Page images


NOWHERE else in this country can the geologist
find, along a coast line of only sixty miles, so
many varied and magnificent cliff sections of the
Cretaceous and Tertiary formations, and in no British
area of equal size-a hundred and sixty square miles-
can the botanist collect so many species of flowering
plants, as in the "Garden Isle," which has long been
a happy hunting-ground for field naturalists. Its rich
flora and fauna, conditioned largely by its diversified
soil, has already been dealt with in various works,
notably in Venables' "Guide to the Isle of Wight"
(1860), and in the Hampshire section of the "Victoria
County History" series.
This new

"Guide" contains a large number of

realising the difficult task that I was undertaking "; and he expresses himself content to have served as a "horrible example" if by doing so those who come after him are enabled to profit by his mistakes of omission and commission. Such modesty disarms criticism, and Mr. Morey's energy and enterprise deserve the warm thanks and congratulations of all who are interested in the natural his.ory of the Isle of Wight.

As is the case with all compilations, the book is unequal in quality, but we feel bound to point out two defects which, though common enough in works of this kind, detract considerably from its value and interest. A book which attempts to compress into a comparatively small space an enumeration of the entire


FIG. 1.-The Culver Cliffs: Inset showing Heiring Gulls at their Nests. From "A Guide to the Natal History of the Isle of Wight." new records, and will at least form a good basis upon which resident and visiting naturalists may build a complete natural history of the district. There can be no question as to Mr. Morey's qualifications for the editorship of this volume, since he has worked at the fauna and flora of the island for forty years, and in producing the "Guide" has obtained the services of a capable band of systematists in the various branches dealt with. One cannot but admire his industry, versatility, and enthusiasm. He tells us, "when, nearly three years ago, I decided to bring out a work which should fairly illustrate the fauna and flora and the natural history generally of the Isle of Wight, I did so, almost literally, with fear and trembling, fully 1"A Guide to the Natural History of the Isle of Wight." A Series of Contributions by Specialists, relating to the various branches of Natural History and kindred subjects. Edited by Frank Morey. Pp. xx+560.

(Newport, I.W.: County Press; London: W. Wesley and Son, 1909.)

Price 8s. 6d. net.

fauna and flora of a rich district, with an account of its geology, to say nothing of articles on palæolithic implements, meteorology, and even earthquakes, must necessarily consist largely of a census catalogue of species. Lists of species are undeniably useful, and not to be despised when compiled carefully, but the ideal to be aimed at in a real natural history is surely something that shall go beyond, and in some respects be the antithesis of, a mere list. Beyond a few vague references to the bare fact that the distribution of species of flowering plants, mosses, &c., is affected by the characters of rocks and soils, we look in vain for any evidence of the scientific ecological spirit which animates such works as Baker's "North Yorkshire," Lees' "West Yorkshire," and Wheldon and Wilson's "West Lancashire," and has made them valuable contributions to the growing literature of plant ecology. The three books cited are, of course, limited

to the botany of each district, but a general sketch of the distribution of the flowering plants, at any rate, should have been given in this "Guide." The island would afford excellent scope for a botanical survey, on the lines of the well-known work done by Dr. Smith, Dr. Moss, and other ecologists, in various parts of Britain. It is greatly to be hoped that in a future edition of, or supplement to, this "Guide" it will be found possible to include a chapter on plant distribution, with a vegetation map of the island, and, for comparison and correlation, a geological map. This would, if carefully done, preferably by an ecologicallyminded botanist residing in the district, undoubtedly enhance the value of the book and secure for it more than the local interest that attaches to a merely floristic work.

string of incoherent and inaccurate sentences, repeating and perpetuating long since exploded errors and mare's-nests. Lichenologists, we know, are a stiffnecked generation, but surely it is time they hesitated to record in print their refusal to recognise the dual nature of the lichen thallus, which has been fully and finally established. There can be no excuse, either, for the hepaticologist who tells us that the liverworts are " linked to the lichens" by means of their thalloid forms! The account of the relationship between the liverwort Frullania and the rotifer which sometimes occupies its pitchers is entirely imaginative. The list of hepatics (liverworts) is conspicuous by the omission of several species which are certainly found in the island, and often abundantly in places, such as Anthoceros laevis, Scapania nemorosa, and Lepidozia reptans.

[ocr errors]

The articles by Mr. G. W. Colenutt (geology), Mr. P. Wadham (fishes, mammals, &c.), and Mr. R. H. Fox (birds) stand out as refreshing oases in the arid desert of species lists, being written in a "naturestudy spirit which can hardly be said to characterise the work of the other contributors. The "Guide" is illustrated by twenty-six excellent plates, chiefly from photographs by Mr. H. F. Poole, two of which we are permitted to reproduce here. F. C.

[ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

The second suggestion we venture to make, with reference generally to books similar in scope to this "Guide," is that most of the systematists responsible for the various lists of plants and animals given in local naturalistic compilations would do well to obtain the cooperation of a biological botanist or zoologist when writing their prefatory remarks on the group of plants or animals they are dealing with. So far as this "Guide" is concerned, we refer chiefly, as examples, to the sections dealing with some of the cryptogamic plants. It would be far better for the average cryptogamic systematist to pass straight on to his list and say nothing whatever about the lifehistory and development of his group than to write a



T may be taken as definitely established that sleeping sickness is due to infection with a trypanosome (Trypanosoma gambiense), and that this trypanosome is conveyed by a tsetse-fly (Glossina palpalis). But if we proceed to analyse and extend this proposition we soon get into difficulties. We do not know for certain whether man is the only "reservoir" of this trypanosome, or whether monkeys and other mammals, especially native dogs, can also harbour it. Should this prove to be so-though the balance of evidence is against the supposition-it must materially affect prophylactic measures. If we consider next the mode by which the trypanosome is conveyed we find ourselves in the midst of the most conflicting evidence. It is still uncertain whether the transmission is mechanical or whether there is a cycle of development 2 of the trypanosome in the fly; facts appear to be all in favour of the first view, analogy all in favour of the latter. Nor is the question a purely academical one, for if the transmission is mechanical, then the flies are no longer infective after the infecting reservoir (man) is removed; if, however, there is a cycle of development, then it remains to be determined how long an infected fly can remain infective after the infecting source is removed.

If, again, we consider the question, Can sleeping sickness be conveyed by any other species of tsetsefly than Gl. palpalis? we must confess our ignorance. The balance of evidence certainly seems to be against the possibility, but should it be shown that other species can convey the disease, then the question of prophylaxis would be even more difficult than it now is. These reports show that these are some of the questions that urgently need solution, but there are others of equal importance which arise in the immediate carrying out of prophylactic measures. They concern the fly itself, its habits, duration of its life, its breeding grounds, its food, its powers of flight, its likes and dislikes in regard to foliage, trees, shrubs, grass, &c. These questions are all important, and

1 "Reports of the Sleeping Sickness Commission of the Royal Society." No. ix.

2 The existence of such a cycle is now practically established by the recent work of Kleine confirmed by Bruce.

in our opinion it is imperative to appoint one or more officers with special entomological knowledge to study these points minutely. It is true that these reports afford evidence that the officers concerned in these investigations have made additions to our knowledge on these points, but the other duties of these officers are so multifarious that valuable time is being lost through this defect. It is true also that in the epidemic in Uganda the condition of things is so terrible that it is impossible to wait for the solution of all these questions, however important, before any action is taken, and we may now consider what, with the present available knowledge, is being done to check the epidemic. The means of prophylaxis may be considered under three aspects :—(1) Those directed against the fly; (2) those directed against the carrier of the trypanosome, i.e. man; (3) those directed against the trypanosome itself.

important to note that such areas are numerous, and may often be only a few hundred yards away. Fresh infection of the fly is also avoided by preventing the removal of infected natives to uninfected fly areas. The applicability of this measure depends mainly upon the "attitude" of the native.

(3) Measures directed against the trypanosome itself, i.e. the treatment of infected persons, are bound up closely with the segregation of the sick. The treatment of the segregated in fly-free areas by atoxyl or other arsenic preparations is the only one that is at all effective, but it must be admitted that the results are disappointing, and that the good results of the drug are in many cases only temporary. The patient's blood becomes free from trypanosomes (and presumably non-infective, though this is not proved), and so the chance of infection of the fly, if patients come in contact with fly areas, becomes less. Time will show how far these measures, the numerous important details of which we have to leave unconsidered, will be successful. Those engaged in carrying out these arduous and dangerous measures have hope that although sleeping sickness may not be eradicated or the fly totally annihilated, yet that the epidemic will soon be under control. It must be the sincere wish of everyone that this hope may be justified. J. W. W. S.

(1) With regard to measures directed against the fly. It has been found, and it is a matter of the highest importance, that the "natural range of the fly, i.e. the distance to which flies follow from water in search of blood, is, as a rule, under 50 yards. The still more important fact has been determined that clearing and burning or removing the undergrowth for a distance of 100 yards in either direction, e.g. from a ferry for a strip 50-100 yards broad, has the effect of banishing the fly. It is this method, then, i.e. banishing the fly by clearing from its “normal fly range," that is the basis of the methods now being carried out in Uganda. It is not necessary to clear extensively around a village, but simply to clear THE contamination of milk has been the subject

[ocr errors]


"' fre

comparatively small strips of the "fly range ' quented by man. Although flies may occur in the village itself, unless there is a fly area present these flies are those which have followed their victims beyond the "fly range to the village. If the flies of the "fly range are banished, then, ipso facto, the "following "flies also disappear. A typical fly area, though there are exceptions, consists of more or less open water with contiguous and especially overhanging shade and generally a fairly well-defined bank or shore. If, then, clearing can permanently banish the fly, and we believe that this will be found to be the case, because the fly still has plenty of uncleared area to frequent-though the fact that its human blood supply is at the same time removed may modify the result it is an important measure of prophylaxis, though its value is perhaps restricted to somewhat small areas and special conditions.

If the fly cannot be removed by clearing, then the population must be deported from the vicinity of the fly. This measure has been extensively carried out in Uganda by the removal of populations from the lake to inland fly-free areas two miles away, to prevent traffic from the lake, which is responsible for the great bulk of the infection; but in many cases there are serious difficulties in the way. Further, the removal of populations still non-infected from a potentially dangerous fly area to a safe fly-free area would be of the greatest importance, and would form a more striking object-lesson to the native of the value of these measures than the removal of an infected population, because a certain, probably high, percentage of these latter will eventually die of sleeping sickness, although in a safe area; whereas this would not be the case if the population removed was non-infected. (2) As the two measures, clearing and deportation, of the healthy, are undertaken with the object in view of preventing access of the fly to man, so segregation of the sick prevents fresh infection of the fly, and diminution of the infectivity of the fly in a fly area. This implies the removal of the sick of a village to another village or camp in a fly-free area, and it is


of a detailed research by Dr. Orr, carried out on behalf of the councils of the county boroughs of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Rotherham and Sheffield, and the administrative counties of the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire. Of previous investigations, Delépine concluded that though his results did not exclude the possibility of infection at the home of the consumer, or during transit from the farm, they did indicate that infection at the farm, or through vessels infected at the farm and used by the farmer for the storage and carriage of milk, was of paramount importance. On the other hand, Newsholme attaches little importance to infection at the cowshed. Dr. Orr's investigation was carried out in a systematic manner, and not only were the bacteriological examinations carefully performed, but, in addition, the condition of the cows and cowsheds and the effects of season and atmospheric temperature were noted. First, the bacterial content of the milk in the udder was estimated, and it was found that the fore-milk (that first milked) contained from 18,000 to 48,000 microorganisms per cubic centimetre, and the milk after the removal of the fore-milk 890 to 4800 per cubic centimetre.

It is generally agreed that the milk as secreted is sterile, the microorganisms in the milk as drawn being derived from lodgment and multiplication in

the teats and cistern.

Dirt on the udder is a fruitful source of contamination, and, during milking, dust, &c., from the udder adds much to the bacterial content of the milk. Dust in the cowsheds, and the entrance of dirt during transit and delivery, further add to the contamination, so that the milk, when it reaches the consumer, may contain an appalling number of microbes. The chief conclusions derived from Dr. Orr's work are:

(1) Of the total organisms in the milk used by the conDuring railway transit, at the retailer's premises, and in sumer, the greatest number are contributed by the farmer. the consumer's house, smaller amounts are added, the amount in each instance being apparently about the same.

(2) Of the glucose-fermenting or intestinal organisms and the streptococci, by far the greatest number are added

at the farm. The retailer adds a certain number, the con

sumer none.

(3) The sediment or "dirt" gains entrance to the milk chiefly at the cowshed. In 86-8 per cent. of the samples examined there was no increase in the sediment when sold by the retailer, but a decrease in 68.8 per cent.

(4) The farmer was responsible for the Bacillus enteritidis sporogenes (Klein) in the milk consumed in 66.6 per cent. of the samples. In 11.1 per cent. of the samples these bacilli were added by the retailer or the consumer, while in 22-2 per cent. the source was doubtful.

Various suggestions are made for improving the milk supply, and the imposition of the following standards is advocated:

(1) A bacterial standard of not more than 50,000 organisms per c.c.

(2) Milk not to contain glucose-fermenting bacteria in less than 1/10 c.c.

(3) A sediment standard (at first) not exceeding 40 volumes per million.

Altogether, this report on the milk supply is one of the most important that has appeared in this country, and should be brought to the notice of all producers and retailers of this important article of diet.



WE are now in a position to give some further details about the local arrangements for the British Association meeting in Winnipeg during the last week in August next, and also the provisional programmes of the sections.

The Drill Hall will be used as the reception room. The main floor is 147 feet by 87 feet, so that there is no fear of undue crowding. Arrangements will be made for free access to the Parliament building grounds adjoining.

On the opposite side of Broadway are the University building and grounds. The University is a small and by no means beautiful structure. It resembles, in fact, in size and general style the public elementary schools of the city. But it must be explained that the University at present only teaches scientific subjects. Arts, medicine, and agriculture are taught in "affiliated" colleges which are scattered in various parts of the city. Thus, the classics and modern languages are taught in the four "affiliated" denominational colleges, St. Boniface (Roman Catholic), St. John's (Church of England), Manitoba College (Presbyterian), and Wesley College (Methodist); medicine is taught in the Manitoba Medical College, and agriculture in the Manitoba Agricultural College (Provincial Government) at Tuxedo Park. The University of Manitoba (also a Government institution) has been a teaching institution for five or six years. Founded in 1871 as an examining board, the University itself at present undertakes instruction in mathematics, chemistry, physics, botany, physiology, pathology and bacteriology, and civil and electrical engineering. But chairs in English history and political economy have been recently established, and these new departments will commence work next October. The government and organisation of the University is undoubtedly in an unsatisfactory state, and is, in fact, the subject of a Government Commis

[blocks in formation]

Five of the sections (B, D, G, I, K) will meet in the University building. Section A will find its temporary home in Wesley College, where three rooms will be set aside for the meetings. Section E will be placed in the Convocation Hall at Manitoba College, and Section F in a class-room of the same institution. Section L will have the honour of sitting in the Legislative Chamber of the Provincial Government, while agriculture (subsection of K), and Sections H and C, will meet in the Alexandra, Carlton, and Isbister Schools respectively.

All these meeting places are conveniently near the reception room.

The local sectional secretaries are as follows:-A, Prof. F. Allen, professor of physics, University of Manitoba; B, J. W. Shipley, assistant to the professor of chemistry, University of Manitoba; C, R. T. Hodgson, Brandon Collegiate Institute, Brandon;


University of Manitoba. (For Sections B, D, G, I, and K.)

D, C. A. Baragar, University of Manitoba; E, Alex. McIntyre, Normal School, Winnipeg; F, W. Manahan, Winnipeg; G, Prof. E. Brydone-Jack, professor of civil engineering, University of Manitoba; H, not yet appointed; I, Dr. Wm. Webster, demonstrator of physiology, University of Manitoba; K, Prof. A. H. Reginald Buller, professor of physiology, University of Manitoba; Principal W. J. Black, Manitoba Agricultural College; L, D. M. Duncan, registrar of the University of Manitoba.

A few hints to travellers may not be out of place. For the ocean voyage, heavy coats and wraps and a travelling rug would be great comforts, if not absolute necessities, as it is never very warm on the North Atlantic route. These, however, should be packed away for the overland journey, otherwise they will give rise to considerable inconvenience.

Travellers from Europe are specially warned not to carry with them in the train more baggage than is absolutely necessary for the journey. Each person ought, indeed, to be content with a suit-case and perhaps a small handbag. All kit-bags, gladstone bags, and such like are quite out of place, as there is no space provided for these, and they may be a great

quisance to everybody. An elaborate toilet, at any rate, is not possible during the railway journey, but the railway companies' sleeping cars are provided with sufficient lavatory accommodation. Everything except the suit-case and hand baggage should be checked through to destination.

To any American, or indeed to anyone who has ever travelled on the North American continent, such advice may seem quite superfluous, but it is rare that one travels across the country or witnesses the departure of trains without noticing some Englishman struggling to convey huge piles of luggage into a railway car; he is usually prevented from so doing by the porter, but if he succeeds his belongings soon become a trouble to himself and a nuisance to his fellow-travellers.

In regard to clothing, for Winnipeg during the week of the visit travellers should be provided with the same sort of selection as would be desirable at a meeting in Great Britain. The days in the latter part of August are usually hot, and the nights pleasantly cool. Those undertaking the excursion to the Pacific coast should be provided with some warm clothing for the mountains.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Those intending to visit Winnipeg for the meeting have been provided with postcard forms to fill in, giving various particulars of use to the local committee. These may be obtained from the assistant secretary in London, and should, with any other communications with regard to the meeting, be addressed to the local secretaries, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.

In connection with the meeting, arrangements have been made by Mr. M. B. Cotsworth, of the Natural History Society of British Columbia, Victoria, B.C., on behalf of some of the members of the Association, to make a trip northward along the Pacific coast from Victoria or Vancouver to Alaska. The journey to Prince Rupert, Skagway, and back occupies ten days, costs about 141., and may be made either before the meeting at Winnipeg or from September 10 to 19. An extension to Dawson (Klondike) and back brings the total time up to three weeks, and the cost to about 321., while the round trip from Vancouver to Dawson, thence down the Yukon river to Nome and back by the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands, occupies about a month, and costs 40l. Climatic considerations, how

ever, make it desirable to carry out such extended trips before the meeting, and it is understood that some members have already arranged to do this. The excursions are not among the official arrangements of the Association, but further particulars may be ob tained from the London office, Burlington House, W. We are informed that Sir Joseph Thomson, in his presidential address to the Association, will touch on the following subjects:-The importance of original research as a means of education; the advantages and disadvantages as a training for work in science of the systems of education now in force in our schools and universities; the light thrown by recent investigation on the nature of electricity; on the relation between matter and æther, and the part played by the æther in modern physics; and a discussion of some problems raised by the discovery of radium.


SECTION A (MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCE). President, Prof. E. Rutherford, F.R.S.-The arrangements for the meetings of this section are at present very provisional. After the address of the president of the section, the most important items in the provisional pro

gramme are two discussions, one on positive electricity, to be opened by Sir J. J. Thomson, F.R.S., and the second on earth tides, to be opened by Prof. A. E. H. Love, F.R.S. The papers promised include the following:-photographs of recent comets, Prof. E. Barnard; new photographs of Jupiter taken at Flagstaff Observatory, Percival Lowell; on sun-spots and magnetic effects, Dr. L. A. Bauer; the structure of the stellar system, G. C. Comstock; the asymptotic expansions of Legendre functions, Dr. J. W. Nicholson; on a continuant expressed as the product of linear factors, W. H. Metzler; luminosity and persistence-of-vision curves, Prof. Frank Allen; variation of the specific heat of mercury at high temperatures, Prof. H. T. Barnes; the effect of temperature-variations on the luminous discharge in gases for low pressures, R. F. Earhart. This list includes only those papers for which definite titles have been received; many others are promised. Friday morning, August 27, will be set aside for papers of interest to chemists, and the section will meet in joint session with Section B (Chemistry).

SECTION B (CHEMISTRY). President, Prof. H. E. Armstrong, F.R.S.-The provisional programme is as follows:-Joint sitting with the Section of Botany and discuss "wheat from Subsection of Agriculture to several points of view, including requirements of the external conditions, review wheat crop, influence of on strength, the miller's reof the chemical work quirements, wheat breeding, the history of the wheat

plant, and the economics of the subject. (See programme of the Subsection of Agriculture.) Joint sitting with the Physiology Section to discuss food. Combustion, Prof. W. A. Bone, F.R.S.; chlorophyll, Prof. Willstätter; papers dealing with the physical chemistry of sulphur, Prof. Alex. Smith; (1) rotatory dispersion, (2) the cadmium arc, Dr. T. M. Lowry; (1) mercurous sulphate for standard cells, (2) on the constancy of the hydrogen gas electrode, Dr. C. J. J. Fox. Reports of committees:(a) hydroaromatic substances; (b) aromatic nitroamines; will be presented in such form as This report (c) electroanalysis; (d) dynamic isomerism.



to initiate discus

SECTION C (GEOLOGY). President, Dr. A. Smith Woodward, F.R.S.-Dr. Woodward's presidential address will be on the evolution of the vertebrates. There will be reports of research committees on:-the erratic blocks of

« PreviousContinue »