Page images
PDF
EPUB

with a sufficient quantity of some absorbent material (such as sawdust or cottonwool) so packed about the receptacle as absolutely to prevent any possible leakage from the packet in the event of damage to the receptacle. The packet must also be marked ‘Fragile with care. Any person who sends by post a deleterious liquid or substance for medical examination or analysis otherwise than as provided by these regulations is liable to prosecution, even if he be a patient sending something to his medical adviser for his opinion or a medical practitioner sending something to a laboratory or elsewhere.

that one such laboratory should be established for every group of crown colonies, the director to be in organic relation with the London school, but with a free hand to take up any special line of investigation in tropical diseases. The directors of these laboratories should be educated in their special work at the London School of Tropical Medicine; East Africa, Uganda and British Central Africa might form one group, the West Coast of Africa another, the West Indies and British Guiana a third, Fiji and the Pacific islands a fourth. Thus there would be seven laboratories affiliated with the London School of Tropical Medicine. Sir Patrick Manson also emphasized the importance of educating the natives in tropical hygiene. He suggested that tuition in the rudiments of the subject should be included in the curriculum of colonial government schools, so that when the child grows up he may be willing to submit to sanitary measures. Without the cooperation of the natives it is hopeless to try to get any scheme, however good, carried out. A necessary preliminary is the preparation of primers for the instruction of school teachers who in turn would teach children.

The British postmaster-general has issued a notice that reads as follows: The attention of the postmaster-general has been drawn to the fact that pathological specimens are frequently sent by post by members of the medical profession and other persons in packets which have not been registered as required by the post office regulations. The postmastergeneral desires to give notice that the transmission of such specimens is sanctioned only on the condition that they are handed in at a post office for transmission by registered letter post, and that they are packed in accordance with the regulations published in the Post Office Guide. These regulations, which are necessary for the protection of the post office servants and of the public, provide that any deleterious liquid or substance sent by post must be enclosed in a receptacle hermetically sealed, which receptacle must itself be placed in a strong wooden, leathern, or metal case, in such a way that it can not shift about, and

UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL NEWS.

The British government will allocate £20,000 a year to the new College of Technology, at South Kensington out of the treasury subsidy for the maintenance of the Royal College of Science and the School of Mines.

The University Review gives the following figures in regard to the Carnegie Trust for 1904: The trustees during the year had for distribution as grants to the universities and for the endowment of research £59,201. In addition, the income of the trust included £50,000 to be utilized in the payment of the class fees of students who applied to the trust and satisfied the necessary conditions. For this purpose £46,000 was distributed. The figures show that out of every hundred students 72 at Aberdeen received fees from the trust, 70 at St. Andrews, 50 at Glasgow and 39 at Edinburgh. To the general funds of the Scottish universities over £38,000 was granted, and £5,000 was distributed for the encouragement of research at the universities.

Dr. II. W. Stuart, of Lake Forest University, has been promoted to the chair of philosophy, vacant through the resignation of Professor Walter Smith on account of ill health.

Dr. W. G. ADAMS, F.R.S., professor of natural philosophy and astronomy at King's College, London, is about to retire after a service of forty-two years.

PROFESSOR STEPHEN M. Dixon, of Dalhousie College, Nova Scotia, has been appointed professor of civil engineering at Birmingham. FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 1905.

A WEEKLY JOURNAL DEVOTED TO THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE, PUBLISHING THE OFFICIAL NOTICES AND PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION

FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.

CONTENTS Recent Adrances in Physiological Chemistry: .

PROFESSOR J. H. Long................... 129 Scientific Books:

Haeckel's Evolution of Man: J. P. McM... 137 Scientific Journals and Articles ............ 139 Discussion and Correspondence:

Ancient Greek Fish and Other Names: DR. THEO. GILL. Engineering Problems in a ('ourse in Physics : PROFESSOR JOHN L. TILTox. Arguments alleged against the Doctrine of Organic Evolution: DR. PHIL. B. HADLEY .......

................... 140 Special Articles :

Effect of the Concentration of the Nutrient
Solution upon Wheat Cultures: J. F.
BREAZEALE. The Classification of the
Ordorician Rocks of Ohio and Indiana: AUG.
F. FOERSTE..

........ 146 Recent Work of the Wisconsin Archeological

Society: HABLAN I. SMITH....... ........ 152 Nature of Man: PROFESSOR JOHN PERBY..... 155 Scientific Notes and News................. 157 University and Educational News...........

been found necessary to publish the increasing literature, and also by the influence which this department of science is exerting on other sciences, particularly on medicine. For twenty years the Zeitschrift für physiologische Chemie and Maly's Jahresbericht were sufficient to represent the specialty, which had been considered a somewhat narrow one, but suddenly, and almost simultaneously, three other, publications were called into existence to keep pace with the newly aroused interest. These are the Biochemisches Centralblatt, the Beiträge zur chemischen Physiologie und Pathologie and the volume on Biochemistry of the Ergebnisse der Physiologie, all since 1902.

Several causes have worked to bring about this situation and the most important will be touched on in what follows, but at the outset two things are apparent; on the one hand, there is the stimulating influence of pure organic chemistry, and on the other, the requirements of physiology and pathology for a more rational chemical foundation. This last factor is an extremely potent one; some of the most interesting problems of physiological chemistry have been suggested by questions growing out of the discussion of the modern doctrines of immunity and the causation of disease.

It follows, therefore, that many of the advances in physiological chemistry are in lines which are comparatively new, but there are some noteworthy exceptions and of one of these I wish to speak first. This is concerned with the question of protein

MSS. intended for publication and books, etc., intended for review should be sent to the Editor of SCIENCE, Garri. son-on-Hudson, N. Y.

RECENT ADVANCES IN PHYSIOLOGICAL

CHEMISTRY The enormously rapid development of physiological chemistry in the last ten years may be well illustrated by a consideration of the new journals which have

* Read at Buffalo meeting of the American Chemical Society, June 22, 1905.

in nutrition which has been a much debated ments which have seemed to support the problem for fifty years. Indeed, interest Liebig contention have been made largely in this goes back to the days of the epoch- with carnivorous animals and have no real making publications of Liebig on the rela- bearing on the problem as far as man is . tion of organic chemistry to physiology and concerned. pathology, issued in the early forties. In As a necessary consequence of the Liebig these he developed his idea of the functions theory it was held that our protein conof various foods in the nutrition of man sumption must be high, and hence the large and laid particular, stress on the impor- amounts of nitrogenous substances insisted tance of protein as the source of muscular upon in the older dietaries. But after a energy. According to this early Liebig time physiologists naturally began to inview our foods may be divided into plastic quire into the real uses of protein, if it is or tissue-forming, on the one hand, and not called for in the work of the muscles; heat-producing, on the other. The produc- if, as appeared evident, it is used mainly tion of heat appeared as an end in itself in the repair of waste tissues, why metaband the fats and carbohydrates served for olize so much, since in this metabolism an this purpose. The protein substances are enormous amount of extra work is thrown built up into tissues and in the oxidation on the oxidizing and excreting organs of of the latter, it was held, we have the sole the body. It certainly can not be assumed source of muscular energy. The name of that the disposal of the katabolic products Liebig was all-potent in science in those of proteins can be accomplished without days and his nutrition theory held sway using up a considerable amount of energy, for twenty years or more without question and without a great strain on the liver and It will not be necessary to recount the steps kidneys. What, then, is the amount of in the opposition which finally developed, protein actually needed for the normal but it may be well to recall the famous body? Numerous answers have been given experiment of Fick and Wislicenus in to this question and in late years several which, in an ascent of the Faulhorn, in investigations have apparently brought the 1866, they calculated the work done and daily protein down to 25 to 40 grams, or the protein oxidized, as measured by the even lower. But it has been urged against urea excretion. The protein combustion all the experiments leading to such results was found to be far too little to account that they were of too short duration to for the expenditure of work in the climb, actually prove anything of value. For exwhich result confirmed the theoretical ob- ample, Siven carried out a 32-day test in jections urged, especially by J. R. Mayer, which the protein metabolized daily was of Heilbronn. Other important investiga- about 38 grams; during a part of this time tions followed in the same direction, and the body was kept in nitrogen equilibrium almost without exception they have gone by about 25 grams daily. Hirschfeld someto show that while the protein oxidation what earlier had made numerous observamay furnish a part of the muscular energy tions in which the protein consumption of the body, or, even all of it under certain through about two weeks was 35 to 45 extreme circumstances, the fats and carbo- grams, but fats and carbohydrates brought hydrates are the usual sources of such en- the diet up to an equivalent of 3,750 to ergy in man, and that heat production is 3,900 calories. only incidental, not an end, but an unavoid The importance of the subject is worthy able accompaniment. A few recent experi- of the fullest investigation, and such a

study has finally been carried out by Chit- work to perform, with constant and rather tenden through experiments, first on him- severe requirements on the muscular sysself, and then on groups of men engaged tem. The average protein consumption in various occupations. In the first of daily was not far from 55 grams. these remarkable experiments, which have Finally, eight Yale athletes showed recently been described in book form under themselves willing to work through the the title “Physiological Economy in Nutri- training and competing season on the retion' the distinguished Yale scientist de- stricted protein diet. The results here termined in his own case how far he could were equally remarkable, in fact probably safely reduce the protein of his diet and the most remarkable, as the work done by still retain the body in nitrogen equilib these men was of a character to call for rium. To do this close watch was held very high protein diet according to all of on the food and excreta through a year, our old standards. The experiments were November, 1902, to October, 1903, and carried out through a period of five months, under varying external conditions of work February to June, 1904, and through the and temperature. As a result of these last two months a very close record was systematic tests Chittenden found that he kept of diet, excretion, weight and varicould live very comfortably, and in perfect ous other factors concerning the men. health, on a diet containing 35 to 40 grams Through this sixty-day period, when the of protein daily, with fats and carbohy- muscular exertion was, perhaps, the most drates sufficient to yield 1,500 to 1,600 taxing, protein equilibrium was maintained calories. These valuable personal experi- on an average of 8.81 grams of nitrogen ments were regarded as preliminary only. metabolized for each man daily, correLater, systematic observations were made sponding to about 55 grams of protein. with three groups.of men, the work being All these men took high rank in athletic carried through periods of five to nine work, several of them being prize winners. months for each group.

The reproductions of photographs, pubThe first group comprised colleagues of lished in the book, show them to be men the author of the experiments, Yale pro- of excellent physique, and even of remarkfessors and instructors. The average pro- able muscular development in some cases. tein metabolism here was about 46 grams. While the protein diet of these men was The second group was composed of soldiers low the fat and carbohydrates were genfrom the hospital corps of the United erous but not excessive, the calorific value States army who were detailed for the of the whole being seldom over 3,000 purpose of the study. Of the twenty who calories. began, thirteen followed the tests through For all these men under examination in the whole period of over six months. these three sets of tests, professional men, Those who deserted, or were dropped, had soldiers, athletes, complete statistics for much to say through the newspapers about each day are published, from which the starvation diet, but this was a curious mis- reader may derive the fullest possible innomer, since, as the records show, the men formation. Painstaking accuracy is eviwho remained were kept in perfect nitro- dent in every page, and from the standgen equilibrium and found themselves in point of logical requirement in experifar better physical condition at the end of mental proof the tables meet any reasonable the experiments than at the beginning objection. Through all this time they had plenty of This Chittenden investigation then must be regarded as of fundamental importance, among the most important recent achieveas it demonstrates beyond cavil just what ments in physiological chemistry. is possible in protein restriction under or- The next topic of which I wish to speak dinary conditions. The periods of investi- very briefly deals with a problem even gation chosen were long enough to answer older than that of the Liebig theory of the objections to the results of some of the source of muscular energy. Some years earlier tests, and the values obtained for before the organic chemistry of Liebig was the soldiers and athletes of about 55 grams published Mulder had introduced the term of protein metabolized daily will have to protein, and had even announced the essenbe taken as practical standards. It doubt

tial composition of what he considered the

that less remains true that for men at severe

protein nucleus. His positive statements work at low temperatures a large number

led to extended investigations on the part

of others, and the work of many chemists of calories are required in the food. An

soon disclosed the fact that no one simple instructive example of such dietaries is

nucleus may be assumed to exist in these given in the recent publication by C. D.

molecules and that they must be enormousWoods on the diet of Maine lumbermen,

ly complex. Ever since the early forties where it is shown that the heat value of the

the problem has been an extremely interfood consumed daily by men in the lumber

esting one, but it is only recently that it camps may amount to 6,000 or 8,000

has been seriously attacked from the second calories. It would be interesting to ex

side possible in such investigations. Up to periment in such cases on the replacement

a period within five years the work done on of a good share of the protein by fat and

the protein question has been largely in the carbohydrates.

way of analysis or disintegration, but now A study of the Chittenden series of ex we have the beginning of attempts at synperiments on men shows very clearly that thesis or reconstruction of large groups. as far as the human organism, at any rate, Glycine and leucine had been known since is concerned the old Liebig notion of the about 1820 as decomposition products of source of muscular energy is without foun- glue and other bodies by action of acid. dation. As suggested above, experiments Nearly thirty years later tyrosine was with carnivorous animals do not apply to added as obtained in about the same way, man; it would be as justifiable to discuss and soon a few other individual substances the food value of pentoses for man from were listed among the products which experiments on the feeding of straw to could be secured in various decompositions cattle. It is true that for short periods of proteins. In the seventies systematic or under special conditions, proteins may methods of hydrolysis by alkalies and acids serve man as the main or only source of were worked out, especially by Schützenmuscular energy, but evidently this is not berger and Hlasiwetz and Habermann. usually or. normally the case.

Numerous products were recognized, but When the far-reaching importance of at first these attracted no great attention, the whole question is realized, and when it as there remained always the possibility is further remembered that considerable that the amino acids and other compounds internal work must be done to remove, es- found might be results of secondary reacpecially, the products of protein metabol- tions. We can not infer much regarding ism, I believe it will be granted that I am the structure of soft coal from the presence right in placing this work of Chittenden of methane in the gas, or of benzene, tolu

« PreviousContinue »