« PreviousContinue »
b: readily closed, a metal screen is hung down the so-called physiology was largely anatomy. When all upper half of the tube at the back to provide an air that anatomy could contribute had been learnt, it space at the top, to which the men can escape by an was found that the real work of the physiologist was air-lock through the screen on the occurrence of an only beginning. So, too, as Dr. Leathes points out, inrush of water, and pass out through an emergency we look forward to a future in which chemistry will air-lock in the bullchead behind.
have contributed its share, and the workers will disThe author has collected together a large quantity cover that physiology has still problems before it of information from a variety of publications, so as to
which cannot be learnt from pure chemistry, any present a fairly complete record of the numerous sub- more than the whole of physiology can be learnt by aqueous tunnels carried out by means of a shield, dissections. and more particularly those where compressed air The subject of proteid metabolism is in the air just has been also resorted to, of which there are several now, so it is specially interesting to ascertain what interesting examples in Great Britain, France, and views Dr. Leathes holds in relation to it. He accepts the United States, all constructed within the last the view which is daily gaining greater credence, that twenty years. The clear descriptions are very well in digestion the albuminous molecule is broken up illustrated by numerous drawings; and the book de into quite simple substances, mainly of the aminoserves a cordial welcome from all persons who are acid variety. He believes that these are absorbed as concerned or interested in the latest developments of such, and that the work of proteid synthesis is carried subaqueous tunnelling.
out by the living cells of the tissues from these
crystallisable products transported to them by the PROBLEMS IN METABOLISM.
blood and lymph. He admits this hypothesis is in the Problems in Animal Metabolism. By J. B. Leathes.
unproven condition, but has himself been successful Pp. viii + 205.
in showing that the nitrogen of the blood, combined (London: John Murray, 1906.) in amino-acids and molecules of that order, is inPrice 75. 6d. net.
creased during absorption. To identify the individual THIS volume is the latest of the series that Mr. amino-acids is a matter of much greater difficulty, and Murray is issuing in connection with the work
a simple calculation shows how greatly even the most of the physiological laboratory of the London Uni- abundant of them must be diluted by the whole mass versity. The subject Dr. Leathes took for his lectures of the blood even during the progress of the absorpis perhaps the most important one in the whole of tion of a considerable meal. chemical physiology. In a study of metabolism one His views on the catabolism that proteids undergo seeks to understand the innermost workings of the very largely coincide with those of Folin.
The living cells, and thus to comprehend the sum total nitrogen of ingested albumin is readily split off with of the chemistry of life. In order, however, to pave comparatively little loss of energy and discharged via the way for such complete knowledge it is necessary the liver as The non-nitrogenous residue is tu study individual chemical reactions, the items that therefore available as a source of heat and energy in go to form the final sum; and so in the interesting much the same way as fat and carbohydrates are. bools Dr. Leathes has produced he is mainly con- Until, therefore, we know how the cells dispose of cerned with a separate consideration of the way in such simple organic compounds as fat, our knowledge which the carbohydrates, fats, and proteids are regarding the fate of the fat-like moiety of proteids utilised, and finally catabolised.
must be in abeyance. Dr. Leathes puts this much The author has taken infinite pains to get his facts more fully, but very clearly, which makes one wonder correct, and has presented the subject in an extremely why, in another part of the book, all his arguments
He is able to point out quite lucidly how are against the possible origin of fat from proteid far present knowledge carries us, and where specula- | intra-cellularly. tion steps in to fill up the gaps. One becomes con- Is it, then, advisable to limit our proteid intake scious of the width of these gaps when one realises to the low level advocated so forcibly by Chittenden? that any exact knowledge of how simple substances Should we take only sufficient to balance the small like sugar are ultimately converted into water and amount of proteid waste that is associated with tissue carbon dioxide in the body is at present lacking. In activity? In his answer to this question Dr. Leathes the case of the more complex materials, such as the has taken an independent and original line. He proteids, hypotheses are still more numerous, because admits that the necessary minimum is much less than our facts are still scantier.
the conventional dietary of 100 grams daily, but he The whole work is full of pregnant suggestions, thinks it does not necessarily follow that it is unand the writing is so attractive that one can physiological to take more than the minimum, any fidently recommend it to all those who desire a picture more than it is unphysiological to take any food of exactly where physiology stands at the present which yields more than the minimum of fæcal refuse. day in relation to these important matters.
In the infant, the dietary provided by nature in the The spirit of the physiological chemist should not amount of milk it takes is, even after making due be to make this branch of science an offshoot of allowance for growth, at least ten times greater than chemistry, but to use organic chemistry as the means the minimum. The minimum can therefore hardly to an end. This is the correct attitude that Dr. be normal for the adult; and a possible reason for i rathes assumes throughout. In the remote past this is that there may be a few members of the amino
acid group which are required in large amounts for siderations of the orbits of comets, and was finally cell repair, and that it is only the commoner amino- discredited by the law of gravitation. acids which are not required in the amount usually
What may be regarded as the modern era of scientaken, and which are consequently so rapidly dis- made to explain what is seen on the background of
tific cosmogony, in which serious attempts were charged from the body.
space, opened about a century and a half ago with This example of the manner in which the puzzles Wright's “cloven disc " theory of the Milky Way of metabolism are grappled with will be sufficient to and Lambert's view of it as a sidereal ecliptic. These show the character of the book, and one hopes that considerations of the nature of the universe are related those interested in these fundamental questions will to those of its origin adumbrated by Swedenborg and themselves study' in full what a reviewer is only able worked out in mathematical detail by Laplace
Kant as the nebular hypothesis, and afterwards to state imperfectly in barest outline or in samples.
During the past few years several objections of a W. D. H.
mathematical and physical nature have been raised
to this hypothesis, which has proved to be vulnerable OUR BOOK SHELF.
at many points. In Miss Clerke's words, “ It has,
indeed, become abundantly clear that the series of Poverty and Hereditary Genius; a Criticism of Mr.
operations described by Laplace could scarcely, under Francis Galton's Theory of Hereditary Genius. By F. C. Constable. Pp. xyi + 149. (London : plished, and in a thin nebulous medium would have
the most favourable circumstances, have been accomArthur C. Fifield, 1905.) Price 2s. net.
been entirely impossible. The nebular cosmogony The criticism which Mr. Constable brings forward has not, then, stood · Foursquare to all the winds in this book is that reputation is not a test of ability, that blew.' It's towers and battlements have crumbled and as Galton's theory of hereditary genius is based before the storms of adverse criticism. It survives on this assumption, it has to be discarded. The statis- only as a wreck, its distinctive features obliterated, tical evidence given in “Hereditary Genius” has to although with the old flag still flying on the keep." be explained away, and Mr. Constable attempts to
Tidal evolution, the meteoritic hypothesis, and other do this by what he calls the swamping effect of views developed in recent years to satisfy the depoverty. We quite agree with Mr. Constable that mand for a cosmogony consistent with existing knowit is harder for a poor man with uninfluential parents ledge of the heavens, particularly with spectroscopic to achieve success as a judge than for a rich one with observations, are described by Miss Clerke. While influence, but this does not seem to us to justify Mr.
we cannot subscribe to all her judgments and interConstable in discarding the conclusions of “ Heredi- pretations, her work contains a large amount of tary Genius,” for if the social conditions of both material, both observational and speculative, and parents and offspring are relatively about the same, it general readers will find much to interest them in it. seems as if the omission of the ability in poverty
R. A. G. stricken parents and their children is rather like leav
The Geometry of the Screw Propeller. By W. J. ing out of account the addition of numbers to both the
The numerator and denominator of a fraction.
Goudie. Pp. 47. (London and Glasgow : Blackie omission may therefore not affect the result at all, This is a small book
and Son, Ltd.) Price is, 6d. net. and whether fuller statistical evidence should modify tion of the geometrical principles connected with the
This is a small book presenting "a simple exposiMr. Galton's conclusions is a matter which can only
screw propeller, and illustrating the various ways in be decided by statistics other than those which Mr.
which these may be applied to obtain a correct deConstable discusses. He appears, however, to have
lineation of the propeller on paper, in the drawing overlooked altogether in his argument that other statistics exist and tend to show that psychical and office, and in the foundry." It is intended principally
use of engineering students in technical physical characteristics are inherited in the same way, a point which seems to us to upset a good deal of schools, but is likely to prove useful in other direc
tions, since it contains a clear and admirably illusMr. Constable's criticism.
trated account of the geometry of screw propellers. Mr. Constable does not refer to Mr. Galton's other
The writer is a lecturer on mechanical engineering books, and apparently quotes from the 1869 edition
in Paisley Technical College, and possesses a good of “ Hereditary Genius.” It is a pity that Mr. Constable does not always succeed in expressing him. thorough familiarity with the geometry of his sub
knowledge of workshop practice in addition to self very clearly, and his habit of putting his argu: ject. He does not attempt any discussion of the ments in the form of questions becomes somewhat tiresome, and makes the book seem
a rather dis- design of a screw propeller most suitable for a new
ship, but restricts attention to the preparation of jointed composition.
drawings, patterns, and moulds required in the Modern Cosmogonies. By Agnes M. Clerke.
Pp: manufacture of propellers for which the dimensions vi + 287. (London : A. and C. Black.) Price 3s. 6d. and forms have been determined. This is a wise disnet.
cretion, for while the geometry of screw propellers This popular account of the structure of the universe, admits of exact treatment, the selection of the most so far as it can be understood with the means of efficient propeller for an individual steamship is even inquiry now at the disposal of astronomers, should
now a matter not admitting of exact scientific treatserve a useful purpose in directing attention to the ment when precedent has to be departed from ; experiposition of the most difficult problem of celestial ments alone can be trusted. science. To early philosophers it was sufficient to Mr. Goudie describes in clear and simple language regard the heavens as a solid and crystalline firmament the methods by which herical surfaces of uniform or in which the stars are fixed; facts of observation were variable pitch may be constructed, and illustrates in not considered essential for the metaphysical found- detail the practical methods of moulding the blades ation upon which the great minds of antiquity sought in the foundry. For the benefit of students who mar to support their universe. The ingenious framework not have the opportunity of actual work in the foundry of solid concentric spheres and epicyclic motions was the author indicates how, with the aid of a few simple shown to be a baseless fabric by Tycho Brahe's con- tools and materials, skeleton models of the various “ China,"
types of screw surfaces can be constructed. He also doux et d'une saveur très-agréable. On le nomme Yu-mi, gives detailed explanations of the work requiring to 'riz impérial,' parce que c'est dans mes jardins qu'il a be done in the drawing office of an engine factory in commencé à être cultivé. C'est le seul qui puisse mûrir connection with the design of screw propellers. While
au nord de la grande muraille, où les froids finissent trèssecuring sufficient accuracy for all practical purposes,
tard et commencent de fort bonne heure; mais, dans les he shows how approximate methods may be substi
provinces du midi, où le climat est plus doux et la terre
plus fertile, on peut aisément en avoir deux moissons tuted in many cases for exact geometrical methods.
par an, et c'est une bien douce consolation pour moi que The little book may well be placed in the hands of
d'avoir procuré cet avantage à mes peuples.' all engineering draughtsmen and apprentices whose
L'Empereur Khang-hi a rendu, en effet, un service training includes attendance at technical schools, as immense aux populations de la Mantchourie, en propageant well as workshop practice.
la culture de cette nouvelle espèce de riz, qui vient à
merveille dans des pays secs, sans avoir besoin d'irrigaGeographical Gleanings. By Rev. F. R. Burrows.
tions perpétuelles comme le riz ordinaire. Pp. 75. (London : G. Philip and Son, Ltd., 1906.) Huc, "L'Empire Chinois,” vol. ii., p. 359, second Price is, 6d, net.
édition, 1854. Mucu yet remains to be done before geography is Kang-hi---1661-1721—" was indefatigable in administering taught and studied in schools according to reason- the affairs of the empire, and at the same time he devoted able methods. Everybody agrees that geography, like much of his time to literary and scientific studies under most other subjects, can be made a valuable educa
the guidance of the Jesuits. tional instrument provided that it is taught by
Encyclopædia Britannica,” ninth
edition. practical methods and that the teachers are familiar with its realities. Mr. Burrows describes some
II. methods of teaching geography, and shows how the
Polype vinaigre. subject may be usefully approached. There is little
Le tsou-no-dze est un être qui, à raison de sa bizarre new in his views or advice; nevertheless, the book may propriété de fabriquer d'excellent vinaigre, mérite une serve to place aspiring teachers in a position to give mention particulière. Ce polype est un monstreux assemsatisfactory lessons in geography.
blage de membranes charnues et gluantes, de tubes et d'une foule d'appendices informes qui lui donnent un
aspect hideux et repoussant; on dirait une masse inerte LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
et morte. Cependant, quand on la touche, elle se con(The Editor does not hold himself responsible for opinions
se dilate, et se donne des formes diverses. expressed by his correspondents. Neither can he undertake
C'est un animal vivant, dont la structure et l'existence ne to return, or to correspond with the writers of. rejected
sont pas plus connues que celles des autres polypes. Le manuscripts intended for this or any other part of NATURE.
tsou-no-dze a été découvert dans la mer Jaune, et les No notice is taken of anonymous communications.]
Chinois le pêchent sur les côtes du Leao-tong; mais on
n'en prend qu'un petit nombre. Peut-être sont-ils plus Chinese Observation of Nature,
abondants ailleurs, où l'on néglige de les prendre faute de I AM venturing to
two quotations from connaître leur propriété. On place ce polype dans un grand L'Empire Chinois," by M. Huc.
vase rempli d'eau douce à laquelle on ajoute quelques (1) Refers to an instance of mutation, and seems to me verres d'eau-de-vie. Après vingt ou trente jours, ce liquide to be markedly interesting on account of the date of the se trouve transformé en excellent vinaigre, sans qu'il soit observation recorded, and the use made of the discovery. besoin de lui faire subir aucune manipulation, ni d'y
(II) Reiers to a different matter-Polype vinaigre. ajouter le moindre ingrédient. Ce vinaigre est clair comme Possibly this creature is well known to scientific workers, de l'eau de roche, d'une grande force et d'un goût trèsbut I have failed to identify it, although I have searched agréable. Cette première transformation une fois terminée, all reference books at hand. Unfortunately, we have no la source est intarissable; car, à mesure qu'on en tire scientific reference library, and I venture to hope that a pour la consommation, on n'a qu'à ajouter une égale reader of NATURE will tell us what it is !
quantité d'eau pure, sans addition d'eau de vie. Le tsou
W. HOSKYNS-ABRAHALL. no-dze, comme les autres polypes, se multiplie facilement 14 Woodstock Road, Redland Green, Bristol.
par bourgeons, c'est-à-dire qu'il suffit d'en détacher un 1.
membre, un appendice, qui végète, en quelque sorte, grossit Les Chinois doivent principalement à leur caractère
en peu de temps et jouit également de la propriété de
changer l'eau éminemment observateur leurs nombreuses découvertes en
en vinaigre. Ces détails
uniquement basés sur les renseignements que nous agriculture, et le parti qu'ils savent tirer d'une foule de
pu recueillir dans nos voyages. Nous avons possédé nousplantes négligées en Europe. Ils aiment à examiner et à
mêmes un de ces polypes ; nous l'avons gardé pendant un étudier la nature. Les grands, les empereurs même, ne
faisant usage journellement du délicieux vinaigre dédaignent pas d'être attentifs aux plus petites choses, et ils recueillent avec soin tout ce qui peut avoir quelque qu'il nous distillait
. Lors de notre départ pour le Thibet,
le laissâmes en héritage aux chrétiens de notre utilité pour le public. Le célèbre empereur Khang a ainsi
mission de la vallée des Eaux-Noires. rendu plus d'un service important à son pays. On trouve dans de curieux mémoires écrits par ce prince, le passage
“L'Empire Chinois,” Huc, vol. ii., chap. X., PP. suivant :
414-415 “Je me promenais, dit l'Empereur Khang-hi, le premier jour de la sixième lune, dans des champs où l'on avait
A Large Meteor. semé du riz qui ne devait donner sa moisson jusqu'à la
On Sunday, August 5, at 1oh. 33m., I saw what I neuvième. Je remarquai, par hasard, un pied de riz qui
presume to have been a fine and rather early Perseid. It était déjà monté en épi. Il s'élevait au-dessus de tous les
crossed the star ^ Aquilæ, and the flight was recorded autres et était assez mûr pour être cueilli; je me le fis
from about 2871° -2° to 282°-91'. The meteor was much apporter. Le grain en était très-beau et bien nourri; cela
brighter than Venus, and left a streak of 5° visible for me donna la pensée de le garder pour un essai, et voir si,
some twenty seconds, though the full moon was shining l'année suivante, il conserverait ainsi sa précocité; il la brilliantly at the time. conserva en efiet. Tous les pieds qui en étaient provenus I would be much interested in hearing of any other montèrent en épis avant le temps ordinaire, et donnèrent observations of this meteor. It was probably situated over leur moisson à la sixième lune. Chaque année a multiplié | the English Channel, and must have presented a magnifila récolte de la précédente, et, depuis trente ans, c'est
cent appearance as seen from the counties of Somerset, le riz qu'on sert sur ma table. Le grain en est allongé et Dorset, and Devon.
W. F. DENNING. la couleur un peu rougeâtre; mais il est d'un parfum fort 44 Egerton Road, Bishopston, Bristol, August 6.
ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE CHANGES OF
p. 224, and vol. lxx., p. 177) I described a barometric variation of short duration and worldwide in extent which behaved in a see-saw manner in an easterly and westerly direction between antipodal parts of the earth. The investigation, which included the examination of pressure changes at ninety-five stations scattered over the globe, indicated that there was a transference of air from west to east and from east to west alternately, a surge, in fact, raising and lowering the mean annual pressure values. Thus, when the pressure in any year in India
the East Indies, and Australia behaved alike, while the South American region behaved in an inverse
The present inquiry was therefore limited to these areas. For the first three a considerable amount of data is available, but this is not the case for the last-mentioned region; to mitigate this deficiency, curves for several separate stations have had to be employed in order to determine over several years the variation in operation there.
The first step taken to prepare the data for this comparison was to eliminate so far as possible the variation of short duration. This was satisfactorily accomplished by grouping the years in sets of four. and employing the mean values of each of these groups; thus the means for the years 1873 to 1870.
or Australia was in excess, that recorded in South / 1874 to 1877, &c., were determined. The curves here America showed a deficiency.
shown are all composed of such means, and ar During this inquiry it was noticed that there were formed by connecting the points plotted on squared changes going on which extended over a longer period paper; the same scales are employed throughout. of time than the short one (about 3.8 years) to which Fig. I illustrates the series of curves, all drawn reference above has been made. In order to find out on the same scale, for the Indian, East Indies, and whether these long variations were similar all over Australian areas. Bombay and Madras represent the the earth, or whether they also were of an opposite pressure changes of the first, Batavia the second nature in different areas, several sets of long series and Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth are of pressure observations have been carefully examined. types for Australia. The result of this limited survey recently formed An examination of these curves leads one to the the subject of a communication by the writer to the following conclusions :Royal Society,' and the following is a brief account First, the Indian curves are very alike, and suggest of the results arrived at in the paper.
a variation of an oscillatory nature, the maxima or In the case of the variation of short duration, India, minima occurring about every ten or eleven years 1 "Barometric Variations of Long Duration over Large Areas." By
Second, the amplitude of these curves, that is, the Dr. William J. S. Lockyer. Read June 21, 1906.
difference between the maximum and minimuri
values, has decreased considerably of recent years, as before, and curves drawn for five stations. Three and has nearly obliterated the eleven-year variation. series of observations represent the Argentine Republic Going further afield, the curve for Batavia (East stations
Goya, and San Juan, while Indies) is very similar to that of Bombay. Coming Santiago (Chili) and Curityba (Brazil) are also used,
as they are stations situated more 18600 18700 18800 18900 19000
westerly and easterly respectively. Curves representing barometric changes at these places are all
given in Fig. 2, and are drawn on SUNSPOT CURVE 1500
the same scale. Although they extend over different periods of time, there is sufficient overlapping in all
to allow one to draw conCORDOBA
clusions as to the general kind of
variation over this area. COYA
done in the case of Fig. 1, a curve is here drawn at the
foot of the South American curves SAN JUAN
to show the general nature of the variation in this region. Two prin
cipal maxima very obvious SANTIACO
about the years 1874 and 1893, while there seems to be an indication of a subsidiary maximum the mean of which is about the year
1883. We are here in the presence CURITYBA
of a barometric change of long 2788
duration the principal maxima of
which are also about nineteen years
apart, so far as these observations inform us.
The question now arises, How does this South American variation compare with those shown to exist
in India and Australia ? This can 18000 18700 18800 18900
be easily answered by comparing
the curves brought together in Fig. 2.-Long barometric variations in operation in South America.
The first point of importance is to the Australian continent, it will be noticed that that the South American and Australian curves have the eleven-year variation is well indicated in the principal maxima about nineteen years apart, while Adelaide curve, but the amplitudes are much greater. situated between them is another maximum of a subParticular attention is directed to the maximum about the years 1876–
18900 1878, because in the curves for Melbourne, Sydney, and Perth this
19 YEARS becomes quite insignificant.
In fact, it is the dropping out of this maximum which gives the STAMERICA
EBRUARI Australian curves quite a different appearance from those of India, although in many other respects
DYEARS they closely resemble the indian changes.
The Australian curves thus indicate two principal maxima about
YEARSE the epochs 1868 and 1887, with an intermediate subsidiary maximum about 1878; the principal maxima are thus nineteen years apart. The curve given at the bottom of Fig. I is drawn to represent in a general manner this variation, and to serve SWAMERICA
MARS as a comparison to the other curves
GYLARI which follow.
An examination of the South American pressures was next undertaken. Here, as I have said before, the data are not too numerous, but I think they are sufficient to demon
FIG. 3-The barometric changes in Australia and South America compared with each other. strate a long variation that is in operation and the epochs of the maxima and sidiary nature. The second is that the epochs of
these maxima in these two widely separated areas The same method of four-year means was employed are not coincident. Further, we are not here in the