Page images
PDF
EPUB

The

on July 12, by Major v. Parseval, who will describe his air-ship and its potentialities; many other well-known men of science have also fixed the dates of their lectures. physics of the upper air will be discussed by Profs. Assmann, Hergesell, Süring, and others. A list of the lectures and prizes already arranged is published in the first number of the exhibition journal Ila, this title being a contraction of Internationale Luftschiffahrt Ausstellung.

WE are indebted to the author, Dr. K. J. Bush, for a copy of notes on the molluscan family Pyramidellidæ, published in the June number of the American Journal of Science. These notes may be regarded as in some degree supplemental to the article on the same group contributed by Mr. P. Bartsch to vol. xxxiv. of the Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History.

THE crinoids of the family Comasteridæ undergo revision at the hands of Mr. A. H. Clark in No. 1685 of the Proceedings of the U.S. National Museum, no fewer than five new genera, of which three are based on species, being named and described in the course of the paper. The communication relates, to a great extent, to material collected by the Albatross.

new

As the result of a biological survey of the Belgian co. undertaken by the Royal Museum of Natural History Belgium, Mr. G. Gilson, the director of that estable ment, has been enabled to describe a new and interest parasite which in autumn frequents the nursing-cham of the females of the schizopod crustacean Gastrosace spinifer. Seeing that the schizopod occurs in swarms at some distance from the shore, it is a man for surprise that the discovery of the infesting paras should have been so long delayed, especially as the lar is of relatively large size. The parasite is itself a cr tacean, referable to the group of epicarids, a section isopods which have become degraded in accordance w the requirements of a parasitic existence. Althoug nearly related to Dajus, Mr. Gilson is of opinion that new species should represent a genus by itself, and acco ingly proposes the name Prodajus ostendensis. T. paper, of which we have received a separate copy, is p lished in vol. xliii., pp. 19-92, of the Bulletin scientify de la France et de la Belgique.

A copy of the Milroy lectures on disinfection and infectants, delivered by Prof. R. Tanner Hewlett, and printed from the Lancet, has been received. In these the lectures Prof. Hewlett decided not to deal with the deta of the various methods of practical disinfection, for the are to be found sufficiently described in every text-book hygiene; he has rather set himself to discuss the scienti principles embraced in the practice of disinfection. I first refers to the natural processes which reduce or destr.

POLYCHATOUS annelids from Monterey Bay and San Diego, California, are discussed by Dr. J. P. Moore in the June issue of the Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, the collections on which the paper is mainly based having been obtained from San Diego in 1902 and 1903, and from Monterey Bay in 1903 and 1904. The total number of species mentioned is sixty-specific micro-organisms, such as dilution (by air, wa four, of which twenty-one are believed to be new to science. Many other forms doubtless remain to be described, as at both localities collecting was almost entirely restricted to inter-tidal limits, although a few hauls were made with the dredge.

DARWINISM looms large in the June number of Neue Weltanschauung, in which the opening article is devoted to a biography of Dr. August Weismann, accompanied by an excellent portrait of that distinguished biologist and evolutionist. There is also a notice of an interesting Darwin exhibition recently opened at Carlsruhe, and arranged by Prof. Walther May. The exhibits are divided into three sections, one historical and biographical, the second theoretical, and the third bibliographical. In the first are included a series of pictures illustrative of the life of Darwin and of the influence of the environment on the organism, while the second is devoted to pictures and specimens illustrative of Darwin's observations and teaching.

THE fresh-water crustaceans of Algeria and Tunis form the subject of the first paper in the June number of the Journal of the Royal Microscopical Society, this communication being based on the collections made by the author, Mr. Robert Gurney, in February and March, 1906. Although the Algerian fresh-water crustaceans have been better worked out than those of any other part of Africa, the author finds that even here our knowledge is far from complete, while still more remains to be done in Tunis, especially in the Tell, or coast-district. A very large number of species were collected, of which several are described by the author as new, the ostracods being omitted and reserved for a future communication. Perhaps one of the most interesting of the forms discovered during the visit is the malacostracan Cirolana foutis, described by the author in the Zool. Anzeiger for 1908 on the evidence of three examples found under stones at the mouth of a spring near Biskra.

&c.), sunlight, desiccation, filtration (as in soil); he th turns to the defensive mechanisms with which nature r endowed the human body; and after making a brief re ence to the application of internal disinfectants, he pass to a consideration of the disinfection of the infectio material outside the body. References are made to sh disinfection, the requirements of an ideal disinfectant, ** nature of the processes of disinfection, and the standardis tion of disinfectants on the basis of their germicidal valu During the past few years much controversy has aris upon the value of various methods of gauging the relat germicidal powers of disinfectants, and although adva has been made, we are still some distance from the g of a satisfactory scientific method; it is important t this matter should be placed upon a sound basis, for, Prof. Hewlett points out, the use of a disinfecta engenders a sense of security which, in the case of inefficient one, is unreal, and may lead to disastrous resul The market is flooded with inefficient disinfectants, & there is at present no legal restraint upon their sale.

WE have been favoured with the report of the direct of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Ceylon, covering the ports of the various subordinate officers connected with t gardens. Dr. Willis refers very hopefully to the introd tion of American machinery for tilling the ground, owin to the success attending the trial at the experiment stat in the north of the island. The growth there of Cear rubber has been excellent, and in consequence nurseries Manihot dicholoina have been formed. The Governme chemist, Mr. M. K. Bamber, gives some particulars analyses of young and old cacao leaves. In the you leaves potash and phosphoric acid accumulate to the ext of 35 per cent. and 10 per cent. respectively, but ve small quantities are present in old leaves, which con' a large amount of silica combined with lime and magnes MR. N. N. WORONICHIN, who has been studying the d tribution of the algae in the Black Sea, communicates

1

Museum of X

the director

› describe a per frequents th hizopod crusta

reliminary account to the botanical section (No. 7) of Travaux de la Société impériale des Naturalistes de St. Pétersbourg (vol. xxxvii., part iii.). Three vertical zones of distribution are distinguished. The littoral zone is he schizopod harrow, as there is no appreciable ebb and flow; Ralfsia from the sherrucosa, Corallina virgata, Rivularia polyotis, are the chief forms in certain bays, and in others species of Ulva and Enteromorpha are the most general. The second zone comprises depths from two to eight fathoms, where Cystoseira barbata is everywhere the dominant species. A third zone ranges from ten to thirty fathoms; Polysibhonia elongata is the chief formation down to twentyive fathoms, then Zanardinia collaris is dominant, and ower Antithamnion plumula.

overy of the

delayed, esp

The parasit oup of epicard degraded

arasitic exis

Gilson is

a genus by

Prodajas et

eived a se 12, of the

ue.

ures on d

R. Tanner

charts, and particulars of average and extreme values; it also deals with special subjects, e.g. electrical phenomena and the investigation of the upper air, and contains many useful illustrations. The work will be acceptable to many who may wish to obtain accurate general weather knowledge without reference to more pretentious instructions and

text-books.

THE Electrical Review for June 18 contains a list of the electric tramways, railways, and power companies of the United Kingdom. We note that the following towns head the list of those having electric tramways:-Manchester 105, Glasgow 95, London 86, Liverpool 59, Bradford 55, and Leeds 54 miles of track. The leading electric railways are-the Liverpool and Southport with 35, the Newcastle and Tyneside with 30, the Metropolitan with 26, and the Metropolitan District with 24 miles of double track. The greatest power companies are:-the Newcastle-on-Tyne with a station capacity of 47,000 kilowatts, and the Durham Collieries with 11,000 kilowatts. One of the points which a study of the list brings out is the great popularity of electric traction in the northern towns as compared with the indifference in the south.

A SERIES of short papers by Dr. J. N. Rose relating o xerophytic plants of the unrelated but morphologically similar families of the Crassulacea and Cactaceae is collected in vol. xii., part ix., of Contributions from the United States National Herbarium. A Mexican plant, formerly described from barren specimens as an Echeveria, s made the type of a new genus, Thompsonella. Another been received plant from Vera Cruz restores the species Echeveria carninot to da color. Three new species of the same genus are recorded actical disis from Guatemala. The re-discovery of the Cuban species scribed in of tree cactus, Cereus nudiflorus, is interesting; other new nself to disc species are arboreal Pereskia, a remarkably spiny ractice Echinocereus, and a Nopalea. Dr. Rose also describes ses which a leguminous tree resembling a Cercidium, but sufficiently as dilute distinct to be placed in a new genus, Conzattia. The ation as photographs illustrating the habit of these plants are ms with

after making

nfection of

admirable.

an

THE Scenery of the Greater Antilles forms the subject

By means of quotations from the "Atomistic" of 1862 and the "Weltleben" of 1881 of Robert Grassmann, Dr. F. Kuntze shows in the Physikalische Zeitschrift for June 15 that more than forty years ago the brothers

Hermann and Robert Grassmann had worked out the

[ocr errors]

details of an electronic theory to which the electronic theories of the present day bear some resemblance. According to the Grassmann theory, the smallest æther particle consists of a pair of entities to which symbols +E and -E are assigned. The pairs repel each other according to the inverse fourth-power law. When glass is rubbed with silk the + E is attracted to the glass, the E to the silk, and the two bodies become electrified. Light is due to the oscillations of the pairs as pairs, electricity to the oscillation of the constituents of each pair. Heat is the oscillation of matter and the æther pair together. Matter in the same way consists of pairs of elements, and chemical combination of two substances is the attraction of the

positive matter element by the negative part of the æther pair, and the negative matter element by the positive part of the æther pair. The positive and negative parts of a pair are supposed to keep apart owing to the motion of each round the other, as in a binary star.

al disinfe of an interesting paper read by Sir H. H. Johnston at the Royal Geographical Society, and published in the June rences are number of the Geographical Journal. The subject provides an ideal ample scope for the author's well-known powers of tion, and observation and description. Reference is made to the of their striking character of the royal palms, Oreodoxa regia, in h contre Cuba, an avenue of which "looks like a column of white s of ga marble pillars crowned with a gerbe of glossy green s, and fronds." The palmetto, Sabal palmetto, and two other e distance palms with fan-shaped leaves, Thrinax and Coccothrinax, d; it is are prominent in the landscape of the plains and foota sou hills. Tall cacti contribute largely to the scenery of eastern use of Cuba, especially on sandy flats. In the island of Haiti ich, the agaves aroused the author's admiration. With regard ad to dia to Jamaica, the author presents a sketch of the vegetation cient in January; he also offers a word of advice in the matter t upon of retaining such natural beauty spots as Fern Gully. report. WE have received revised editions of two useful little manuals :—(1) Observing and Forecasting the Weather," by Mr. D. W. Horner; and (2)" Some Facts about the efully Weather," by Mr. W. Marriott. The first is intended for gth those who may wish to obtain some knowledge of the the weather without the use of instruments. For such persons oath the work contains much useful information; the chapters seques on clouds and optical phenomena, from which successful LT forecasts may often be drawn, are especially interesting, are also the sections on old weather proverbs and the popular fallacy of the moon's influence. The work is me accompanied by some good typical illustrations. second pamphlet gives some of the results which have been obtained from present-day systematic meteorological observations in the British Isles," and is of special interest to those possessing instruments for an ordinary climatological station. It contains useful information referring to each of the meteorological elements, the use of synoptic

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

3,

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

AN interesting article on the mechanical testing of cast iron appears in the Bulletin de la Société d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie nationale for May. The author, M. Ch. Frémont, deals first with the historical aspect of his subject, giving drawings of early apparatus, and then proceeds to describe special machines of his own with which he has made many tests on small specimens for the determination of the coefficient of elasticity, the elastic limit, and the breaking strength. The results and plotted diagrams are given, and from these the author arrives at the following conclusions:-the testing under static bending of castiron samples of greatly differing strengths shows that the coefficient of elasticity varies considerably, from simple to triple proportion; the capacity for elastic bending of cast iron is inversely proportional to its strength; the elastic limit under static bending varies very greatly, being from 0.45 to 0.80 of the breaking strength.

MOST of the engineering and shipbuilding periodicals for the week ending June 26 contain reference to the new rules which are on the point of being issued by Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping. The revised rules are framed to include vessels up to about 680 feet in length,

and they cover all the vessels previously classed by the society excepting the large Cunard steamers Lusitania and Mauretania. The most important modification in the new rules is in the basis for determining the "transverse number" and the " longitudinal number." The former number is now to be found by adding the breadth and -depth only, and the latter by multiplying the length by the sum of the breadth and depth. It is also of importance to notice that all the sections in the tables conform to the standards of the Engineering Standards Committee. This is a very wise move, and is much to be commended. Another step in the right direction has been taken in the adoption of a unit for scantlings of one-fiftieth of an inch instead of one-twentieth as in the old rules. This not only conforms with the decimal system, but, as 0.02 inch is practically half a millimetre, a close connection with the metrical system is secured. As Lloyd's Register covers between 70 per cent. and 80 per cent. of the world's shipping for insurance purposes, the new rules cannot fail to influence the shipbuilding and steel industries in this and most foreign countries.

A NOTE in the Bulletin de l'Institut Pasteur for May 30 (vii., No. 10, p. 453) announces the discovery by Carlos Chagas, of Rio de Janeiro, of a new human trypanosome parasite (T. cruzi), conveyed by a bug (Conorrhinus), and causing an often fatal illness among miners and others in the State of Minas.

THE Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital for June (xx., No. 219) contains an interesting historical essay, by Dr. Gerster, on the life and times of Gerhardt van Swieten, physician to the Empress Maria Theresa, who was born in Leyden in 1700 and died in 1772 at Schönbrunn.

A COMPREHENSIVE note on the cartography of the Philippine Islands is given by Prof. Guido Cora in Bollettino della Soc. Geogr. Ital. as a notice of the recent map of the islands compiled from original sources by Mr. C. W. Hodgson.

WE have received from the Nottingham Free Public Library a copy of a simply arranged supplementary science catalogue of the central lending library dealing with books in most branches of science published between 1901 and the present year.

MR. R. B. HENDERSON, assistant master at Rugby School, has written an introduction to the study of moths and butterflies for the Rugby School Natural History Society, entitled "The Scaly-winged." It will be published immediately by Messrs. Christophers.

WE have received vol. vi. of "Contributions from the Jefferson Physical Laboratory." It consists of a reprint of twelve papers which have appeared in the Proceedings of the American Academy of Science or in other periodicals during the past twelve months. Five of these papers have already been noticed in these columns.

In the announcement in NATURE of May 27 (p. 375) of the resignation by Mr. H. H. Clayton of his position at the Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, it was stated that he had been in charge of the observatory since 1894. This statement does not express the position exactly. Mr. Clayton has served for many years as observer or meteorologist, and his researches have added to the reputation of the observatory, but the director is Prof. Lawrence Rotch, who founded the observatory in 1885, and provides :for its material support.

THE June number of the Stonyhurst Magazine contes an illustrated description of the Milne seismograph in the National Antarctic Expedition in H.M.S. Discre under Captain R. F. Scott, R.N., in 1904. The seit graph is now a permanent loan to the observatory Stonyhurst from the Antarctic committee of the R Geographical Society. The instrument stands at S: hurst on a solid stone pillar fixed in 12 inches of concre its position is lat. 53° 50' 40" N. and long. 9m. 52-685. of Greenwich. A new recording apparatus has 32 secured, and there is every reason to hope that us. observations will be made at the new station.

OUR ASTRONOMICAL COLUMN. COMET 19094, BORRELLY-DANIEL.-Further observat of comet 1909a have revealed no striking features either its form or in its behaviour. In No. 4334 of the Ar nomische Nachrichten M. Chofardet records the obser tions made at the Besançon Observatory, and states on June 17 and 19 the comet was of magnitude 110 12.0, had a round, diffused head of 1.5' diameter, as. vague condensation which could be seen occasionally oblique vision.

A NEW FORM OF COMPARISON PRISM.-In all spect scopic work where a comparison prism placed over the s is used, the dark band between the compared spectra, duced by the edge of the prism, constitutes an inconvenie which may prove a source of error. To remedy this dele Prof. Louis Bell has employed a specially designed of pound prism, in which the light from one of the sou is reflected from the fine edge of a thin layer of silve whilst that from the other source is allowed just to m the edge. Thus the line of demarcation is practical eliminated. The method of preparing such compc. prisms is described, and illustrated by diagrams, in No.. vol. xxix., of the Astrophysical Journal (p. 305).

HALLEY'S COMET.-No. 4330 of the Astronomis: Nachrichten contains two search-ephemerides for Hale probable date of perihelion and gives three ephemerida comet. The first is by Dr. Holetschek, who discusses one for May 16.45, 1910, and the others for thirty d before and after respectively. At the previous appariti in 1835, the comet was discovered 102 days before : perihelion passage, when its distances from the sun earth were 19 and 2-4 astronomical units respectively: corresponding distance from the sun will occur, accord to Dr. Holetschek's data (T=May 16-45, February 3, 1910. The second ephemeris has been com puted by Herr L. Matkiewitsch from the data given the essay which won the Astronomische Gesellschaft prize the positions now given vary considerably, at differe epochs, from those previously referred to in these colum (NATURE, No. 2046, January 14, p. 320).

1910), c

THE POLARISATION OF THE SOLAR CORONA.-In the Je number of the Bulletin de la Société astronomique & France M. Salet discusses at length the photograp obtained at the 1905 eclipse with a polariscopic camer These photographs show the coronal radiations to strongly polarised right down to the moon's edge, there: indicating that reflected light is being dealt with; but t spectroscopic observations indicate that radiations direct from a light-source are in question. M. Salet sugges that the apparent contradiction may be explained by theory that the bright radiations observed spectroscopic... are due to metallic vapours rendered fluorescent by intense solar radiation. In this condition metallic vaper give band spectra, and the superposition of these might. small dispersion were employed, produce the appearance a continuous spectrum such as has been observed. support of his theory M. Salet quotes the observation c Sir Norman Lockyer at the eclipse of 1882, that the coron spectrum appeared to be formed of superposed bands, directs attention to the discovery of magnetic fields :. Prof. Hale, which, with a rotating sun, afford the cor ditions necessary for his theory.

the Stonyhard

of the M THE SOLAR CONSTANT AND THE APPARENT TEMPERATURE

Expedition in

tt, R.N., in

ent loan to s

tarctic com

OF THE SUN.-In a note published in No. 7, vol. Ixix., of he Monthly Notices (p. 611), Dr. Féry discusses the neasurement of the solar constant and of the sun's mean emperature. One of the greatest difficulties in these reearches is to evaluate the atmospheric absorption, which

he instrumen published researches has varied from 1.5 to 4; it is

ar fixed in 17

generally accepted now as having the value 2.4.

40 N. and high temperatures, MM. Féry and Millochau applied it to

Having designed an instrument for measuring terrestrial

recording he determination of the solar temperature by Stefan's

ry reason taw.

t the new sta

More than 750 observations were made at different altitudes, and at the summit of Mont Blanc the zenith ransmission was found to be 0.91; with this correction the emperature at the centre of the sun's disc was found to be 5550° absolute, and the mean temperature 5360° C.

MICAL COBefore dispatching it to India, this instrument was

DANIEL-F

re

standardised at the National Physical Laboratory, and, on clear, dry day, gave eight concordant readings, from

d no striking which the temperature at the centre of the disc was found

r. In No. 43

Chofardet re

o be 5153° absolute; on this day the zenith transmission

at Teddington was, therefore, 0.74, or the absorption was

Observatory, 26 per cent. het was of Employing the accepted value of the constant (2.4), the

Of course, the supply of water per head of population is the important question when dealing with the amount of water required, and the tables given of the supplies in a large number of towns show the variations which exist, and which extend from about sixty gallons as a maximum to below ten gallons as a minimum, leaving out one special case with small population which runs up to 124 gallons per head. The numbers all relate to total supply, which includes domestic, trade, and municipal demands. The statistics given show much greater uniformity of supply in the different towns than would have been anticipated, and it is evident from them that waste of water is carefully looked after in England, and all possible precautions taken to avoid it. If the consumption is compared with what is common in many of the large towns in the United States, where the water supply goes up to 200 gallons and more per head, it will be evident that the precautions taken in England have given very satisfactory results. The opposition to the use of water meters in the United States is probably the reason why leakage and waste continue on a large scale. This opposition is principally due to the view that, on sanitary grounds, it is not well to restrict the supply of water, but, as Mr. F. P. Stearnsstated in his presidential address to the American Society of Civil Engineers, "no one has yet demonstrated the

could be set the sun; but Dr. Féry thinks this is too high, and, there- sanitary advantages of a leaky faucet or a defective ball

head of 13

ISON PRISH

son prism pa

en the compar.

2

recent researches give 5920° as the mean temperature of

from, deduces that the accepted value of the solar constant is too high. The Mont Blanc measures would indicate 1.65 as the value.

, constitutes THE NATIONAL CONSUMPTION OF WATER. AN important paper on the increase in the national consumption of water was read by Mr. W. R. B.

error. To rem

ed a speciale d

ght from

re of a

o of the Ch-ephemerte

Wiseman before the Royal Statistical Society on April 27.

cock.

The paper is of considerable interest, and must have urce is all entailed a large amount of time and thought on the part demartat of the author. The historical part, which deals with the preparing early history of water supply in England, treats the quesated by tion, not only from the general point of view, but gives Journalp many interesting details of the early methods adopted and the difficulties met with in many individual towns; in fact, it is not too much to say that the early beginnings of the water supply of all the principal towns in England are reviewed shortly in the paper. It is obvious that, as the object of the paper is to deal with the more modern questions which arise in connection with this subject, the author could not devote very much space to historical red details. We can, however, judge that on this subject he tances fr has only touched the fringe of the information he has cal units acquired, and it may perhaps not be too much to hope that he may return to this part of his subject at a future -May the date. ephemeris ta

letschek,

gives thre the others

the pre

[ocr errors]

Table No. 5 is a valuable one. It gives, first, the population of more than 120 cities, towns, or districts in England for two or three years, with intervals, sometimes gives the total supply in each of these water areas during large and sometimes small, between the years. It then the years mentioned, dividing it up under the heads of domestic, trade, and municipal, the daily supply per head of population then following under the same heads.

are

Considerable space is devoted to the reasons which have caused an increase in the supply of water per head for domestic, trade, and municipal purposes. As regards domestic, it is, of course, well known that the displacement of old.methods of sewage disposal by the introduction of the water-carriage system was the first cause of the great increase of the water supply. The increased and increasing use of fixed baths must also largely augment the consumption, as the water used for a bath by one person may vary from thirty to one hundred gallons. The author gives various other reasons for the increase in the domestic supply. As regards municipal supply, attention is directed to the increase in consumption due to the public baths, wash-houses, street conveniences, &c. The author states that he has endeavoured for some time

The life of Sir Hugh Myddelton and the description of from the the work carried out by him of bringing the water from mische Ge the springs of Chadwell and Amwell, in Hertfordshire, by Considerably means of the New River, for the supply of London rred to well known to most of us, and possibly the author of 320). this paper may have material for the making of a story as interesting and romantic in connection with other

CORON

octete ast

ength th

a polarise onal rata

e mocni

ng dealt hat rad 7. M. S

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

towns.

[ocr errors]

past to collect data which will give some idea of the relative proportion of the water supply needed for particular works or industries, but the results have been too meagre to justify definite conclusions. He, however, deals in a general way with the amount of water used in a large number of industries, among which are breweries, distilleries, paper works, textile industries, and many others, and the information given is of an interesting character. The conclusion is that, on the whole, the rate of increase of water supply is greater in recent times than in those more remote. There probably would have been no doubt about this conclusion in anyone's mind, but, although this may be the case, it does not detract from the value of the information which has been collected in this paper to prove it.

The author says he was "tempted to investigate the estimates of the population in the pre-censal period in order to determine whether the great increases in the population in the nineteenth century were abnormal or otherwise, as upon the answer to the query one must be guided in the provision of water supplies for future populations. As was to be expected, he found such an inquiry not of great value. He has, however, put together some interesting information as regards the growth of many towns, and has dealt with the reasons for the very rapid growth of several of them. From a general review, the conclusion arrived at is that "the nineteenth century was in no wise abnormal, and that a steady increase in the already considerable population may be expected throughout the twentieth century."

The author describes at some length the methods adopted for checking the waste of water in early days, and particularly the system adopted in Liverpool in 1868 of localising the waste by metering the supply in various districts.

The moral drawn is that, with the increasing amount of water required, there will be an increasing competition for the remaining first-class upland reservoir sites, which will become fewer and fewer as time goes on, and it is therefore desirable that steps should be taken at an early date to create some central authority" which should be charged with the duty of water conservancy in its widest application, and for that purpose should engage in a close and exact study of the water resources of the country." The author then goes more fully into the details which ought to be dealt with by such a body.

[ocr errors][merged small]

national matter, and it should be considered as a whole, and a town should not be allowed to appropriate a particular area unless it can be shown that in a general survey of available sources of supply that area economically, from a water point of view, be allotted to it."

can

The value of the paper would have been increased if some information had been given as regards what is being done in other countries in connection with systematic investigation of water resources. There is no doubt that such an investigation is of more value and of greater necessity to the United Kingdom, where the population per acre is large, than to some of those countries which are at present rather sparsely inhabited, but which, at the same time, spend money on proposals such as have been suggested. In the United States this work was undertaken as a national one some years ago, a beginning having been made in 1894-5 by a grant of 12,500 dollars. This amount was gradually increased, until the grant in 1905-6 was 200,000 dollars. Since then there has, we believe, been some variation in the amount voted for this purpose.

Considering the large amount of work which the author must have gone through to prepare this paper, it may seem almost ungracious to suggest that he should add anything further to it as regards other countries, but he has shown such a large capacity for putting information together that we hope he may be tempted to even further research in connection with this subject.

MAURICE FITZMAURICE.

THE WAR AGAINST TUBERCULOSIS.

THE National Association for the Prevention of Con

sumption and other Forms of Tuberculosis was well advised to open its exhibition or collection of objectlessons in the Borough of Stepney. It may safely be said that the Whitechapel Art Gallery never had any company of more interested sightseers than the thousands who, at this exhibition a few weeks ago, examined and discussed death-rates, ventilation, graduated labour and the apparatus used in performing it in the treatment of consumption, apparatus for the treatment of tuberculous diseases, playgrounds, pathological specimens, back-toback houses, overcrowding, food-stuffs and the principles of nutrition, methods of disinfection, and the like.

Any interested onlooker would have seen at once that the official conferences and set discussions constituted, after all, but a small fraction of the educational work that was being carried on. Here was an exhibition of which the main object was not to direct the attention of the public to any patent medicine or "all curing" nostrum, but how to regulate their daily life, how to avoid disease, and how to get the best food value out of their weekly wages, be these great or small. Nevertheless, the promoters of this exhibition, realising what an opportunity they had, also gathered together a number of medical and municipal delegates interested in the matter, to discuss the best means of preventing and curing tuberculosis.

Even those dropping in casually found an enthusiastic band of demonstrators, nurses from dispensaries and hospitals, attendants from graduated labour homes, from sanatoria and similar institutions, all hard at work explaining to small groups of interested men and women the meaning of the exhibits of which they were in charge. It was interesting to see the keenness with which both teacher and listener tackled the subject; and that these demonstrators were doing their work well was apparent from the numerous and intelligent questions that were put at the end of the demonstrations. Even to the sharp, shrewd Londoner the importance of ventilation, of cleanliness, of light, of suitable feeding, have been small, but a few exhibitions and demonstrations such as those seen and heard in Whitechapel Art Gallery will soon change all that; and the President of the Local Government Board has done nothing better for some time than in giving his countenance and support to what promises to be a really living movement.

What is the object and what are the lessons insisted upon at these conferences? Anyone visiting the exhibition

would have it brought home to him in some way or t that between 1858 and 1907 there nad been a fall in: annual death-rate due to tuberculosis from 2700; He 1,000,000 living to 1150 per 1,000,000 living. also see that, were the fall to continue at the same ta tuberculosis would be an extinct disease early in the decade. Although this is too favourable a state of th to look forward to, as there will always remain a cr. substratum of tuberculous patients and foci that it wil almost impossible to reach, tuberculosis should undoubte be an almost negligible quantity in our death-rate by time.

How has this fall been brought about? In the 5place, even before Koch was able to prove the pres of the infective agent, the tubercle bacillus, in tubera.. lesions, it was realised by those who were studying disease most closely that it could be transmitted from person to another, and that crowded and badly venti rooms were, therefore, fruitful centres of infection. 7 was a very great step forward, the full effect of wh however, was not felt until Koch gave his words demonstration of the presence of the tubercle bacilli. isolated the infective agent-this tubercle bacillus ; its history was studied, and its relation to the tissues of animal body during the course of the development of : disease, demonstrated. In the history of the treatment any infective disease little progress has been made fighting against it until the causal agent has been deze strated. Once this stage has been reached, however, fight waged against infective disease of all kinds become more and more effective. In the case of tuber losis, the attack can now be delivered along many paralle Every patient is looked upon as a possible centre of inhe tion, and before setting about the cure of the patar those dealing with the case have set themselves the of attacking the bacillus from every quarter and at ever point. It is realised that the first thing to be done is secure it, or kill it, if possible, immediately it leaves patient, especially, of course, in the sputum, as it co from the lungs.

In the case of tuberculosis, isolation, in the ordina sense of the term, is out of the question, but although th patient cannot be segregated from his fellows-and many cases it would be both unwise and cruel so to dr he should be carefully trained to isolate himself, so as the tubercle bacillus is concerned, by taking every p caution to prevent any undisinfected material from getting beyond his immediate vicinity. More is necessary, ho ever, than the mere killing of the bacillus as it leath the human body; some attempt must be made so t build up the strength of the patient that his tiss may be capable of carrying on war with the bac either on fairly level terms or on terms in favour the patient. This can only be done by ensuring go hygienic conditions-plenty of fresh air, light, go food, work enough with plenty of rest. Given these col ditions, and the tubercle bacillus has a bad time of t remove the conditions, and the bad time falls to th patient. It has been stated above that it is often t necessary to segregate consumptive patients; it must y remembered, however, that in the late stages of th disease, when the patient is weak and when the vario discharges from the body, sputum and other excreta, r contain enormous numbers of the infective bacilli, it ma be advisable, and even necessary, in the patient's or interests as well as of those who daily come in conta with him, to keep him in hospital, to make his last days or even weeks or months, as easy and as pleasant a possible for him. Moreover, under these conditions destruction of the enormous number of tubercle bac coming from the body is a comparatively easy matter.

Those interested in the treatment of tuberculosis har for long been convinced that good feeding and fresh a are factors of prime importance in such treatment. Up: a few years ago, however, the results obtained, though very much better than any obtained under the old methoëof treatment, were in certain respects extremely disappoin:ing. The patients were not properly classified for trer ment, and many died who apparently ought to have lived Those who went to Whitechapel to learn would find that the treatment of consumptives under Dr. Paterson a

« PreviousContinue »