. Hence Prof. Mosso conceived the idea expeditions were carried out at the Capanna Regina of establishing in connection with the Gnifetti labor. Margherita, one under the direction of Prof. Zuntz, atory a supplementary laboratory at a lower but of Berlin, the other by Prof. Mosso, several observers still high level, where work could be carried on in taking part in each. The records of some of (not of connection with the higher laboratory, but under all) the results obtained in these two expeditions are easier conditions, and for a longer period of the year. now brought together by Prof. Mosso in a volume ! Visitors to the southern slopes of the Monte Rosa of some 300 pages, elegantly bound in such a way group probably know well the little wooden inn at as to be easily itself carried to high altitudes, and the Col d'Olen at the height of about 3000 metres, appropriately dedicated to that Mæcenas of science reached by a long but easy walk or mule ride from M. Ernest Solvay, who has so freely given back to Alagna, and most admirably kept by the well known science of the good things which science has given enterprising hotel proprietors Guglielmina. From it to him.
one may, when the air is clear, see afar off the Duomo I do not propose, in this notice, to deal in detail of Milan, while at one's feet alongside the path to with the twenty-one memoirs which make up the Gressonay lies an Alpine garden which Kew may volume. One, that by Durig and Zuntz, is given in envy, brilliant in late summer with sheets of gentian German; all the others, though written by Italian and other lovely flowers. Close by the inn, Prof. observers, with that generous abnegation of their own Mosso has secured a plot of ground on which he is tongue which it is to be hoped will not be considered building the new laboratory; this he hopes to have necessary for them in the coming years, appear in finished next autumn, but it will not be ready for French. I may here perhaps be allowed to express actual use until the summer of 1906. my regret that no memoir by any English observer, It is to be a laboratory fully equipped for researches either in his own or any other language, is to be in physiology, meteorology, physics, and botany; but found among them. All of them treat, more or less in addition to this it will have sixteen comfortable directly, with one or other of the many problems of bedrooms, so that sixteen workers carrying on investimetabolism which are presented by life at such a high gations will have each a bedroom to himself; and if altitude as 4560 metres. At that height the responses the number of observers should happen at any time which internal chemical, metabolic, processes and the to exceed sixteen, accommodation can be obtained at expenditure of energy make to changes in the en- the inn close by. At such altitudes success in investiLaboratoire Scientifique Internatior al du Monte Rosa. Travaux de
gation is largely dependent on personal comfort, inl'année 1993, Publiés par A. Mosso. (Turin: Loescher, 1904.)
cluding suitable food; and probably there are not a few to whom research at the high Gnifetti labor- be on a safe basis, and especially that an annual inatory would be impossible, but who could do solid come should be provided sufficient to ensure at the work at a somewhat lower level provided that the life laboratory adequate service and assistance, which, as was not too rough, and especially if they had no fear might be expected from the circumstances, have to be of being hampered by indigestion caused by too rude well paid. The existence of such a laboratory offers or monotonous a diet. For these especially is the unusual opportunities for investigation, not only to Col d'Olen Laboratory intended; and unless things those who are interested in the general problems of have altered sadly in the last few years, such need physiology, of meteorology, and of the physics of the have no fear for their stomachs. I still have a vivid earth, but also to the perhaps larger class who desire recollection of a stay at the inn at Col d'Olen during a wider and more exact knowledge of the manifold which the efforts of a talented cook produced results fascinating phenomena of the High Alps. Is it too which would have satisfied tastes of a far higher much to hope that Prof. Mosso will find no great epicurean level than my own.
difficulty in obtaining the further funds which he The new laboratory, like the old, is to be carried needs?
M. FOSTER. out as an international institution. It received warm support from the International Physiological Congress at Turin in 1901, and again at Brussels this year.
NEOLITHIC DEPOSITS IN THE NORTH-EAST After the plan of the Stazione Zoologica at Naples, its
OF IRELAND. maintenance is to be provided by subsidies which will
give the right to occupy working places. Already the Ireland attracted a considerable amint of public Italian Ministry of Instruction has secured
interest during the year 1903, in consequence of the
Fig. 1.-Wind excavated Pit in Portstewart Sand-dunes, showing "black layers." From Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, December, 1904.
modation for two investigators, the Italian Alpine lawsuit, known as the “ Gold Ornaments Case" Club for one, and the German Government for two. (Attorney-General v. the Trustees of the British M. Solvay, who has otherwise been a lavish bene- Museum). A golden boat, collar, and other objects factor to the whole enterprise, has taken two places were found in ploughing at Broighter, on the extenfor Belgium, and, through the generosity of Dr. sive flat that stretches around Limavady Junction in Ludwig Mond, our own Royal Society has the right county Londonderry. They were buried eighteen of nominating two investigators. The undertaking, inches deep in stiff clay soil, at a spot which is four therefore, is well on the way to success; but much feet above ordinary high-water mark. The British remains yet to be done. Prof. Mosso informs me Museum authorities rested their claim to the retention that though he has obtained 70,000 lire, he still of the objects in part on the theory that the ornaments needs some 50,000 lire in order that everything should in question constituted a votive offering, which was
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