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system which would be readily adaptable to all require- carrying large and small pressure plates with the necessary ments, visual or spectroscopic.
gauges. From the general results of the observations The observations of Sirius have been made under varying made it would appear that the distribution of pressure on conditions, instrumental and otherwise, and a better ac- the windward side of a large plate in the open air falls cordance in the individual results might be obtained by off more rapidly from the centre to the sides than in the making the observations under uniform conditions. The case of a small plate, but that the ratio of the pressures resulting alue, obtained from all the plates, gave the on the windward and leeward sides appears to be practicvelocity of the system of Sirius as – 7-36 km. per second. ally the same in both cases. There is a marked progression among the individual values The research on the specific heat of superheated steam obtained for the velocity of the primary which is attributed by the continuous flow method has been continued by Mr. to the effect of orbital motion. The sense of this pro- Jakeman, who has been mainly occupied in contending with gression indicates that the positive value of i (the inclin- certain experimental difficulties, such as the attainment of ation of the plane of the orbit) should be used. The above sufficiently high insulation between the various parts of the value, whilst disagreeing with others, agrees very well electrical superheater, especially at low superheats. Some with the value obtained by Profs. Frost and Adams in preliminary figures have been obtained which do not appear 1901–2.
to confirm the rapid rise in specific heat shown by the The values of the radial velocities of the centre of the results of some recent observers. system and of the primary and secondary components are A testing machine for studying the effect of alternating given in a table, with yearly intervals, for a whole re- stresses of varying periodicity on engineering materials has volution, i.e. from 1870:09 to 1918.09, the time of the been constructed and described in last month's apastron passage being 1918.5110.
Engineering by Dr. Stanton. It has already been used on
a set of nickel-steel specimens, which are the basis of a CONSTANT ERRORS IN MERIDIAN OBSERVATIONS.-In an
research in the metallurgical department. address delivered to the astronomy section of the St. Louis
A new building has been erected to house the new International Congress of Sciences and Arts, Mr. J. G.
standard leading-screw machine, which is now at work. Porter discussed the various sources of error to which Several standard screws have been cut and measured for meridian observations are peculiarly subject, and proposed use in Government arsenals, various methods whereby the constant errors might be Dr. Chree, at the observatory department, has been eliminated.
occupied with some important investigations on terrestrial Among other methods for eliminating the magnitude magnetism, and the measurement and tabulation of some of error which affects right ascension determinations, he re
the old Kew magnetic records. The men of science of the commends the one proposed by Prof. Turner wherein the British Antarctic Expedition have, since their return in transits would be registered on a regularly moving photos September last, had the opportunity of again comparing graphic plate, the reticule wires being replaced by spots of with recognised standards many of their instruments, and light projected on to the plate at regular intervals from a
arrangements have been made for cooperation with them in fixed source.
the reduction of the mass of magnetic and meteorological Regarding declination observations, the error due to vary
data they brought home with them. ing refraction is the most important, and Mr. Porter
In the physics department numerous researches have been suggests that this might be eliminated by having a per
in progress. We have only space for mention here of fected system of fundamental stars well distributed over the some of the more important. Dr. Harker, in the thersphere, 'from observations of which, on any evening, the mometry division, has been occupied with preliminary work deviation of the actual refraction from the assumed law on which it is hoped may ultimately be based some new might be determined and used to correct the observations. direct electrical method of very high temperature measureAnother, more costly, method would be to have a number of ment. With this object he has undertaken a study of the observatories widely distributed in latitude, so that zenith resistance and thermoelectric properties of solid electrolytic observations, where refraction is non-effective, of more
conductors such as are used in Nernst lamps. The existstars might be made. Mr. Porter considers the solution of
ence at high temperatures of large thermoelectromotive this constant error difficulty in meridian observations to be forces between rods of the various earths made up as one which is eminently suitable for international coopera- ordinary thermojunctions has been securely established by tion (Popular Astronomy, No. 3, vol. xiii.).
direct electrometric methods, and a new form of electric furnace has been designed capable of continued use at
temperatures above 2000° C. By means of these furnaces THE NATIONAL PHYSICAL LABORATORY.
and a number of thermojunctions of widely different pro
perties, a careful re-determination of the melting point of O Friday last the annual general meeting of the govern platinum was made. More than sixty determinations con
ing body of the National Physical Laboratory was corded in giving a value which differs considerably from held at that institution, when the report of work done that now accepted. The results of this work are embodied in 1904 was received and the programme of work pro- in a paper just sent in to the Royal Society. posed for the forthcoming year approved. A number of The research on the specific heat of iron, which has guests were invited to meet the members of the general been extended to temperatures above 1100° C., is complete, board and inspect the laboratory. Among those present and will shortly be published. were about thirty Members of Parliament, several colonial In the electrical standards department, Mr. Smith has agents-general, and a representative gathering of leading been mainly occupied with work on the standard ampere physicists and engineers.
balance designed by the late Prof. Viriamu Jones and Prof. in the 45-page report submitted by the director, Ayrton for the British Association committee on electrical Dr. Glazebrook, are found particulars regarding the various standards. The weighing mechanism was constructed by researches and tests carried out during the past year, with Mr. Oertling, and the four marble cylinders carrying the special reference to the newer developments. The test work coils have been successfully wound and insulated at the at Bushy for the year shows a marked growth, the total laboratory. On each cylinder are two double helices of number of separate tests made having increased from 1330 bare copper wire. Though the air space between the conin 1903 to 1906 in 1904, the increase being spread over secutive turns is less than 0.006 inch, an insulation resist. almost all the different departments of the laboratory. ance over 30,000 megohms was finally secured for each These figures are distinct from the work of Kew Ob- of the coils. Many accessories have been constructed, and servatory, where in all more than 26,000 instruments were the outlook for a speedy determination of the absolute unit verified durinig the year.
of current to at least one decimal place further than hitherto In the engineering department, Dr. Stanton has made attained is very hopeful. considerable progress with the research on the distribution In electrotechnics, Mr. Paterson has installed large cells of wind pressure over large areas, which forms a con- for ammeter verification, and for alternate current measuretinuation of the important work embodied in his paper read ments a specially constructed set of Mr. Addenbrooke's inat the Institution of Civil Engineers last session. A steel struments, and a Kelvin voltmeter with circular scale of tower fifty feet high has been erected in the grounds, 2} metres radius. In photometry have been included investigations on several Harcourt 10-candle pentane lamps The Greeks and Romans not only knew several forms of and a number of Fleming large bulb standard electric glow Amanita, Agaricus, Boletus, Polyporus, and of Truffle, lamps, which now form the working standards of candle- Morels, &c., but they discriminated clearly between the power. Intercomparisons have been made by means of poisonous and wholesome species. glow lamps with the National Standards Bureau of Wash- Their ideas as to the nature and origin of such fungi ington, the Electrical Standardising Laboratories of New seem childish to us, but they were consistent with the nail York, and the Berlin Reichsanstalt.
attitude of the Greeks towards natural objects. TheoIn the general electrical department, Mr. Campbell has phrastus, about 320 B.C., Dioscorides, about 60 B.C., and devised a method for obtaining for inductance measure- Pliny, for example, argued that since truffles and other ments alternating currents having very high frequencies fungi had no roots, leaves, stems, &c., they are objects and a wave form almost a pure sine-curve. A large amount apart. They arise spontaneously from earth, or by fermentaof new apparatus has been set up for testing purposes, tion from the sap of trees, or from water. much of it of a novel character.
It is interesting to note that Polyporus officinalis was imThe standard current balances and electrostatic voltineters ported and used as an article of medicine not only during have been studied, and it has been found that the allega- classical times, but also for centuries afterwards. tion that the Kelvin balance, when used with alternating In mediæval times the herbalists chiefly copied from current, is affected by eddy currents in the metal parts Galen, Theophrastus, &c., and as they had no figures the near the coils is without foundation for all ordinary early herbals give us little information. In 1576, haarever, frequencies.
Clusius gave a series of wood-cuts which are well worth Researches on the distribution of temperature in field coils looking at, and in 1601 he made a series of water-colour of dynamos and motors, and on the behaviour of insulating sketches of eighty-two of the fungi of Austria--the first materials under heat treatment, have been made by Mr. drawings of the kind known. Figures in Dalechamps, Rayner, and form the subject of a report to the engineering 1536, Dodoens, 1583, and Parkinson, 1640, may also be standards committee communicated to the Institution of compared. Electrical Engineers at their last meeting.
The next step forward was only possible after the microIn the department of metallurgy, Dr. Carpenter and Mr. scope had come into use as a scientific instrument. Keeling, during the early part of the year, completed their It is a curious point that abundant and conspicuous as work on the range of solidification and critical ranges the powdery spores of the fungi are, no one seems to have of iron-carbon alloys, and an account of the work was read observed their importance until Micheli, in 1729. collected at the meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute in May last. and sowed a series of them, and with results, for he obtained The value of Dr. Carpenter's work was recognised by his mycelia, and in a few cases even sporophores; but it was election as Carnegie scholar. On Mr. Keeling's leaving not until
century later, 1820, that Ehrenberg, in his classical the laboratory, Mr. Longmuir, also a Carnegie scholar, “ De Mycetogenesi," traced the larger fungi to their mwas appointed on the staff, and Dr. Carpenter and he have celial filaments, collected and sowed spores, and grew several since been carrying on, in cooperation with Mr. Hadfield of species of Moulds, and especially discovered the sexual act Sheffield, an elaborate systematic research on the properties in Zyzygites. For although Micheli's ideas had been conof the nickel-steels. In all, seventeen different kinds of firmed by Gleditsch in 1753 and by Schaefier in 1763, physical, mechanical, and chemical tests have been per- Rudolphi and Persoon had more or less denied the gerformed on the different samples used, which contained mination of spores, and insisted on the spontaneous genera varying amounts of nickel up to 16 per cent. The results tion of the moulds. obtained will shortly be submitted to the alloys research However, before 1840 Nees von Esenbeck had cultivated committee of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. a Mucor from spore to spore, and Dutrochet, 1834, and
An investigation on modern high-speed tool steels, such Trog, 1837, had seen the " puffing" of asci and practically as those shown in use in the engineering department on established the doctrine of wind-distribution of spores. Friday last, has also been completed by Dr. Carpenter, cool- By these and similar successes the era of the Mould-fungi ing curves and photomicrographs having been obtained was initiated, and the labours of Corda, Tulasne. Pringsshowing clearly the various modifications in structure after heim, Cohn, and De Bary soon introduced system into their different heat treatment.
study, and especially the exact study of life-histories showed The optical department is rapidly being organised, and, what important results for morphology lay in the biological in addition to lens testing, the work has included the investigations of these micro-fungi. accurate measurement of the angles of prisms and deter- The lecturer here gave illustrations of the commoner types mination of the optical constants of numerous samples of of mould fungi, with notes on their botanical importance, glass.
and some remarks on the points he wished to emphasise In the weights and measures department, the chief work later. has been the study of the master screw of the new leading- An early outcome of the investigations of the moulds and screw lathe, which has been carefully calibrated throughout their allies was the discovery of what curious substrata som its entire length.
of them grow upon. A rapid survey of all saprophytic The foregoing serves to indicate the substantial progress fungi shows that while the majority grow on the soil, on made by the laboratory, and to prove that though it has plant remains, or on dung of various kinds, peculiar forts only been at work a little more than three years, it has or species occur on such bodies as resin, cork, bees and already begun to make its mark on the science and industry wasps' nests, bones, limestone, insect-remains, horn, hair, of the country, and to justify in a large measure the ex- feathers and hoofs, fats, and in chemical solutions such pectations of its promoters.
as picric acid, copper sulphate, arsenic, and poisons suti as atropin, muscarin, and so forth.
Here, also, the lecturer gave some notes on details, of
which the most striking was, perhaps, his own prooi that FU'NGI.
the horn-destroying fungus will not act until its spores har
been passed through the alimentary tract of an animal, an HAVING pointed out that the attempts to derive the subjected to the influence of gastric juice.
word fungus from funere, or funus and ago, fungor, In 1866, the year of publication of De Barr's book op &c., have been shown to be failures-that it comes from mycology, a revolution in the study of fungi was brought the Greek onoygos, and is the same word as sponge, the about by the first morphological proof of parasitism and it lecturer proceeded to give illustrations of the fungi known fection, and the clear distinction drawn between the sapro to the ancients. These were, of course, all of the larger phytic micro-fungi or“ moulds " and the parasitic fungi kinds, since no knowledge of micro-fungi was possible. which induce " diseases.” The matter was of especial Nevertheless, references in the Old Testament show that importance as explaining away prevalent erroneous juires certain diseases-mildew, smuts, &c.--were known to the according to which these disease-fungi were outgrowth Hebrews, but of course their connection with fungi was not (exanthemata) from the moribund tissues of the lost-plant suspected.
itself. 1 Abstract of a discourse delivered at the Royal Institution on February De Bary's great service was to prove that a spore ni 24 by Prof. H. Marshall Ward, F.R.S.
fungus arrived from outside, and alter germinating on the leaf or other organ of a plant, bored its way in, or through While the new era of mycology was stimulating observers a stoma, and entered the tissues. Here it lived, as does a to new investigations into the life-histories of moulds, and plant in any other medium, at the expense of the substances of the parasites of animals and plants, and into the ætiology in the tissues, which it eventually kills. It then emerges of the timber-destroying fungi, and so forth, on the one and develops its spore on the outside.
hand, it was, on the other, gradually attracting to its Thus was founded the “ germ theory” of disease. domain areas of investigation which had grown up inde
The lecturer here gave illustrations of the kinds of para- pendently out of the past, and which the older thinkers sites referred to, and showed how the spotting of leaves is could never have dreamed of associating with fungi. brought about by various epiphytic and endophytic forms, A conspicuous example was the study of fermentation, such as Oidium and Erysiphe, Phytophthora, Ustilagineæ which, since Janssen in 1590 had brought forward a microand l'redineæ, &c., and directed attention to certain special scope of several lenses, and Leeuwenhoek had applied an genera, such as Botrytis, Aspergillus, &c.
improved form of it to the animalculæ in putrefying liquids, That the ancients were acquainted with the phenomena had undergone the initial stage of passage into the hands of rot in timber is attested by remarks of Theophrastus on of the naturalists. hollow trees and the decay of oak ; but it was not until about The lecturer then sketched in rapid outline the history of 1830 that any idea of connecting the phenomena with fungi the thecry of fermentation, from the early days when the can be traced, and even then Theod. Hartig, who dis- lees or sediment (yeast) were known as the “ Faeces Vini"covered hyphæ in the rotten wood, thought they originated apparently owing to the shrewd suggestion of a Venetian from the wood-fibres themselves. Schacht, in 1850 and 1863, doctor, who, in 1762, said putrefactive and fermentation figured many instances of hyphæ in wood, and showed that processes are due to the vital activity of minute worms, the the fungus fed on the starch, pierced the cell-walls, and in excreta (faeces) of which induce the turbidity and mal-odour some way induced their putrefaction; and to these and of the liquid—to the days when the living plant-nature of Willkomm's researches, in 1864, we may trace the origin of these faeces was gradually established by the work of our knowledge of fungi as the causes of decay in timber. Astier, 1813, Desmazières, 1826, Quevenne, 1838, and Per
Meanwhile the palæontologists also were bringing soon, and especially by Erxleben, 1818, Kützing, 1834, forward examples of fungus-hyphæ in fossil woods.
Cagniard Latour and Schwann, 1837. But the real founder of this important subject was R. At the same time, the sketch included an outline of the Hartig, who in his works, 1874 and 1878, proved that not first great controversies regarding abiogenesis or spontanonly are there several kinds of wood-rots in different species eous generation, brought forward from its ancient strongholds of trees, each induced by different forms of fungi, but that in the ignorance of the classical and mediæval writers--e.g. the different woods show special markings, and break up Pliny, Bock, Van Helmont-by Needham in 1745, and in peculiar manner for each case, so that particular kinds confuted by Spallanzani, 1765–76, Schultze, 1836, Schröder of rot can be recognised by particular symptoms. Hartig, and Dusch, 1854; and to which the coup de grâce was given moreover, showed how the fungi got into the tree, and that by the work of Pasteur, 1862, Cohn, 1870–75, and Tyndall. these wound-fungi have special peculiarities. He traced Information derived from the brewing of quass, saki, their hyphæ into the vessels and wood-elements, showed how pulque, kava, toddy, koumiss, mead, metheglin, spruce they pierce the cell-walls, and, most important of all, proved and other beers and wines by peoples all over the world has that they dissolve out from the wood-elements the lignified only confirmed the ideas, of Pasteur especially, that all such constituents to which their fundamental physical properties fermentations are due to the presence of fungi; and although -as wood-are due, and either leave the delignified walls the discussions as to the process itself being due to catalytic soft and cellulose in character or dissolve them to a jelly. actions and the communication of internal movements to the
Here the lecturer showed illustrations of the mode of molecules of sugar broken up, initiated by Stahl in 1697, and action of dry rot, of Polyporus igniarius, and of other wood- revived in various forms by Liebig, 1839, and Naegeli, 1879, destroying fungi, and referred to Czapek's recent discovery culminating in Buchner's views on the discovery of zymase of Hadromal, the probable uniform constituent of wood in 1896-97, have modified the older forms of the vitalistic hitherto vaguely known as Lignin.
theory of Cagniard Latour and Pasteur, they have not In another direction activity was turned to the fungi dissociated fermentation from the life of the cell
. which attack insects, and which are now known often to The lecturer then passed to a survey of the enzymes, become epidemic, to the great advantage of areas devastated those remarkable bodies which, though not themselves living, by locusts, cockchafers and other grubs, caterpillars, &c. are capable of breaking up organic substances apart from
It is a remarkable fact that whereas the diseases of plants the protoplasm of the cells which secrete them, and showed due to fungi are numbered by their thousands, only some that since the discovery of diastase in malt by Payen and two hundred or so of animal maladies due to fungi proper Persoz in 1833, of pepsin in gastric juice by Schwann in are known. Whether this is due to the more acid nature 1836, and of invertase in yeast by Berthelot in 1860, of vegetable sap, to the high temperature of animal tissues, numerous other special enzymes have been isolated, and all or to the greater abundance of the anti-bodies in animals the principal forms of sugar-inverting, starch-saccharifying, cannot be decided.
cellulose-dissolving, fat-splitting, proteid-converting, and The lecturer gave illustrations of caterpillars with their oxidising enzymes occur in the fungi. Bourquelot has destroyers, Cordyceps, Isaria, &c., growing from their shown the presence of nine such enzymes in Polyporus sulmummified bodies, and referred to Torrubia's “ Vegetable phureus and of seven in Aspergillus alone. Wasp " legend of 1749. He also showed photographs of the The presence of certain deadly poisons in putrefying fish, “ plant-worms" used in Chinese medicine, and rapidly flesh, &c., and the researches consequent on the increasing surveyed the work of Cesati, Pasteur, De Bary, Cohn, &c., knowledge of septic poisoning of wounds—with which Lister on Muscardine, Entomophthora, Empusa, Saprolegnia, and dealt so practically at the time_led to researches which, in other insect-killing fungi.
the hands of Brieger, Sonnenschein, Armand Gautier, But these entomophagous fungi are merely particular Selmi, and others resulted in the isolation of more or less cases of mycoses. Every group of animals from the Protozoa specific bodies, such as sepsin, cadaverine, ptomaines, leucoand Infusoria upwards have their fungus parasites ; hyphæ maines, &c. In 1876 Neucki obtained an unusually pure penetrate the ceratin of sponges and the calcareous walls of form, and the doctrine of ptomaine poisons may be regarded corals, and fishes and amphibia are by no means immune. as thereby established,
Birds and mammals suffer particularly from certain For us, the point of interest here is that these poisons mycoses due to fungi which we have been in the habit of proved to be analogous, if not identical as a class, with a regarding as harmless moulds, e.g. Aspergillus, and even number of vegetable poisons, such as atropine, brucine, man is sometimes in danger from such fungi.
nicotine, strychnine, or at any rate presented striking reWhen, in 1869–70, Grohe and Block showed that small semblances to them in their physiological actions. doses of the spores of Penicillium and Aspergillus are fatal As close, or even closer, resemblances were found in the to kittens, their statements were emphatically disbelieved : poisons extracted from the fungi; amanitin, bulbosin, corbut Grawitz confirmed them, and the body of evidence show- nutin, sphacelotoxin, &c., all came under the same general ing that Aspergillus contains poisons toxic to birds and category. In 1880 Pasteur showed that fowl cholera could higher animals can no longer be overlooked. Some of these be produced by means of the poison excreted by the bacilli, forms of aspergillosis are very serious diseases indeed. from which the bacilli themselves had been removed ; and
Brieger, in 1885, then showed the same to be true for Getreide, "" Taumel-Roggen "' of the Germans-have long tetanus and typhoid. Löffler, 1887, and Hankin, 1890, been known, and the lecturer quoted cases where similar then showed the same to be true for diphtheria and for noxious effects are traced to the presence of Ustilaginez, anthrax, and the toxins of tetanus, cholera, &c., were ob- Helminthosporium, Cladosporium, and other fungi. tained shortly afterwards.
A notable case is that of the Darnel, a tiresome weed in Thus was founded the doctrine of toxins. The bacilli some countries. The ancients.g. Galen-knew that darnel of disease do not merely induce the formation of ptomaine in bread causes dizziness, headache and sickness, and poisons in the decomposing tissues; they form the toxins thought that neglected wheat, &c., was transformed into in their own cells, and then excrete them.
darnel. Hofmeister, in 1892, examined and extracted the The lecturer then referred to the similarities of the toxic bodies, and confirmed the repeated statements as to venenenes of snakes, scorpions, and spiders; of the toxins their deleterious and even fatal action on animals. in eels' blood; and of the vegetable toxins ricin, robin, &c., Yet it was not until 1898 that Vogl discovered the emphasising the fact that all these bacterial, animal, vege- existence of a mycelium in the seed-coals of the poisonous table, and fungal poisons belong to one and the same great darnel, and in the same year this was confirmed by Hanausek family of toxic bodies.
and Nestler, though they did little beyond recording the The horribly intoxicating and poisonous drink made presence of a fungus. by certain Siberian and Kamschatkan peoples from the In 1903, Freeman, in the lecturer's laboratory at Canfly Agaric, the dry gangrene and paralysis due to bridge, worked out the details, and left no doubt that the ergotism, now rare disease in western Europe, and poisonous property is due to the fungus. the effects of the toxins of tetanus, diphtheria, and other The lecturer then pointed out that a whole series of bacilli, all have points in common with the poisons of questions concerning these and similar diseases now being snakes, of certain seeds, and so on-certain Australian investigated in his laboratory lie under suspicion of conspecies of Swainsonia impel horses which have eaten it to nection with grain-poisoning, or at any rate with poisoning behave as if trying to climb trees, or to refuse to cross a of fungi introduced as food. twig as if it were a large log, reminding one of the effects To say the least, we want further and extensive researches of Amanita muscaria on man.
from this point of view into the æetiology of Acrodymia io In great part, if not entirely, owing to an experiment of Mexico, Algeria, &c., and of the Colombian Pelade, of the Nuttall's in 1888, in which he found that normal blood has
of cattle and sheep, and of the * milk sickbactericidal properties, researches were undertaken which of the North American prairies, and even diseases resulted in the discovery that the sera of animals, either like beri-beri, &c. normally or if rendered immune by minimal doses of toxins, The conclusions, the lecturer pointed out, to which we contain antidotal substances to the toxins. Behring and are driven may be thus summarised :Kitasato, in 1890, who demonstrated the antitoxic power of (1) Fungi, like animals and other plants, including blood immunised with diphtheria or tetanus to the toxins bacteria, excrete enzymes, and utilise them in the same way of these bacilli, were followed in rapid succession by Brieger, and for the same purposes. Ehrlich, Pick, and others, and the doctrine of the anti- (2) The poisons of the fungi are toxins, not only similar enzymes and antitoxins was established.
in character to the poisonous alkaloids, toxalbumens, &c, of The lecturer then gave two illustrative cases. Dunbar, in the bacteria, and of the higher plants, the venenenes of the 1903, showed that hay-fever, as already maintained by snakes, &c., but their poisonous actions in the paralysis of others, was not only due to the pollen of grasses, but he nerve-ends, &c., are essentially the same. isolated from the pollen-grains a toxin which itself induces (3) These poisons, &c., introduced into the blood all the symptoms of the malady.
animals, call forth the activities of antitoxins and Not only so.
He showed that the serum of horses, &c., to enzymes, as do the toxins of animals, bacteria, which the hay-fever is communicated becomes antitoxic similar circumstances. to the malady. This antitoxin has been distributed, and the (4) The presumption is, therefore, justified that the arrin statistics uphold the accuracy of Dunbar's views.
of the enzymes and toxins of parasitic fungi on the proteid That pollen-grains contain enzymes has long been known, cell-contents of their plant-hosts is similar in principe to and the experiments of Darwin and others have shown that that on animal proteids, and that the host reacts by means some pollens are poisonous to the stigmas of the wrong of anti-enzymes and antitoxins. plant. Another suggestive illustration is that given by The lecturer then adverted to the difficulties of obtaining Woron, in which, bees having conveyed pollen, together the toxins and antitoxins from sap, and concluded by with the spores of a Sclerotinia, to the stigmas of certain showing in specific cases—the rusts of wheat and grasses species of Vaccinium, the pollen-tubes and the fungus-hyphæ how probable it is that, since no anatomical features explain race each other down the style, and the latter usually win, the facts of predisposition and immunity, and the latter and destroy the ovules. Moreover, everyone knows how cannot be referred to climatic conditions or to peculiarities corrosive and destructive the pollen-tubes of pines, &c., are of soil, &c., the above considerations will be found to apply. in the tissues, and we must not forget that pollen-grains are a matter dealt with elsewhere by the lecturer. spores.
The second case dwelt on by the lecturer is that of pellagra, a disease to which the ill-nourished peasantry of maizegrowing countries are liable in bad seasons, when the crops
TRYPANOSOMIASIS AND EXPERIMENTAL are poor and mouldy.
MEDICINE, Cene and Beste, in 1902, referred the malady to the THE greater portion of the first Report deals with the tracted from this mould a highly toxic body. Mariani, in Congo district. The trypanosomata are flagellated pro1903, then showed that the blood of patients cured of
tozoa, which have been found to be parasitic in many pellagra is antitoxic to the poison of the disease.
animals, sometimes causing no symptoms, as in the rat, The lecturer pointed out that, without committing our- but sometimes associated with serious effects, as in the selves to any premature opinion as to the absolute accuracy
tsetse-Ay disease of the horse. During the last few years traof these views, there are two increasing classes of evidence | panosomata have been found to be parasitic in man in which support his suspicion that numerous as yet insuffici
various districts of West and Central Africa. If the ently examined cases of this kind will turn out to be due
infected person shows irregular fever without other marked to what he calls “ lurking parasites ” in bad grain and fodders.
symptoms the condition has been termed trypanosomiasis;
if in addition there is somnolence and stupor, and later The first is the large class of mycoses now referred to the poisonous action of such a “ mould " as Aspergillus, a fungus wasting, convulsions, and fatal coma, the condition is the shown to abound in enzymes and toxic bodies. The second 1 "Reports of the Trypanosomiasis Expedition to the Congo, 1903-13" is the increasing number of cases of poisoning by fodder Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. Memoir xiii. Pp. 116. (1994) and grain-plants, normally wholesome, but found to be deleterious in certain circumstances or years.
"The Thompson-Yates and Johnston Laboratories Report. Val.
(New Series), Part i.. January, 1905. Pp. 205. (University Press of Liter Cases of poisonous wheat, oats, &c.—the Taumel
pool ; Lundon : Williams and Norgate.) Price 1as, 6d.
dreaded sleeping sickness which has destroyed rens of Congo Free State trypanosomiasis cases, are all identical thousands of lives in Central Africa. Much of the matter in morphology and animal reactions with the Tr. in the volume under review deals with the relationship gambiense. between these two diseases.
In an interesting paper, Messrs. Dutton, Todd, and The first article is a report by Messrs. Dutton, Todd, Christy describe the Congo floor maggot, a blood-sucking and Christy on an expedition into the Congo Free State, dipterous larva extensively found in various parts of the undertaken at the request of the King of the Belgians. Congo Free State, and identified by Mr. Austen as the At the hospital at Boma, and during a journey into the Auchmeromyia luteola, Fabr. These larvæ seem to lurk cataract region, a number of patients were seen who were in the cracks and crevices of the mud floors of the native regarded by the district medical officers as cases of sleeping huts, from whence they emerge at night and attack the sickness, but in whom the somnolence, so characteristic of persons sleeping there. The volume concludes with a note the disease in Uganda, was completely absent. Neverthe- by Mr. Austen on tsetse-flies. Since his monograph on less,'trypanosomes were found in the blood both of those the tsetse-Alies was issued, further observation has concases in which the diagnosis of sleeping sickness was vinced Mr. Austen that the Glossina tachinoides, regarded certain and of those which were atypical. But in addition by him as a variety of G. palpalis, must be reckoned trypanosomes were frequently seen in the peripheral blood as a distinct species. of apparently healthy individuals.
The volume of the Thompson-Yates and Johnston In the next article, the relationship of human try- Laboratories Report contains the reports on trypanosopanosomiasis to Congo sleeping sickness is discussed by miasis, &c., described above, and several additional papers
of interest. Dr. Stephens describes
hæmogregarine from an African toad, two cases of intestinal
myiasis (fly larvæ) observed in children in Liverpool, a FLY
note on swellings of uncertain ætiology in a tropical patient, and a note on non-flagellate typhoid bacilli. The last named were from an old laboratory strain which had been subcultured for some years, and seemed completely to have lost their fagella and motility. Mr. Shipley describes a new human trematode parasite from German West Africa, and Mr. Dutton defines the intermediate host of a lymph worm (filaria) of an African swift ; this is found to be ihe louse which infests these birds. Prof. Moore and Mr. Roaf contribute an important experimental study of the physical chemistry of anæsthesia, from which they conclude that chloroform forms an unstable chemical compound or physical aggregation with proteid and hæmoglobin, and is carried in the blood in such a state of combination, the compounds so formed limiting the chemical activities of protoplasm and inducing anæsthesia. Mr. Edie describes the action of
chloroform on serum proteids and hæmoglobin, and, lastly, PUPA
Mr. Roaf and Mr. Edie describe a simple method for the preparation and determination of lecithin which seems to be a great improvement on the methods hitherto in use. Both volumes are beautifully printed and illustrated, and appear in a new cover, which, artistically, is a great improvement on the old one.
R. T. Hewlet.
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
Michaelmas, 1909, and the appointment has been confirmed
by the Special Board for Medicine. Mr. R. P. Gregory, of St. John's College, has been appointed senior demon
strator in botany for four years, until June 24, 1909. Fig 1.- Flies, pupa and larvæ (nat. size) of the Congo Floor Maggot.
The list of successful candidates for open scholarships at Downing College is so far unusual that all the winners
are natural science students. It is as follows:-A. W. the same observers. The conclusion is arrived at that the
Bourne, Rydal Mount School, Colwyn Bay, 5ol.; A. C. 11. gambiense of the first-named condition is the probable Johnson, Merchant Taylors' School, 401. ; W. G. Stevens, (ause of Congo sleeping sickness; but it must be admitted,
The Leys School, Cambridge, 4ol.; 1. K. Matthews, Merin spite of the positive statements which have been made
chant Taylors' School, Crosby, Liverpool, 401. on the subject, that something remains to be cleared up. This view is confirmed by Dr. Christy's researches on the OXFORD.—The university has resolved to contribute a (Prebro-spinal Auid in sleeping sickness. He considers not exceeding 1000l. towards the printing of that that all that can definitely be stated is that (1) on the portion of the British section of the International Astrowhole the presence of the trypanosome parasites in the graphic Catalogue which has been executed at the unicerebro-spinal fluid tends to increase the gravity of the versity observatory. case, (2) in many cases trypanosomes never find their way By a statute passed in 1904, the university established into the cerebro-spinal Auid, and (3) in the vast majority diploma in scientific engineering and mining subof cases death is the result of complications, mainly jects,” and the committee appointed to arrange the details bacterial infections.
of the scheme has now issued the regulations concerning The identity or non-identity of the various trypanosomes the diploma. Members of the university will be eligible of man has been investigated by Dr. Thomas and for the diploma who have passed at the examinations reMr. Linton, who conclude that the parasites found (a) in quired for the degree of B.A., and have satisfied the the cerebro-spinal fluid of Uganda sleeping sickness, (b) in examiners in certain special subjects mentioned in the that of Congo Free State sleeping sickness, (c) in the blood following list, after an approved course of study in those of l'ganda trypanosomiasis cases, and (d) in the blood of subjects extending over two years, and have also gone