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part of the annual amount is sometimes made up in the course of a few days. At Okombahe, for instance, twothirds of the annual amount of 11 inches fell in the course of four days (January 27-30), and of this amount 5 inches fell on January 28. Generally speaking, little or no rain falls between May and September, inclusive.

Report of the Liverpool Observatory, 1905.-This observatory, maintained at Bidston by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, is one of the oldest and best equipped in the United Kingdom, and it transmits daily telegraphic reports to the Meteorological Office. Under the head of automatic instruments are included anemometers of the forms designed by Dines, Osler, and Robinson. We give the comparative maximum records of these during two of the heaviest gales of the year :

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The gusts recorded by the Dines and Osler anemometers were not exactly at the same time; the figures seem to show that the force of the gusts differs considerably at different points of the same locality. With respect to observations with Milne's seismograph, Mr. Plummer makes the interesting remark that during the time of the recent Antarctic expedition many earthquakes recorded by the exploring party were registered on the instrument at Bidston, although intermediate stations did not in all instances record the tremor. The average number of astronomical observations made with the transit instrument has been practically maintained during the year.

South African Meteorology.-Under the title South Africa as seen by a Meteorologist," Dr. H. R. Mill gave a lecture before the Royal Meteorological Society on March 21, and an abstract has now been published. The address contains much instructive matter, but Dr. Mill's meteorological notes naturally refer chiefly to rainfall. Table Bay was reached on August 15, 1905, the minimum temperature at Cape Town being only 38°. The most unusual part of the meteorological equipment at the Royal Observatory was the size of the standard rain-gauge, having

a diameter of about 11 inches; at other stations in the colony the size is 8 inches. The usual exposure of the gauges in South Africa is 4 feet high, a fact, as Dr. Mill observes, that must be borne in mind when comparing readings with gauges in this country, where they are usually placed at a height of 1 foot. Meteorology in Cape Colony suffers, the author states, by the excessively small annual grant available, and the opinion is expressed that the good work done at Kenilworth (Kimberley) makes it desirable that the institution should be placed on a permanent footing. The Transvaal Government spends a comparatively large sum on meteorological observations; at Johannesburg the observatory is admirably fitted up, and the site offers peculiar advantages for anemometer work. The rain gauges here and in the Orange River Colony are 5 inches in diameter. The site of the observatory at Grey Town is not a very good one, and is shortly to be changed. Meteorology at Bulawayo is under the charge of Father Goetz, to whose work we recently referred; he has constructed an ingenious electrical recording rain gauge which is apparently very efficient. On the homeward journey a visit was made to the Portuguese station at Beira; with regard to this observatory, Dr. Mill remarks that it is an imposing structure and the rain gauge is of heroic dimensions." This interesting paper is embellished by many photographic illustrations.

Report of the Observatory Department of the National Physical Laboratory for the Year 1905.-As this branch is in many respects complete in itself, and its work appeals to a different class from that interested in the other departments, the director thinks it desirable to issue the report separately. The magnetographs have been in constant operation throughout the year, and the curves have again been free from any very large disturbances; the most interesting movements were those of November 12 and 15. On the latter date an auroral display was generally observed (NATURE, November 30, 1905, p. 101). The mean declination during the year was 16° 32'9 W., mean

inclination 67° 3'-8 N. Owing to the disturbance of the vertical force produced by electric trams, it was found impossible to tabulate the curves for this element satisfactorily. The meteorological traces and tabulations have been, as usual, sent to the Meteorological Office for publication, therefore only the results are given as an appendix to the report in question. The maximum shade temperature was 81-5, on July 8, and the minimum 22°-4, on November 22 (23°-4 on January 19). The rainfall was 22.61 inches, and the number of rain days 154, including five days on which snow was recorded. The number of instruments verified (exclusive of watches and chronometers) amounted to 26,658, being a considerable increase as compared with the previous year; about 60 per cent. of these instruments were clinical thermometers.

The Warm Air Current at the Height of 10-12 Kilometres. In the Meteorologische Zeitschrift for June, Dr. R. Nimführ discusses the question of one of the most interesting results of the international balloon ascents, viz. the inversion of temperature at an altitude of 8-13 km. pointed out by M. L. Teisserenc de Bort (Comptes rendus, April 28, 1902), and by Dr. Assmann at an altitude of 10-15 km. (Sitzb. Akad., Berlin, May 1, 1902). Dr. Nimführ states that the French experiments were made with paper balloons, that in about half the ascents the maximum height of the balloon was at the critical altitude of 11-12 km., and that consequently the instruments were affected by solar radiation owing to decrease of ventilation; also that Dr. Assmann's experiments were probably similarly affected, although to a less extent, as he used closed. rubber balloons. Dr. Nimführ thinks that the lifting power of the balloons was decreased in the higher regions owing to the rubber becoming porous by expansion; further, that the bimetallic thermometer used in some ascents is subject to a fundamental error, now under further investigation, which possibly affects some of the results obtained. We offer no comments on the questions raised; they will no doubt receive full consideration by those engaged in this important branch of meteorological inquiry.

Rainfall in the Philippines.-The Bulletin for December last, issued by the Weather Bureau of Manila, under the direction of the Rev. Father Algué, contains a table of the monthly and annual distribution of rainfall in 1905 at fifty-three stations scattered over the different islands of the archipelago. It is shown that the stations may be arranged in three groups :-(1) where the fall is uniform in the various months; (2) where the rainfall is scarce from December to March inclusive; (3) stations with abundant rains from June to October, and little in the rest of the year. At some stations the amounts are large, e.g. Baguio, an elevated plateau, more than 165 inches, while eighteen of the other stations have falls varying from 79 inches to 115 inches. From the results of the last five years' observations at Baguio we note that the mean annual temperature there is 65°3; the lowest monthly mean is 613, in February, and the highest 67°.1, in April and May. The absolute maximum was 84°-7, in April, and the minimum 42°-8, in February. Rain falls on an average on 171 days, mostly between May and October.


PROBABLY few persons, unless they have had reason to study the matter, have any idea of the immense economic importance of the diseases of animals. As a matter of fact, our flocks and herds are every year stricken down to an extent representing a value of hundreds of thousands of pounds!

In 1901 a committee, consisting of Prof. Hamilton, Mr. J. McCall, and Mr. E. G. Wheeler, with Mr. R. B. Greig as secretary, was appointed by the Board of Agriculture to investigate and report on the diseases of sheep known as louping-ill and braxy, and the findings of this committee have lately been published in a voluminous and interesting report.

Louping-ill is a disease which shows itself in the form of nervous spasms of the limbs and neck, or rigidity, followed by more or less complete paralysis; sometimes, however, there is a general dazed condition with speedy

collapse. It does not seem to be known in foreign countries, but in the British Isles is met with particularly on the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, in Cumberland and Westmorland, and in small, scattered areas throughout the country. Sheep of all ages may be attacked, and the mortality may amount to 20 per cent. or even more.

Braxy is often a rapidly fatal disease. The animal goes off its feed, is restless, the belly swells, it falls on its side, becomes semi-comatose, and death soon ensues, the carcase having a characteristic odour. The disease prevails in several countries of northern Europe, and in the British Isles on the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, central Wales, Westmorland and Northumberland, Cornwall, Wilts, and Gloucester. Sheep under one year are the chief sufferers.

A remarkable feature of both these (and certain other) diseases of the sheep is their seasonal prevalence; thus louping-ill and braxy are not met with during July and August, and the former is most prevalent from April to June, the latter from November to February.

In the case of louping-ill, for a long time the specific cause remained a mystery, carcase after carcase examined

ing the animals with cultures during the insusceptible period was adopted, and proved a decided success on the large scale. Thus, with louping-ill, 1340 sheep were treated in this manner, and a single doubtful death from the disease occurred; with braxy, 1545 sheep were treated, and there were nine possible (three being doubtful) deaths from braxy among them.

A remarkable discovery was made with regard to the seasonal susceptibility and immunity. It was found that during the period of immunity the blood of the sheep proved highly bactericidal towards the louping-ill and brax bacilli, while during the susceptible period the bacilli were not only not destroyed by, but grew well in, the sheep's blood.

As already indicated, the diseases are mostly communicated by the fouling of the pastures by the dejecta. It has been held by some that the sheep-tick plays a part in their transmission, but experiments showed that this could only be to a very insignificant extent.

The report, which is illustrated with a number of figures and maps, is highly suggestive in many directions; the researches made promise to throw new light on the path

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showing no lesions, and inoculations of the blood, &c., failed to convey the disease from one sheep to another. At last, examination of the fluid in the peritoneal cavity revealed the presence of a large sporing anærobic bacillus (Fig. 1), which, on inoculation into healthy sheep, conveyed the disease again and again. It was for a long time an enigma how this bacillus reached the peritoneal cavity, the blood and tissues being free from it. Eventually, however, in a diseased lamb the intestine was found to be swarming with the bacillus, and a long series of experiments proved that the organisms or their spores are taken in with the food, and if at the susceptible period of the year induce the disease in a large proportion of cases. The organism, being passed with the dejecta, fouls the pasture, and so the disease is propagated. Precisely the same holds good for braxy, which, however, is caused by an organism different from the louping-ill bacillus, the braxy organism being also an anaerobic sporing bacillus, but being much smaller and more delicate than the louping-ill bacillus (Fig. 2).

Attempts to immunise by means of injections of attenuated organisms or by chemical products of the organisms proved not only failures, but dangerous on account of the mortality. Taking into account the fact that the organisms are intestinal, the happy idea of drench

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FIG. 2.-Bacillus of Braxy, peritoneal liquid of sheep, showing the com paratively delicate rods, some sporing, others not; those sporing have an oval or lanceolate form. X 1000 diameters.

ology of many of the contagious and infectious maladies of man and the lower animals, and we congratulate Prof Hamilton and his collaborators on the valuable work they have done. R. T. HEWLETT.

THE NEW MUSPRATT LABORATORY OF PHYSICAL AND ELECTROCHEMISTRY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL. THE laboratory of physical and electrochemistry, which the University of Liverpool owes to the munificent generosity of Mr. E. K. Muspratt, president of the court.. of the University, was formally opened by Sir Willian Ramsay, K.C.B., F.R.S., on Saturday, October 13. distinguished company which assembled in Liverpl for the occasion included, amongst others, the following welknown men of science from abroad :-Prof. Ostwal (Leipzig), Prof. R. Abegg (Breslau), Prof. Ernst Cohen (Utrecht), Prof. H. Goldschmidt (Christiania), Prof. Last Miller (Toronto), and Prof. Macallum (Toronto).

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On Saturday forenoon the guests inspected the A laboratory privately, and were afterwards entertained to lunch by Sir John Brunner, Bart., M.P., at the Univers" Club, many other prominent men of science and letters in

Liverpool being also present. At 3 o'clock the opening ceremony took place in the arts theatre of the University, a large and distinguished company being present. Mr. E. K. Muspratt formally presented the new laboratory to the University, and in a very interesting speech expressed his conviction that physical chemistry was that branch of chemistry which was most likely to advance knowledge at the present time. Sir John Brunner had founded the chair of physical chemistry at Liverpool. In order to complete this valuable gift a laboratory was necessary, and so he (Mr. Muspratt) had resolved to build and equip a laboratory of physical and electrochemistry. He was glad to see that a considerable number of rooms had been reserved for research work in the new building. He wished to emphasise in the strongest manner the necessity of research being most actively carried out in the University. He was convinced of the importance of electrochemistry, and so he had taken care that the new laboratory should have an adequate electrical equipment.


Vice-Chancellor A. W. W. Dale formally received Mr. Muspratt's gift on behalf of the University, the Earl of Derby, Chancellor of the University, not being able to be present. The Vice-Chancellor referred in glowing terms to the liberality and generosity of Mr. E. K. Muspratt, who had already increased his original gift of 10,000l. to something like 14,000l. Sir W. Ramsay, in an interesting address, dealt with the paramount necessity of cultivating the troublesome habit of thinking,' as against the subconscious or semi-unconscious processes of brain action. was the duty of the University to strive with all its power to induce young men to cultivate independent thought. A man might be a walking dictionary, but, if he was, he had all the defects of a dictionary--the words were there, but they formed disconnected and desultory reading. The power to be desired was not specially to remember the words, but to build them up into living sentences. The chief duty of a chair of physical chemistry was to teach men to think for themselves. He would advise that as soon as might be the student of that fascinating subject should be induced by example, precept, sympathy, exhortation, and by all means whereby young human minds could be influenced, to extend the bounds of their subject. After Sir John Brunner had moved a vote of thanks to Sir W. Ramsay for his very interesting address, which was seconded by Prof. Donnan, the company adjourned to inspect the new laboratory. At five o'clock Prof. Ostwald delivered a highly original and interesting address on the fundamental principles of chemistry, in which he showed that the phases occurring in nature are all solutions, and that the concepts of pure substances are only ideal limiting cases. In fact, a pure substance was simply a phase which, within certain limits, boiled or froze at a constant temperature. It was an artificial product. In the evening the guests of the University were entertained to dinner at the University Club by the Liverpool section of the Society of Chemical Industry.

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The following brief description of the new laboratory may be of interest to the readers of NATURE. The build ing, which is connected with the main chemical institute, contains a basement, ground, first, and second floors. The basement includes a dynamo room, battery room, furnace room, store, and a research room for six students. The generating plant consists of motor-generators driven off the city mains at 460 volts, and comprises a 30-kilowatt direct-current generator supplying current at 80-100 volts, a ro-kilowatt charging set consisting of two machines on the same axis each giving 250 amperes at 20 volts, and an 80-kilowatt alternator with two windings to give 1000 amperes at 80 volts or 500 amperes at 150 volts. The charging set is employed to charge in sections a battery of thirty-six Tudor cells, divided up into six sets of six cells, so that different floors or rooms may have the use of separate sets. Vertical cables carry the current from the machines and accumulators to four distributing exchange-boards (one on each floor), whence run circuits (to carry 50 amperes) to the working benches. possible by means of flexible connections to connect up on the exchange-board the terminals at each working bench with the required voltage. From the battery switch-board three wires run to each of three exchange-boards, the arrangement being such that each of the latter is supplied

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with current at 4, 8 and 12 volts from a different set of cells. Specially heavy cables and terminals are arranged to permit of employing 1000 amperes (direct or alternating) in the basement furnace room. The ground floor contains a lecture room with accommodation for about ninety students, a preparation room, library, workshop, and photographic room. The second floor contains a junior laboratory to hold twenty-one students, a balance and switch room, an optical room, a room for three advanced students, research room for a member of the staff, and an instrument store room. The second floor comprises a senior laboratory for eight students, a balance and switch room, and four research rooms. On the roof there is a lavatory, a distillation room, and arrangements for carrying out work in the open air.

All working benches are supplied with gas, water, and electricity. The current is carried by uninsulated wire run on the walls and ceilings by means of wooden battens and porcelain insulators, and terminating in slate panels fixed on wooden battens above the working benches. Close to each bench is a fire-proof slab constructed of compressed red Ruabon tiles set in cement. Each centre bench carries a sink at one end and a thermostat at the other.

The architects of the building are Messrs. Willink and Thicknesse, Castle Street, Liverpool.

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MR. J. W. McBAIN has been appointed lecturer in chemistry at University College, Bristol. Mr. McBain is a graduate of the University of Toronto, and has also studied for several years in Germany.

NEW physical and engineering laboratories were opened at Edinburgh University on Tuesday. Mr. Balfour presided over the ceremony, and an address on the progress of scientific research was given by Mr. Andrew Carnegie.

THE British Medical Journal states that the authorities of the Victoria University, Manchester, have received a sum of goool. from the trustees appointed under the will of the late Miss Middleton, and have allocated this amount towards the endowment of the chair of anatomy.

THE year-book of the Michigan College of Mines, a pamphlet of 132 pages, accompanied by an atlas of views showing the methods pursued and the facilities for practical instruction afforded by the immediate surroundings, has been received. Established in 1885, and situated in the centre of the Lake Superior mining district, the college furnishes an excellent practical and theoretical training in mining and kindred subjects.

A COURSE of eight lectures on "The Carbohydrates and their Relations to Living Organisms will be given in the physiology department of University College, University of London, by Dr. S. B. Schryver, on Wednesdays at 5 p.m., beginning on Wednesday, October 24. These lectures are open to all students of the University of London, also to qualified medical men on presentation of their cards, and to such other persons as are specially


A COURSE of four lectures on the " Phylogeny of the Higher Crustacea will be given in the zoological lecture room of University College, London, by Dr. W. T. Calman, at 5 p.m., on Wednesdays during October and November, beginning on October 24. The lectures are for advanced students of the University and others interested in zoology. There is no fee for the course; cards of admission may be obtained on application to Mr. P. J. Hartog, academic registrar of the University.

Ar the opening of the winter session at St. Andrews University on October 12, Principal Donaldson announced that the Lord Rector, Mr. Carnegie, has offered 10,000l. to build such an addition to the University library as will provide ample space for all the books of the University, and a room where students can read with perfect quiet and with easy access to whatever they may require. Mr. Carnegie has also promised a donation of 11,500l. for a physical laboratory at University College, Dundee.

ACCORDING to Science, improvements have been made during the summer at Cornell University which will greatly strengthen the scientific work. New and enlarged quarters have been provided for the engineering department and the departments of geology, physics, and biology. Quantitative and organic laboratories have been provided for the chemical department. A large amount_of_apparatus has been secured for the different subjects. By the death of the sister of the late Mr. W. W. Guiteau, the University will receive the legacy left by him, said to amount to between 20,000l. and 40,000l.

THE Board of Education, South Kensington, has issued the following list of candidates successful in the competition for the Whitworth scholarships and exhibitions, 1906-(1) Scholarships (tenable for three years), 125l. a year each-Frederick G. Turner, London; William E. Hogg, London; Sidney G. Winn, London; Samuel Lees, Manchester. (2) Exhibitions (tenable for one year), value 50l. :-William F. Cobbett, Gosport; William H. Mead, Southsea; Arthur Williams, Brymbo, Wrexham; James Bradley, Hollinwood, Lancs; George E. Morgan, Portsmouth; Albert C. H. Connor, Gillingham, Kent; Edgar J. Mitchell, Devonport; George O. Dawe, Devonport; Ernest Bate, London; Henry W. Turner, Portsmouth; William H. C. Coombe, Devonport; Edwin M. Vigers, London; Ronald E. Widdecombe, Saltash; Frederick R. Rogers, Devonport; Frank H. Cothay, Sunderland; Sidney Vernon, Abbey Wood, Kent; Frank R. Bloor, Gillingham, Kent; George W. Burley, Meersbrook, Sheffield; Robert James, Pembroke Dock; Sidney C. Gladwyn, London; Frederick C. Worton, London; John Airey, Bradford, Yorks; Charles A. Wright, Preston; William G. Weaver, Brighton; William E. Stokes, London; Thomas B. Bardo, Sheerness; Alfred Bailey, Oldham; John S. Buchanan, Cambuslang, Glasgow; Albert E. Palmer, Sunderland; Henry W. Maskell, London.

THE following list of successful candidates for Royal exhibitions, national scholarships, and free studentships (science) has just been issued by the Board of Education, South Kensington :-Royal Exhibitions: Walter H. Stock,

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Swindon; Jchn M. Robertson, Pembroke Dock; John C. Nixon, Southsea; Thomas W. Page, Ipplepen, Newton Abbot; Charles A. Brearley, Halifax; William F. Cobbett, Gosport; Herbert Schofield, Halifax. National Scholarships for Mechanics :-Henry S. Rowell, West Benwell, Newcastle-on-Tyne; Joseph J. Brooks, Devonport; Albert C. H. Connor, Gillingham, Kent; Frederick Hickey, Southsea; William H. Mead, Southsea. Free Studentships for Mechanics-Arthur C. Lowe, Harrogate; Frank R. Bloor, Gillingham, Kent; John Airey, Bradford, Yorks. National Scholarships for Physics :-Douglas V. Plumbridge, Isleworth; Andrew McCance, Glasgow; Thomas Royds, Oldham; Henry J. Lomax, Darwen; John N. Brown, London. Free Studentship for Physics :-Edward F. Pattenden, Whitstable. National Scholarships for Chemistry: Arthur Bramley, Elland, Yorks; Harold W. Atkinson, New Mills, Stockport; Fred Bridge, Burnley; William A. Naish, Handsworth, Birmingham; Norman M. Comber, Brighton; Percy G. Ward, Brighton. Free Studentship for Chemistry-Henry V. A. Briscoe, London. National Scholarships for Biology :-Rowland M. Richards, Manningham, Bradford; James H. Orton, Bradford, Yorks; Katie Barratt, Swanley, Kent. Free Studentship for Biology :James L. Thompson, London. National Scholarships for Geology-Abraham Haworth, Burnley; Arthur T. Cundy, Redruth; Ernest Lee, Burnley.

AT the distribution of prizes at the Royal Technical Institute, Salford, on October 11, Mr. H. B. Knowles, the principal, read an encouraging report. Speaking of the value of the training given in day technical schools, he said:" It may be that a youth who has left school at the earliest moment allowed by the law will at the age of seventeen or eighteen have secured a position better paid than the one a student obtains immediately on leaving technical day classes, although in many cases the training received has given immediate access to a career which would otherwise have been inaccessible. The proper time for such a comparison would, however, be some half-dozen years after; and I have weighty reasons for my confidence that then it would be found that the two or three years spent in technical departments had been in every respect a most profitable investment." The principal also directed attention to two important developments in connection with the Salford arrangements for the current session. First, the correlation between the work at the institute and the work in evening schools has been made more real by the stipulation that all applicants for admission to the institute under sixteen years of age shall, before admission, pass an examination in English and mathematics. Secondly, courses of instruction suitable for students occupied in the various trades, and extending over four or five years, have been arranged on the basis of attendance at classes on three evenings per week. An added inducement to take these courses has been offered by making the fee for a course small as compared with the fees for the individual classes constituting the course. A great improvement in the quality of much of the work is expected as a result of this arrangement.



Royal Society, February 15.- "Observations on the Labyrinth of Certain Animals." By Dr. Albert A. Gray. The labyrinths of six animals were examined, and the conditions found may be summarised as follows:-The labyrinth of the lion presents the usual features of the Carnivora. The cochlea is of the sharp-pointed type, ard there is hardly any evidence of a perilymph space in the semicircular canals. The Indian gazelle has a cochlea of

a flat type, and there is a trace of a perilymph space in the canals. In the three-toed sloth the cochlea is of a flat type. The canals are almost square, and the perilymph space is well marked. The labyrinth of the wallaby is like that of the ungulates, but two large otoliths are present in the vestibule.

Among the birds the ostrich is peculiar, owing to the fact that there is no communication between the posterior and superior canals at the point at which they cross. The cochlea is also very short. The crested screamer has a relatively long cochlea, and the superior canal droops somewhat backwards.

May 10." The Mechanism of Carbon Assimilation in Green Plants: the Photolytic Decomposition of Carbon Dioxide in vitro. By F. L. Usher and J. H. Priestley.

For summary of this paper see NATURE of October II (p. 604).

June 14. Studies on Enzyme Action. Lipase, II." By Prof. Henry E. Armstrong, F.R.S., and Dr. Ernest Ormerod.

Inasmuch as the ethereal salts which are hydrolysed under the influence of lipase are all compounds of the type R'.CO.OX', it cannot well be supposed, as R' and X' may be varied within wide limits, that the selective action of the enzyme is exercised with reference either to R' or to X' consequently the controlling influence must be attributed to the carboxyl radicle (CO.O); the enzyme must be so constituted that it can "fit itself to this group." The problem to be solved is why should ethereal salts derived from the lower terms of the acetic series be so much less readily hydrolysed than the higher? The differences in stability do not account for the differences in behaviour of homologous salts; in fact, ordinary hydrolytic agents appear to act more readily on the lower terms. Nor can the difference be attributed to the destruction of the enzyme by the acid which is liberated from the salt, as this destructive effect can be avoided by diluting the solutions to the necessary extent. Their experiments have led the authors to form the provisional hypothesis that the hydrolysis of the ethereal salt by lipase involves the direct association of the enzyme with the carboxyl centre and that such association may be prevented by the hydration" of this centre: consequently, that those salts which are the more attractive of water will be the less readily hydrolysed. The facts generally seem to be in accordance with this view, inasmuch as the solubility in water of ethereal salts diminishes as the series is ascended; salts such as ethylic formate and acetate undoubtedly tend to form hydrates (hydrols) in solution, such as


CH.CO. OEt +OH ̧=CH ̧.C(OEt) OH

A noteworthy result in harmony with the view is the fact that ethylic malate is but slowly acted upon by lipase in comparison with ethylic succinate and that ethylic tartrate is practically unaffected. The explanation of the differences to be observed between animal and vegetable lipase is probably to be sought for rather in differences in their emulsifying power than in peculiarities inherent in the lipoclast. The main difficulty the investigation presents lies in securing uniform conditions; if an effective comparison is to be made between ethereal salts, it is an essential condition of success that the substances compared be in solution. Peculiar difficulties are encountered on this account in studying the action of lipase from various sources on fatty substances.

June 21.- Ionic Velocities in Air at different Temperatures." By P. Phillips. Communicated by Prof. J. J. Thomson, F.R.S.

The object of this paper is to find at different temperatures the velocity in an electric field of the ions produced by Röntgen rays in air at atmospheric pressure. The method used for determining the velocities is that devised by Langevin in 1902, and published in his Recherches sur les Gaz ionisées," Paris, 1902.

The general arrangement of the apparatus is very little different from that used by Langevin, the only serious difference being that the vessel containing the electrodes is made so that it may be immersed in baths at different temperatures.

The velocities have been found at temperatures ranging from 179 C. to +138° C., and the following are the

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The fact that n varies continuously, and not in jumps, would seem to show that there is a continual exchange going on between ions and uncharged molecules; at some collisions several molecules remain attached to the ion, while at others one or more of them is knocked off, and so a dynamical equilibrium is set up. As the temperature of the gas rises, the collisions are more violent, and, statistically, fewer molecules are attached to an ion; this gradual change would go on until the collisions became so violent that at times corpuscles would be shot off without even a single molecule attached to them. When this happened the velocity of the ion would very rapidly increase with the temperature, and so we might expect in flames those very rapidly moving ions which consist of single unloaded corpuscles for an appreciable fraction of their existence.

"Note on Opalescence in Fluids near the Critical Temperature." By Prof. Sydney Young, F.R.S.

The experiments described by Travers and Usher were mostly carried out at constant volume, the temperature being raised very slowly. In the author's experiments the substance was kept at its critical temperature, and the volume altered by equal stages. The tubes employed were much narrower. Where comparison is possible the observations confirm those of Travers and Usher, and the following generalisations may be deduced from them :-(1) When observations were made during compression no opalescence was visible until a definite volume was reached: opalescence then appeared at the bottom of the tube, that is to say, just over the mercury; on further compression the opalescence or mist became denser, and extended further

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