« PreviousContinue »
The opening of the Panama Canal, with the establishment of new world trade routes, brought the danger of a wide distribution of yellow fever. Its appearance in Asia, for example, would be a catastrophe.
To obtain authoritative information and counsel, the board appointed a yellow fever commission, headed by General Gorgas. Associated with him were Dr. Henry R. Carter, of the United States Public Health Service; Dr. Juan Guiteras, chief health officer of Havana; Major T. C. Lyster and Major E. R. Whitmore, of the Medical Department, United States Army, and Mr. W. D. Wright
To define the problem accurately, the commission, in the spring and summer of 1916, visited all countries in South America in which yellow fever had appeared in recent years. On its return it presented a report, expressing the opinion, in which all members of the commission concurred, that the total eradication of yellow fever was feasible.
In January, 1917, the board adopted a working program and appointed Dr. Gorgas director. The Secretary of War had agreed to release the surgeon general for this service, but the war compelled a postponement of the work which is now to be resumed.
SCIENTIFIC NOTES AND NEWS RAYMOND DODGE, professor of psychology in Wesleyan University, has been made lieutenant commander in the United States Navy, in recognition of the special psychological tests devised by him for the use of the Navy during the war.
DR. CHARLES S. VENABLE is a captain in the Development Division of the Chemical Warfare Service doing gas offense work in Cleveland.
PROFESSOR E. C. FRANKLIN, of Stanford University, is on leave of absence and is engaged in research work near Washington for the Nitrate Division, Ordnance Department of the Army.
EIGHT American engineers have sailed for France to attend the French Engineering Congress in Paris to study reconstruction in France and restoration of French industries. An invitation to send representatives to the meeting was received by the American Society
of Civil Engineers from the French Society of Civil Engineers, and the American organization invited representation from the national societies of civil, mechanical, electric and mining engineers. The members of the delegation are: George F. Swain, Nelson P. Lewis, George W. Fuller, A. M. Hunt, George W. Tillson, Major James F. Case, L. B. Stillwell and E. Gybbon Spilsbury.
DR. ASTLEY P. C. ASHHURST, of Philadelphia, who went to France as a major in command of Base Hospital No. 34, unit of the Episcopal Hospital, has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel and placed in charge of all the hospitals in the Mantes Sector. His place as director of Base Hospital No. 34 has been taken by Dr. Emory G. Alexander.
MAJOR J. C. FITZGERALD, director of Connaught and Antitoxin Laboratories, University of Toronto, is at present with the Royal Army Medical Corps, as officer-commanding, No. 39 Mobile Laboratory, France, and acting also as adviser in pathology.
DR. I. M. LEWIS, formerly chairman of the school of botany in the University of Texas, is now a captain in the Sanitary Corps, stationed at Yale University. He is in charge of the preliminary course given to officers in training at Yale University.
LIEUTENANT ALVIN R. LAMB, of the Division of Food and Nutrition, Medical Department, U. S. Army, is now stationed at Camp Greenleaf, Ga. He is on leave of absence from the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station.
LIEUTENANT RALPH BENTON, Inf., U. S. A., formerly associate professor of zoology in the University of Southern California and more recently of the United States Bureau of Biological Survey, has been assigned as personnel adjutant at the College of the Pacific, San Jose, Calif.
THE following men, formerly members of the scientific staff of the Bureau of Biological Survey, U. S. Department of Agriculture, are now engaged in rat-control work in connection with the Sanitary Corps of the American Army in France: Major Edward A. Goldman, in charge, assisted by Lieutenants Francis Har
per, Joe G. Crick and Joseph Keyes, and Sergeant Remington Kellog.
DR. KENYON L. BUTTERFIELD, president of Massachusetts College and member of the Army Educational Commission for Vocational Training, has sailed for France to begin work in the overseas schools which are to be open to soldiers until they return home.
DEAN HAYWARD, of the Agricultural Department of Delaware College, has been given a leave of absence for a year to serve as regional director of agricultural education in France, under the Y. M. C. A. army overseas educational commission.
PROFESSOR HARRY FIELDING REID, of the Johns Hopkins University, and Professor Stephen Faber, of the University of South Carolina, have gone to Porto Rico, at the request of the Secretary of War, to study the severe earthquakes which did serious damage in that island in October.
DR. EDGAR W. OLIVE, curator at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, spent several weeks during the past summer for the Plant Disease Survey and Cereal Disease Office of the United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the departments of plant pathology of the New York State Agricultural College, Cornell University, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. The work included a fruit disease survey of the counties in the Hudson River valley; a study of onion smut conditions in the Wallkill valley, Orange county, N. Y.; an oat and barley smut trip through the Hudson River valley counties, and a study of a wheat disease in western Virginia. This work was continued during October, Dr. Olive being in Pennsylvania from the first to the fifth of the month, making a survey and study of a new and descriptive potato wart disease.
DR. ORLANDO E. WHITE, curator of plant breeding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, was granted a leave of absence of three and a half months, beginning on August 1, 1918, for the purpose of cooperating with the federal government in the study of various problems connected with the growth and utilization of the
faculty appointed in 1873, of whom two-Dr. Tuttle, of Virginia, and Dr. Mendenhall, of Ravenna-now survive.
THE temporary officers of the American Association of Clinical Psychologists have deemed it advisable to hold the annual meeting scheduled for December, 1918. The temporary officers of the association are as follows: Chairman, J. E. Wallace Wallin; Secretary, Leta S. Hollingworth; Committee on Constitution, Leta S. Hollingworth, David Mitchell and Francis N. Maxfield; Committe on nomination of officers and new members, Rudolf Pintner, Helen Thompson Woolley and H. H. Goddard.
DURING the past summer, the Gail Borden collection of minerals, belonging to Occidental College, Los Angeles, which had been loaned to the mining exhibit at the San Diego Fair, has been rearranged and placed in a better position for study. This collection containing some of the finest mineral specimens on exhibition in southern California, became the property of the college some years ago and forms the nucleus around which its mineralogical collections are grouped. Additions to these by gift and purchase have been made from time to time so that to-day the collection has representative series of most of the economically valuable minerals, especially those of the west. The collection is open to the public and facilities for study of the specimens will be extended to visiting mineralogists.
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL NEWS
A STEP of much importance to Utah was taken by the Board of Trustees of the Utah Agricultural College on December 2, when they formally established an Agricultural Engineering Experiment Station as an integral part of that institution. Under the plan of organization there will be five experimental divisions of the new station under the following personnel:
Irrigation and Drainage: Dr. F. S. Harris and Professor O. W. Israelsen.
Roads: Professor Wm. Peterson and Ray B. West.
Farm Machinery and Transportation: Professor L. R. Humphreys.
Manufacture of Agricultural Products: Dr. M. C. Merrill and Professor J. C. Thomas.
Rural Architecture and Buildings: Professor R. B. West.
THE governing board of the Sheffield Scientific School, Yale University, has decided, without a dissenting vote, to recommend the establishment of a four-year course in place of the present three-year course.
DEAN E. A. BIRGE, professor of zoology, will continue to act as president of the University of Wisconsin until a successor is elected to the late President C. R. Van Hise.
DR. HORACE D. ARNOLD has been appointed director of the Harvard Graduate School of Medicine; Alexander S. Begg, dean, and Charles L. Scudder, acting dean. The other members of the administrative board chosen are: Drs. David L. Edsall, George G. Sears, Algernon Coolidge, Ernest E. Tyzzer and Francis W. Peabody.
PROFESSOR C. A. WRIGHT, of the Iowa State College, has been appointed professor of electrical engineering, in the College of Engineering at Ohio State University.
DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE A LEAGUE OF NATIONS
TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: Allow me to call the attention of your readers to the statement below, regarding a League of Nations.
Until a month ago the best that we could do was to "win the war." Now that the war is won, let us remember that it has been won for peace; and let us therefore do our utmost to prevent the recurrence of anything so utterly wasteful, so inanely unscientific as warfare as a means of settling international disputes. Is it not indeed unthinkable that we should again attempt to settle differences by a method, in which the demonstration of rightfulness consists so largely in discovering which nation or group of nations can kill or starve the greatest number of its opponents, and in which the
discoveries of science are reduced to their most cruel and malevolent application.
While we may not be able to specify the ways in which a League of Nations shall act to maintain peace, let us at least impress upon our government the essential importance of reaching the best possible understanding with other nations as a means of preventing future wars-in other words, the importance of forming the best attainable League of Nations for the maintenance of peace. We can not impress the government to this end in any way better than the truly democratic way of petitioning.
The precise form that a petition in favor of a League of Nations may take is of secondary importance, but it is of prime importance that the great body of public opinion which is so strongly in favor of permanent peace should make itself known to the government, and thus strengthen the purpose of those public servants who have this great end in view.
Let me note that six or more members of the National Academy, present at the Baltimore meeting, being officers in the Army and Navy, refrained from signing the following statement, because officers are not allowed to take part in such matters.
CAMBRIDGE, MASS., December 3, 1918
W. M. DAVIS
The undersigned members of the National Academy of Sciences, meeting in Baltimore, November 18, 1918, having petitioned the Congress of the United States to take action, in consultation with the governments of many other countries, toward the formation at as early a date as possible of a League of Nations for the maintenance of peace, hereby urge the members of other learned societies in the United States to do likewise.
CHARLES D. WALCOTT, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.
ARTHUR GORDON WEBSTER, Clark University,
DOUGLAS H. CAMPBELL, Stanford University, California.
VICTOR C. VAUGHAN, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.
JOSEPH P. IDDINGS, U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, D. C.
WALDEMAR LINDGREN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. JOHN M. CLARKE, State Museum, Albany, N. Y.
WHITMAN CROSS, U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, D. C.
JOHN J. ABEL, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
W. M. DAVIS, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
EDWIN G. CONKLIN, Princeton University, Princeton, N. J.
WALTER JONES, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
W. S. HALSTED, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
G. A. BLISS, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.
HENRY M. HOWE, National Research Council, Washington, D. C.
F. L. RANSOME, U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, D. C.
ERNEST F. NICHOLS, Yale University, New Haven, Conn.
W. H. HOWELL, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md.
EXPERIMENTAL OSMOSIS WITH A LIVING MEMBRANE1
Ir was after an early killing frost some years ago that I cut down the dahlias before the sun could make effective its warmth of the early day. As the sickle passed through one of the large stems, water flowed out of the chamber between two nodes. A somewhat closer inspection revealed that fully half of the large chamber had been filled with water and that part of it had developed into long acicular crystals of ice. I was reminded of the advice given by an expert in dahlia culture, namely that, when the flowering period began, the plants should be given all the water they could stand. Ap
1 A personal communication to a former student.
parently, it was in these internodal chambers that the plants stored away what might be designated their reserve water supply. This observation has acquired new significance in the light of the statement made by Atkins that trees store away a supply of water as well as sugar in winter in the dead portions of the woody trunk and that these materials are drawn upon in the early spring for the new growth.
Interesting as this comparison may be in itself, the observation made on the dahlia, together with the peculiar stem structure of this plant, suggested the possible use of the internode with one of the nodes as an osmosis cell where the semipermeable membrane is a live tissue. Hence, I have been wanting to use it as such ever since, but failed to carry out the idea until this morning (October 3, 1918). Having cut down a stem, such a chamber or cell was easily prepared, a dilute salt solution introduced into the cell, the latter capped with a rubber stopper through which a tube was passed down into the cell, and the whole placed into a beaker with distilled water. It did not last long until the salt solution was seen to rise in the tube and at the end of possibly an hour it had risen fully six inches. Before another hour the salt solution had risen to the top of the tube.
A number of possibilities for further experimentation at once suggested themselves, but before going any farther, I thought it advisable to show the experiment to Professor Overton, our plant physiologist. He informed me that, so far as he knew, the experiment was a new one and asked for permission to show it to his class in place of the conventional thistle tube experiment. He called in two other members of the botany department who happened to be passing by. To them also the experiment
Whether I shall be in a position to continue the line of investigation that suggests itself, especially during these times so hostile to research, I have my doubts. Nevertheless the mere possibility of studying osmotic problems, even greatly limited in range, with a living osmotic cell of such convenience as the dahlia
internode and node, is stimulating in itself. It will involve not only chemical problems but a careful anatomical study of the tissues as well. Because of the great amount of reserve materials stored away in the roots, it ought to be an easy matter to raise this osmotic cellproducing plant in greenhouse for winter experimentation.
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
FRANCE'S SHARE IN BIOLOGY AND MEDICAL
A COURSE of three lectures on France's share in the progress of science has been delivered at University College, London, by M. Henri L. Joly, professeur des sciences physiques et naturelles au Lycée Français. In the concluding lecture, on November 5, he dealt with biology and the medical sciences, but owing to the wide range of the subject, covering the achievements of at least three centuries, he professed that he could do little more than recite a list of names of greater or less distinction. After references to de Tournefort, Duhamel de Morceau, and Buffon, whom he regarded as a man of letters rather than an exact naturalist, he said that the founder of modern biology in France was Lamarck, who first sought in natural sciences for something beyond description and classification. Xavier Bichat was a pioneer in histology and did much valuable work on the cellular theory. Cuvier was declared to be the greatest of French comparative anatomists, and other naturalists mentioned were Gaudry, one of the early evolutionists; Van Tieghem, to whom very Frenchman studying botany acknowledged a debt; J. H. Fabre, who had done more than any man to popularize natural history in France; Armand Sabatier, the comparative anatomist, and Lecoq, who, the lecturer contended, had anticipated Mendel by twenty years. Turning to Frenchmen whose work had been more particularly in the sphere of medical sciences, after mentioning Mondeville and Guy de Chauliac, M. Joly passed on to the seventeenth century, noting the work of Pecquet on the thoracic duct, of Paris on