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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
to be carried on very extensive topographical surveys in
all sections of the vast Dominion, taking the leading part [The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions himself in this work. It was for these valuable services
expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake to geography that the Royal Geographical Society this lo return, or to correspond with the writers of, rejected year awarded him the patron's gold medal, with the manuscripts intended for this or any other part of Nature. approval of the King. No notice is laken of anonymous communications.]
It is clear, I think, that although the interests of science
have not been wholly sacrificed, party politics and not Geological Survey of Canada.
geology have been in question in regard to Mr. Low's Is the issue of NATURE of June 21
F. R. S. appointment. is a letter from
July 7. Mr. A. P. Low. This communication is liable to be misleadingand I shall be greatly obliged if you will allow me to correct the misstatement which it contain, namely,
Osmotic Pressure. that " at the same time, Dr. R. Bell simply returned to The gravamen of our criticism of Prof. Kahlenberg's his former positio. of assistant director and chief geologist, paper is directed against his statement that “indirect to which he had been appointed in 1892."
measurements of osmotic pressures involve the assumption I was not appointed chiel geologist in 1892. This office
that the gas laws hold for solutions." In vol. lxxvii., did not then exist. It was created on March 27 last, and Proc. Roy. Soc., we deduce a relation between the osI was appointed to it by a formal Order-in-Council on that
motic and vapour pressures of a solution which is indedate, a large increasr being made to my salary at the same pendent of the gas laws holding for solutions." Prof. time.
Kahlenberg, in his recent letter, does not attempt to show Office of the Canadian High Commissioner, London, that this relation is unsound; we may therefore take it July 9.
that he accepts the theory, but is dissatisfied with the ex
perimental evidence which we adduced to corroborate it. I HAVE taken some trouble to inquire into the extra- Perhaps the following will help to convince him. ordinary appointment to the Geological Survey of Canada In a paper read before the Royal Society, June 7, we concerning which you published a paragraph on April 26 give the results of the direct and indirect measurements of (vol. lxxiii., p. 613) and a letter on June 21 (p. 175). the osmotic pressures of some aqueous solutions of cane send you my results in case you would care to continur
sugar. the correspondence.
Concentration Report states that the Premier informed Dr. Bell that the
Direct O.P. at o C.
(from V.P. at o' C.) Government, for its own reasons, was going to make 540 grs. per lit. sol.
67:51 certain changes in the administration of the department,
1019 but that wishing Dr. Bell to be quite contented with these 750
136'0 changes, he asked him to state the conditions which
Since reading this paper
we have found that aqueous would be agreeable to him. I have also learned that the
solutions of dextrose and galactose give similarly concorPremier transferred Dr. Bell's letter for action to the
dant results. As regards the last paragraph of Prof. Minister of the Interior, who is at the head of the Geo- Kahlenberg's letter (p. 222), we would point out that he logical Survey Department. Owing to the great pressure gives no experimental evidence for the assumption that of the business of the session of Parliament, the matter
the sugar that had passed through the rubber membrane has not yet been considered, and further changes are
was sugar from which, so to speak, the solvent had been probable, but for the present Dr. Bell has been promoted filtered off. Until such evidence is forthcoming, it seems to be chief geologist of Canada, and allowed to devote his
to us that the criticism we levelled at his work is legititime entirely to scientific matters. He attains at least
mate, and suggests a simple explanation of the low equal rank, and receives a substantial addition to his
results he obtained.
BERKELEY. salary, with a promise of further increase in the near Foxcombe, near Oxford.
E. G. J. HARTLEY. future. In connection with the above change, Sir Wilfrid Laurier spoke in Parliament in the highest terms of Dr. Bell's ability and of the great scientific services he had
Family Diseases and Temperaments. already rendered the Dominion.
May I appeal through your columns to those of your If these are facts, then Mr. Low's letter (p. 175) appears readers who are interested in the tendency of certain to be inaccurate. The office of chief geologist was, it diseases and temperaments to run in particular families seems, newly created for Dr. Bell last March, and he was to aid me in an investigation I am at present making? not appointed to it, as Mr. Low asserts, in 1892.
The schedules now being issued contain space for a great Mr. Low, I find, is quite unknown in the geological deal of information, but it is rare for any single recorder world, whereas Dr. Robert Bell's name has long been to be able to supply all of it. What is wanted is a perfamiliar throughout Europe and America. He is now in fectly frank statement of what the recorder knows or can his fiftieth year of service to the Government of Canada find out without much trouble. The only request made is in connection with its Geological Survey, and as practical that if the recorder feels unable to state certain facts not head of that department for the last five years he has to the family credit, as well as those which indicate a maintained its high reputation and administered, all its sound, successful stock, no attempt should be made to fill in affairs with credit. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society the schedule. At the same time, no names are required, of London, a Doctor of Science of Cambridge, a Doctor the recorder may select any family he pleases for record, of Medicine of McGill, a Doctor of Laws, &c., and has and the name of the recorder is only required in case been honoured by the King with the companionship of it is needful to ask for explanation of any entry, and as a the Imperial Service Order.
general sign of good faith. During his administration of the business affairs of the I am fully aware of the labour involved in giving a Canadian Survey, it is generally recognised that he has fairly full family record, and my gratitude for aid in the improved its efficiency in many ways, and has increased matter is very great. At the same time, it is, I think, the number of its officers, the extent of its operations, the not unjustifiable to hope that among the readers of NATURE Government grant, the library, the extent of its premises, there will be some ready to help in an inquiry which if &r. He has sent to the field an average of more than completed will be of considerable scientific value. There thirty parties every year, as compared with less than half exisis at present no ample data from which we can deterthat number in the time of his various predecessors. Surely mine the inter-relationship of disease, temperament, and this is a good record, for the sooner a country is surveyed success in life. We know comparatively little the extent the better it is for all economic purposes.
to which these factors are associated together or persist The above matters and many others are clearly de- in certain families. After some considerable labour, about scribed by Dr. Bell in his annual summary reports of the 200 records have been obtained, some of them very full and survey for the past five years. He had previously caused excellent, and the majority of considerable value. But the
number must be extended, if possible to 1000, before the constant temperature and pressure, there is a gain of work of reduction is begun. May I ask for further aid entropy and a loss of available energy equal in amount to in the matter? I shall be glad to send two
that which would be incurred if each of the constituents schedules to anyone who will help to get a faithful record. were to expand by rushing into a vacuum until it occupied
KARL PEARSON. the same volume as the final mixture. University College, London, W.C.
There is another way of partially separating the constituents of a gas mixture. If the mixture be introduced
into a field of force such as that due to the earth's attracThermodynamics of Diffusion.
tion, or if we imagine it to be whirled in a centrifuge, the
denser gases will predominate in the lower parts of the In applying the principles of thermodynamics to diffusion atmosphere or where the potential is greatest, and the of gases, several pitfalls have to be guarded against. lighter gases will predominate in the upper regions or
In the first place, if we adopt the old definition of where the potential is least. In this case the partial entropy in terms of integrals of the form IT, we are
separation is effected at the expense of work done by the
field of force. almost certain to go wrong when we come to deal with This note does not purport to deal in full detail with diffusion. If we imagine diffusion to take place between the thermodynamics of diffusion, but merely to direct two of the ideal“ perfect gases of our text-books at attention to certain points which are easily overlooked. constant pressure, volume and temperature, and without One of the most important of these points is that the gain or loss of heat, no quantity of the nature of dQ possibility of producing mechanical work by the diffusion appears to be associated with the phenomenon, and it is of gases through a membrane at constant temperature is easy to rush to the conclusion that no change of entropy not necessarily inconsistent with the principles of thermotakes place. This danger is avoided if we adopt Mr. Swin- dynamics or the ordinary definitions of a perfect gas. burne's plan of defining entropy in terms of "
If any physicist should claim to have discovered Max. unavailable energy relative
assumed auxiliary well's demons in connection with the diffusion of gases, the medium. By auxiliary medium" is here
first questions we should ask him are :medium at uniform temperature T, which can be used (1) Can he, without the performance of external work. indefinitely as a refrigerator in thermodynamic operations, separate the gases in a mixture in such a way that the and any change in the amount of unavailable energy under temperature is the same at the end as at the beginning, such conditions, when divided by the temperature T., gives and the separated constituents each occupy volumes smaller the corresponding change of entropy.
than that of the original mixture? If this definition is adopted we see that the phenomenon (2) Can he obtain external work by the mixing of two of mixing the gases does not in itself suffice to determine gases without change of temperature is the initial volume the changes of entropy associated with it. The matter of each gas is not less than the final volume of the can only be decided by an appeal to experience as to the
mixture? means whereby the gases can be separated or mixed (3) Are his claims based on new experimental evidence? reversibly. The case of an ideal " perfect gas " forms no
G. H. BRYAN. exception to this statement. The proper inference is, not that the diffusion involves
Early Meteors of the Perseid Shower. no change of entropy, but that the change of entropy, if it exist, cannot be expressed as a sum of differentials of the The moon being new on July 21 this year renders the form dQ/T.
conditions favourable for observing the earlier members of The second pitfall occurs when we take the well-known the great Perseid display. A few of these are usually expression for the entropy of a perfect gas in terms of visible on July 15, and probably just before that night, and pressure (or volume) and temperature, and try by this it would be interesting if multiple observations of supposed to connect the entropy of the mixture with the
Perseids could be obtained so that their radiants might be entropies of the components. Where we are likely to get definitely assigned without the risk of error, into trouble is by ignoring the integration constants in the
A single record of a meteor-flight only permits an expressions for the entropy. There is no evidence from assumption to be made as to the apparent radiant, and mere thermodynamic reasoning that the constant does not mistakes frequently result. For example, if a streakchange in the process of diffusion. All we can inser is leaving meteor, seen at the July-August epoch, happens in that the change of entropy associated with the mixing
be directed from the northern part of Perseus it will of gases at uniform pressure and temperature is constant, certainly be attributed to the Perseid swarm, though it was i.e. independent of pressure and temperature.
quite possibly have had its origin in a different shower To sum up, then, even when we have defined an ideal from Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Aries, Camelopardus or perfect gas in the ordinary way, and assumed the property Auriga. To avoid such errors of allocation it is proposed that two such gases can mix in a closed vessel without to maintain simultaneous watches this year between Juli change of pressure and temperature, thermodynamical con- 15 and 28 from 10 to 12 p.m., and the writer would be siderations still give us no information whatever as to the glad to hear particulars of any observations for comparison change of entropy accompanying diffusion, and on this with similar results obtained at Bristol. point a further appeal to experience is necessary.
The mean height of the Perseid meteors has already been This amounts to saying that our definition of perfect satisfactorily deduced, but it seems desirable further to gases is still incomplete. What further property shall we investigate the position and motion of the radiant, especially assume in order to complete it? If we regard a perfect during the last half of July. Such meteors
as appear gas as a mere invention on paper, the most useful plan amongst the stars of Perseus or bordering constellations air is to take some simple property which is approximately
the best for indicating the exact place of the radiant, and satisfied in the case of actual gases and assume that this bright meteors should always be carefully registered, ** property is accurately satisfied by our perfect gases. Now, they are very likely to have been noticed elsewhere. The actual gases may be separated and re-mixed either by centre of radiation travels from near Andromedze a! diffusion through a membrane or by liquefying, or, if pre
the middle of July to a few degrees south of the star. ferred, freezing one of the constituents.
cluster at x Persei at the end, the ephemeris placas Taking either of these processes, and making suitable (Monthly Notices, Ixii., 169) being as under :assumptions which would render that process perfectly
RA reversible, we are led to the inference that the whole entropy of a mixture of perfect gases should be taken to
24'9 - 52-5 be equal to the sum of the whole entropies of its com
-532 ponents at the same temperature and partial pressure,
29'3+538 i.e, if each component occupied the same volume as the
316 + 544 final mixture.
22 8+51:8 ! Aug. 2
180 + 5005
339+ 55-0 According to this view, when diffusion takes place at Bishopston, Bristol.
W. F. DENNING.
WESTERN AND CENTRAL ABYSSINIA. the first impact of the Portuguese in the sixteenth It is with no desire to depreciate the work
under century, down to the present day have been part of review, on the subject of Abyssinia since the great work of civilised Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Whereas James Bruce (more than a hundred years ago), if the nearly all Africa south of the Sahara, with the exceppresent reviewer ventures to remark that no modern tion of the Upper Niger and a narrow fringe along work on the subject of Abyssinia has yet been written the west and east coasts, only came within the domain which is at all commensurate with the importance of of written history a hundred years ago, Abyssinia that marvellously interesting African State. Possibly has as much formed part of the record of Caucasian such a work might have been finally compiled had civilisation as Britain or Morocco. Baron Carlo von Erlanger lived to write it. In his The author of the book under review gives within posthumous “ Forschungsreise dürch Süd-Schoa, the compass of 315 pages an excellent general deGalla und die Somali-Länder,” he treats of a frag- 'scription of western and central Abyssinia, and the ment of Abyssinia in a way which, if it had been applied to the whole of that region, would have illustrated effectively for the first time to the man of science, as well as to the more general reader, the most interesting part of Africa.
A little reflection will convince those who have not thought on the subject that Abyssinia is from every point of view the most interesting portion of the Dark Continent. Here the fauna and flora of the Mediterranean region meet those of tropical Africa. Here the lofty, snow-capped mountains retain a wild goat (the most southerly occurrence of the Caprine subfamily in the African continent). Here also is a peculiar and aberrant dog-Canis simensis. In the western lowlands of Abyssinia there is a true wild boarSus sennaarensis. Several of the antelopes and two or three species of monkeys are peculiar to Abyssinia in their range, as are numerous birds, a few fish, two or three reptiles, and a great many plants. Some of the fish are closely related to species in North Africa or Syria. The human races are of varied types and widely different origins, speaking a variety of languages, some of which are unclassified. In the extreme south-west of Abyssinia there are Negro types which have been classified as Bantu, and others which resemble either the Congo or the Bushman pygmies. In the southeast and south, and thence almost to the centre of the country; the population is mainly of the handsome GalaHamitic type or of the kindred Somali stock. In the west there are Nilotic Negroes, and in the north, centre, and east races that are compounded of Hamite and Semite, with traces here and there of ancient Greek or
Fig. 1.–Market day at Zegi. From “The Source of the Blue Nile. Egyptian colonies, while there are dark-skinned Jews whose origin would seem to antedate by many centuries the destruction of book contains a number of good photographic illusJerusalem.
trations. In his preface, and in one or two passages. In this country has been developed the strangest in the body of the book, the author hints with some and most debased type of Christianity, and there are ominousness at future trouble which is coming on the forms of devil worship or belief in demoniac possession Sudan from the direction of Abyssinia. It would be of great interest to the student of religions. Abyssinia out of place in NATURE to discuss international has a history, more or less credible, going back to a politics, nor do the readers of this Journal tend to thousand years before Christ, while its records from take the point of view that what is quite permissible
to Great Britain in the way of political pushfulness is "The Source of the Blue Nile. A Record of a Journey through the Sudan to Lake Tsana in Western Abyssinia, and of the Return to Egypt
almost criminal when forming part of the policy of by the Valley of the Atbara, with a note on the Religion, Customs, &c., of a sister European or American nation. But apart from Abyssinia '' By Artbur J. Hayes; and an Entomological Appendix by Prof. E. B. Poulton, F.R.S. Pp. xi+315. (London: Smith, Elder and
the warnings which are given by Mr. Haves as to Ca, 1903.) Price 1os. 6d. net.
the growth of German or American influence in
Abyssinia, he seems to indicate, and with much more and Grünbaum, who showed what valuable aids these probability, political dangers from the effervescence of substances were in the diagnosis of typhoid fever; the Abyssinians themselves. Before long the adjacent further, and this does not seem to have been so regions of the Egyptian Sudan promise to become generally recognised, they have been shown to be of exceedingly prosperous with their fertile soil and service in the prognosis of that disease. A similar and accessibility through British-made railroads or river no less important practical use in the diagnosis of navigation. Mr. Hayes seems to anticipate that this tubercular infections was made by Wright and coming prosperity may be a source of temptation to Douglas (Proc. Roy. Soc., vol. lxxiv.), and is here the reckless mountaineers of western Abyssinia, who further developed by the former in conjunction with can reach the Sudan so much more easily than the Staff-surgeon Reid. The method employed is the Sudan can vanquish Abyssinia.
estimation of the opsonic power of the serum; and In his desire to give an accurate picture of the technique is that described by Drs. Wright and Abyssinia, both at the present day and at previous Douglas in a previous paper (Proc. Roy. Soc., vol. periods, the author quotes extensively from earlier Ixxii.). This briefly consists in incubating for fifteen writers, with acknowledgment, and, where the works minutes at body temperature a mixture of equal are recent, by direct permission. These extracts, volumes of washed blood corpuscles, bacterial suspencoupled with his own shrewd and accurate observ- sion, and the serum under investigation. Blood films ations, make up a most readable and, perhaps it may of this mixture are prepared and appropriately stained. be said, valuable description of Abyssinia. There is and the phagocytic count is estimated and compared a good deal of new information about Abyssinian with the result attained by conducting the same exChristianity, coupled with some admirable photo- periment with normal serum, such serum being graphs of frescoes in the interior of churches. The obtained by pooling the blood of a number of healthy author's remarks on pp. 56 and 59 on the soil created individuals. The phagocytic count of the experiment by the work of the white ant, and the washing of conducted with normal serum is taken as unity, and this soil down from the highlands of Abyssinia to
the result of the other count as compared with this the lowlands of Egypt and the Sudan, are distinctly gives the opsonic index of the serum under investiinteresting. There are one or two trifling mistakes gation, which should be corrected; for instance, in the text In the recent paper the authors first give the result and illustration on p. 184, a fine specimen of a reed- of a large number of blood examinations in generalised buck antelope is described as a “ hartebeest." It is and localised tubercular infections. Two very iminteresting to note that, so far north as the valley of portant facts are the outcome of this work : the Atbara, such a typical specimen of the reedbuck
(a) That in localised tubercular infections the opsonic should be found.
index is uniformly low. The author and the authorities whom he quotes
(b) That in cases of tuberculosis associated with somewhat extensively give an interesting description constitutional disturbances the index is continually of the Falashas, the so-called black Jews of central varying, the patient living a " life of alternating Abyssinia, the region round Lake Tsana. The negative and positive phases," that is to say, the Falashas are undoubtedly Jews in religion, and have
resistance of the blood is reduced as an immediate been for many centuries; but great caution should effect of the bacterial poison and then increased above be exercised by people who desire to write with scien
the normal in response to the infection. tific accuracy in identifying these people of Semitic
Further, ample evidence has accumulated substanorigin with the ancient Israelites of Palestine. It is tiating the fact already enunciated that normal sera alleged that the traditions of these Falashas would
do not vary more than ten per cent. on either side of make them the descendants of a branch of the Jewish unity. people which had never known Palestine, but had
Applying these principles to the practical diagnosis
of tubercular infections, it will be obvious that much migrated to Abyssinia direct from Egypt. Such theories as this are hardly worth discussing by the blood, and to a less extent from a single examination.
value will accrue from a series of examinations of the scientific ethnologist. The Children of Israel were
Where a series of measurements of the opsonic power undoubtedly an Arab tribe that originated in the
of the blood reveals a persistently low opsonic power region between Syria and Egypt. Their monotheistic religion spread far and wide through the centuries into
with respect to the tubercle bacillus, it may be inArabia, Abyssinia, and North Africa; and, elsewhere, bacterial infection which suggests tuberculosis, that
ferred, in the case when there is evidence of a localised in the form of Christianity. The Jewish people that
the infection in question is tubercular in character. were expelled from Palestine by the Romans were a
A continually Auctuating index would point to a very composite race, containing a good deal of
tuberculous infection associated with constitutional Armenian blood. It is possible that the Falashas, like other tribes of “black Jew's " elsewhere, adopted the
disturbances, whilst an index which never varied on
either side of the normal to a greater extent than ten Jewish religion at some period before the spread of
per cent. would be taken as evidence against a tuberChristianity or of Islam, but are not directly de
cular infection. scended from any section of the original Jews.
If only one examination of the blood is possible H. H. JOHNSTON. and the index is found to be low, then according to
the evidence in the case under investigation of a local OPSONINS AND TUBERCULOSIS.
bacterial infection or of constitutional disturbances, it
may be inferred with probability that the infection is WHEN the scientific researches of Durham, working in Gruber's laboratory, revealed in 1895 the
of a tuberculous nature. A high index would be
taken as evidence of a systemic tuberculous infection presence of agglutinins in the blood, the discovery was
which is active or has recently been active. But no soon put to practical use in clinical medicine by Widal
inference at all, either positive or negative, is 1 “On the Diagnosis of Tubercle by the Examination of the Plood, and warranted if on a single occasion the tuberculo-opsonic on Spontaneous Pharorytosis" By Dr. A E. Wright and Staff Surgeon Reid. R.N. (Proc Roy. Soc., B., vol. Ixxvii., 1906.)
index be found to be within normal limits. In this “On Spontaneous Phagocytosis. and on the Phagocytosis which is case, however, it is possible by employing a further obtained with the Heated Serum of Prtients who have responded to test to arrive at a diagnosis. This consists in repeatTubercular Infection, cr, as the case may be, to the Inoculation of a Tubercle Vaccine." (Ibid.)
ing the experiment after having heated the serum for
ten minutes at 60° C. This method of testing is based
NOTES. upon the fact that if normal serum is heated it no
The Mackinnon studentships for the year 1906-1907 have longer incites phagocytosis, whilst in cases suffering from tuberculous infection "incitor elements " have
been awarded by the Royal Society to Mr. W. G. Dufbeen elaborated in the organism in response to the
field, " for the study of arc spectra of metals under high infection, and the serum is found, after heating, to
pressures”; and to Dr. F. H. Scott. “ for the continuation retain a considerable measure of its power of inciting of studies on the nature of the process of excitation phagocytosis. In a series of experiments with normal
nerve cells.' heated sera the index varied between 0.00 and 0.125; The arrangements for the international celebration of whilst in experiments conducted with the heated sera
the jubilee of the coal-tar industry to which attention has of patients with tubercular infections the index ranged
been directed in these columns are now well advanced, and from 0.09 to 1.7. These figures are obtained by comparison of their phagocytic count with that obtained
a very representative gathering of foreign chemists will with unheated pooled blood of healthy men.
assemble in London on July 26-27 in honour of Dr. Perkin In a previous paper (Roy. Soc. Proc., vol. Ixxiv., p.
and his work. As might have been expected in view of 157), Dr. Wright suggested that the fact that the
the great development of the industry in Germany, that actual focus of infection had a lowered “ bacterio
country will send a very strong body of delegates. Among tropic pressure” as regards the offending micro- those who have already accepted invitations are Prof. organism might be employed in the diagnosis of Emil Fischer, representing the German Chemical Society ; abscesses or effusions of a doubtful nature, the infer- Drs. Duisberg and Delbrück, representing the “Verein ence being that the fluid has washed over these Deutscher Chemiker "'; Drs. Böttinger (Elberfeld), H. Caro bacteria at the site of infection, and has thus been (Mannheim), Ehrhardt (Badische Co.), Kallé (Biebrich), deprived of its antibacterial substances. In this paper
Klingemann (Cassella and Co.), H. Erdmann (Charlottenan interesting and convincing series of cases is given showing the practical value of this method of
burg Technical High School), Kremers, Lepsius (Griesdiagnosis of tubercle. Further justification for this
heim), Raschig (Ludwigshafen), Möhlau (Dresden), Gustav would seem to be furnished in the proof of the
Schultz (Münich); and Drs. Bablich, Liebert, de Ridder, “ specificity” of opsonins for given bacteria Albrecht Schmidt, and Ullrich, representing the Höchst demonstrated by Dr. Bulloch in a recent number of colour works. It is probable that Prof. Liebermann and the Proceedings of the Royal Society.
Drs. v. Martius and Bernthsen will also be present. From The same number of the Proceedings of the Royal France, M. Gautier, president of the Chemical Society of Society contains a further paper by the same authors Paris, and Prof. Haller will represent their society. Profs. on " Spontaneous Phagocytosis," and on the phago- Étard, Moureu, and Guyot will also attend as representacytosis which is obtained with the heated serum of tives of France. Holland will be represented by Profs. patients who have responded to tubercular infection. L'nder the first heading the authors investigate the
Holleman and van Romburgh, Austria by Prof. Friedländer, question of the phagocytosis which occurs in the
and Switzerland by Prof. Hans Rupe. America, as already absence of serum; under the second, the question as
announced, proposes to have an independent celebration in to the nature of the “incitor element” referred to the autumn, but will also participate in the general interabove as being present in the heated blood derived national movement. The American delegates have not yet from patients who have responded to the tubercular been nominated. At the banquet on July 26 all the foreign infection, or, as the case may be, to the inoculation of delegates will be present as guests, and it is hoped that the a tubercle vaccine.
chemists of this country will attend in large numbers. At .Is the result of searching experiments, the authors
the meeting at the Royal Institution on July 26 Dr. conclude that the “incitor element" is not
Perkin will receive the Hofmann medal of the German • stimulin” which affects the white blood corpuscles, Chemical Society and the Lavoisier medal of the Chemical but an opsonin which enters into combination with bacteria. They further conclude in this matter, in
Society of Paris, besides numerous addresses from the
of agreement with the previous work of Dr. Dean (Proc. learned and technical societies. Among the Roy. Soc., B., vol. lxxvi.), that the substance in ques
officials and public men who have so far responded to the tion does not differ with respect to its resistance to
invitation to attend the banquet are Lords Kelvin, Rayleigh, heat and sunlight from that which is found in the and Alverstone, the German Ambassador, the Right Hon. unheated normal serum.
R. B. Haldane, Mr. Justice Buckley, Sir Wm. Broadbent That the opsonins are eminently heliolabile is also and Sir Arthur Rücker. All applications for tickets for the of great practical import, for a blood allowed to lie dinner and other functions should be addressed to Dr. in the sunlight preparatory to its examination for J. C. Cain, 28 Pembury Road, Clapton, N.E. As the opsonins is entirely spoilt, as is shown by experiment gathering is expected to be a very large one, it is desirable in the present paper.
that those proposing to be present should communicate at As regards spontaneous phagocytosis an important
once with Dr. Cain so that the necessary arrangements fact was arrived at, namely, that it is in the lowest salt concentrations (0.6 per cent. NaCl) that phago
for their accommodation may be made. cytic activity is greatest, whilst it is practically There are now on exhibition at the London Hippodrome abolished by a concentration of more than 1.2 per three microcephalic girls stated to have come from Mexico, crnt.
like the famous Maximo and Bartola, who toured the world Another experiment of practical moment is worthy some fifty years ago and were described to the Ethnological of mention. When dealing with heated sera, which, Society by Sir Richard Owen. The present specimens are as we saw above, may be used as aids to diagnosis, said to be members of an almost extinct race closely allied it is very important that the same conditions should exist in every case, for the phagocytosis occurring
to simians; but microcephaly is not associated with any after the serum had been exposed to various tempera- particular race, and the information was probably suggested tures for varying periods was found to differ con
by the statements made as to the origin of the earlier siderably. Thus a fixed temperature (60° C.) for a
pair. Although they are often monkey-like, the microfixed period (10 minutes) should always be employed cephalics are not technically simian in their characteristics; in the exploitation of this method of diagnosis.
in some cases they have a small vocabulary, in others they