Imagens das páginas

ing Leucandra cliarensis, with dermal monaxon spicules visible to the naked eye and giving the sponge a characteristic silvery-white appearance; on the Turbellarians reported on by Mr. Southern (forty-five from the sea and five from fresh water); on the Polychaetes tackled by the same energetic worker (249 species, sixteen new-by far the largest list as yet recorded from any limited area); on the new genus Grania discovered by Mr. Southern, the first Oligochat found beyond lowwater mark and occurring down as far as twentyfour fathoms; on the spiders recorded by Mr. Denis R. Pack-Beresford (108 species and ten Phalangids besides); on the fresh-water mites dealt with by Mr. Halbert (eighty species, four new)-but it is obvious that we must not continue. It is needless to pick and choose where all the workmanship is good. Some of the studies notably on Marine Algæ, Phanerogams, Polychats, and Foraminifera-are much more complete than others, and this, it should be noted, is in part due to the simple fact that some of the


tion of the rich micro-fauna of the "Polygordius ground"-a sub-littoral habitat with gravel, sand, and broken shells lying in about twenty-five fathoms of water. It abounds in the primitive Annelid Polygordius, and yielded six new genera and twenty-eight new species of small fry.

We should like to have been able to refer to the discussion of marine ecology by Mr. Southern, to the admirable introduction, narrative, and summary by Mr. Lloyd Praeger, and to the reports on history and archæology, place names and family names, Gaelic names for plants and animals, agriculture, climate, geology, tree-growth (rather a negative quantity), and non-flowering plants; for this model regional survey has been as comprehensive in its scope as it has been thorough in its treatment. The survey has been completed in six years, which means hard work and loyal co-operation. We heartily congratulate those who have contributed to an achievement to be proud of, and most of all the secretary and editor, Mr. Lloyd Praeger.




HE name of Barnard is not only familiar to all astronomers, but also very generally to those who have from time to time perused illustrated astronomical books. The photographic recording of celestial objects has been carried by him to a very high state of perfection, and thereby not only has his own fame and that of the Lick Observatory been considerably enhanced, but our knowledge of the visible and invisible universe has been greatly extended. Unfortunately, it is an extremely difficult matter to reproduce, with complete accuracy, such photographs as are obtained by the combination of a telescope and a photographic plate, for not only do delicate lights and shades become relatively altered, but other errors may and do creep in during the process of reproduction. Further, the attempt to secure such high accuracy in reproduction increases very considerably the cost of publication. It will be gathered, therefore, that the extreme fineness and beauty of the original pictures cannot necessarily be judged by plates that have so published.

[G. P. Farran.

FIG. 2.-Clare Island from E.N.E. Croaghmore'in the centre. Lighthouse on extreme right. Harbour on extreme left. From "Clare Island Survey."

specialists were able to visit the island oftener than others. This readily intelligible inequality was, of course, to some extent counteracted by co-operation in collecting.

Looking into the novelties more analytically, we find fifteen new genera-one among Fungi, three among Mites, three among Chatopods, and eight among Nematodes. As to the last, it must be borne in mind that our knowledge of British free-living Nematodes has been of the scantiest, and we are not surprised that Mr. Southern should speak of one of the gatherings as furnishing "an apparently inexhaustible source of new and interesting species." It was among the Lower Invertebrates and Lower Cryptogams that the biggest hauls of new records and new species were obtained. Thus there were thirty-three waterbears recorded, all new to Ireland (for there had been no water-bear list before), eleven new to the British Isles, and five new to science. One of the most interesting results is the demonstra

far been

It is a great pleasure now to record the fact that, by a generous response for financial aid and with the assistance of considerable skill in reproduction, Prof. Barnard has been able to publish a selection of the photographs he took during the years 1892 to 1895. The volume contains 129 plates reproduced by the collotype process, and

1 "Photographs of the Milky Way and of Comets, made with the Six-inch Willard Lens and Crocker Telescone during the Years 1892 to 1895." Bv E. E. Barnard, Astronomer in the Lick Observatory, University of California. Publications of the Lick Observatory, vol. xi., 1913.

while Prof. Barnard states that "the very great delay in the appearance of this volume of photographs can only be attributed to the writer's anxiety to secure the best possible reproductions of the original pictures," the excellence of the reproductions is the reward due to the delay in question.

In the introduction to the volume the author brings together some very interesting information, both instrumental and photographic, with regard to to these pioneer days. Possibly for the first time a statement is made regarding the origin of the now famous 6-in. "Willard lens, the lens so often coupled with Barnard's name in celestial photography. Willard, so far as the author could gather, was not a maker of lenses, but simply a photographic stock-dealer, whose name was stamped on lenses made by C. F. Usner in New York City. These large lenses were used for making portraits during the wet-plate period of photography, their large apertures being necessary to shorten the exposure during portrait sittings. Their application to astronomical work was first made by an amateur who used the above mentioned 6-in. "Willard" lens for photographing the solar corona during the eclipse in January 1, 1889, visible in Northern California. Some of the photographs taken were so excellent, and showed so well the great extent of the coronal streamers, that Prof. Holden, then director of the Lick Observatory, who was impressed with the excellent results obtained with it, purchased this lens for the observatory with funds provided by the Hon. C. F. Crocker.

Prof. Barnard came to use it in the following

manner :

I had been endeavouring to photograph the star clouds of the Milky Way with a small Voigtländer rectilinear lens attached to the 6-in. equatorial, but because of the slowness of the lens, had secured but

feeble impressions of these clouds. The great light ratio of the old 6-in. lens suggested that it would perhaps serve my purpose. The results of some experiments which I made with it in photographing the Milky Way were very beautiful and intensely interesting. When the importance of the lens for such astronomical work became apparent, Prof. Holden placed it in the hands of Brashear, who refigured it and greatly improved the definition of the star images.

Prof. Barnard gives the dimensions of the lens, and as these are of interest they may be mentioned here ::

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

equatorial, the last-mentioned being used as a guiding telescope. Afterwards the lens, in its wooden box, was fixed on an equatorial mounting made by Brashear, the gift of the Hon. C. F. Crocker, and the telescope named after this donor. The frontispiece shows the instrument with the 6-in. lens mounted, and also the Crocker dome which contains it.

It should be mentioned here that the new mounting was not equipped with a finder, so Prof. Barnard had to make use of the only telescope which was available for the purpose. This consisted of a small telescope, having only an aperture of 24 in., and there was no arrangement for the illumination of the cross threads, so desirable for very dark nights. Prof. Barnard had therefore to employ iron wires sufficiently coarse to be just visible in black relief on the dark sky. By racking out the eyepiece until the star was a little out of focus, he thus formed a disc, which he adjusted not only to be exactly behind the point of intersection of the wires, but of such a diameter that it was eclipsed by the wires with the exception of four small portions which peeped out of the four quadrants; for "following" purposes, these four positions were kept perfectly equal, the slightest inequality being detected and corrected at once. Anyone who has used this method knows how efficient it is, provided the star used for following is sufficiently bright; but, as Prof. Barnard points out, for "following on a comet which has not a bright nucleus, "the following becomes a serious question, subject to considerable uncertainty, especially if the comet is faint." This drawback accounts, as he remarks, for the ragged condition of the trails of Brook's comet in his photographs. In spite, however, of the inefficiency of the following telescope, Prof. Barnard by his skill achieved wonderful results.

Turning now to the photographs, the page facing each plate is devoted to details of the photograph, such as date, exposure, scale, identification of stars, &c., and a brief description of the principal features. In cases where certain plates call for a more detailed description, further information is placed in the main text.


Thus, for instance, the region of the great nebula of p Ophiuchi is so treated. In the description of this plate Prof. Barnard says: "I do not think there is any other region of the heavens so extraordinary as this. . . hesitates at any attempt to describe it. Perhaps even more remarkable than the nebulosities are the vacant lanes that run eastward from the great nebula and those in the upper part of the plate." These lanes, as Prof. Barnard has previously published, suggest strong indications of light obscuration by interposing nebulous or other matter in space. This remarkable region is one of many which were discovered by him with the Willard lens. The nebula of v Scorpii is pointed out as being of far greater interest in the direct evidence it gives of the obscuration of light in space.

Plate 3, showing the region of the great nebula of Andromeda, gives an example of the difficulty

of accurately reproducing plates from the original negative. Prof. Barnard is in every case very careful to point out the defects in each reproduction, for sometimes some inequalities of illumination, looking like nebulosities, are really defects of reproduction, even in these plates after so much care has been taken. The nebulous region of 15 Monocerotis is a wonderful photograph, and the reproduction is described as "beautiful." It shows most distinctly the great nearly vacant region beginning near the nebula and running for two or three degrees to the west and then turning north for even a greater distance. The plate illustrating the small star cloud and black holes in Sagittarius is one of numerous other fine specimens of Prof. Barnard's skill, but of which space forbids one to more than mention. No less beautiful than the Milky Way photographs are those showing comets. Among the many illustrated, most instructive are the changes of the forms of Comet I. 1892 (Swift), Comet IV. 1893 (Brooks), and Comet II. 1894 (Gale), series of photographs of which are given. Plate 101 records an interesting picture displaying the trail of the first comet (Comet V. 1892) discovered by the aid of photography.

While Prof. Barnard has brought still more to perfection his collection of astronomical photographs by using lenses more effective than the old "Willard" lens, yet this record of pioneer work is one to be thoroughly proud of, and astronomical literature is greatly enriched by the permanent record contained in this fine volume. WILLIAM J. S. LOCKYER.


CEREBRO-SPINAL FEVER. EREBRO-SPINAL fever is a disease which Occurs sporadically, i.e., as occasional isolated cases, or in epidemic form The first authenticated epidemic seems to have been in Geneva in 1805. In 1806 it appeared in the United States, and continued to prevail there for ten years, and again in 1861 to 1864. During this period, and indeed throughout the first half of last century, it was observed in different towns of France and of Italy, in Algeria, Spain, Denmark, etc. In 1854 and for seven years afterwards it raged in Sweden, destroying more than 4000 persons in that country. In 1863 it broke out in Germany and spread from north-eastern Prussia to the south German towns. In 1846 it appeared in many of the workhouses in Ireland, and in 1866-68 a very fatal type of it prevailed in Dublin, and to some extent in other parts of the country. The disease never seems to have established itself in London, or indeed in England, but during the last ten years epidemics of some severity have prevailed in Belfast, Glasgow, and Edinburgh, and during the past year a number of cases have occurred in different parts of the country, particularly in connection with military

[blocks in formation]

meningitis, or epidemic cerebro-spinal meningitis, from the fact that the prominent lesion is inflammation of the membranes (meninges) of the brain and spinal-cord. Another name is spotted fever, owing to the occurrence of an eruption of hæmorrhagic spots, particularly on the abdomen, which, however, is often absent.

The incubation period varies, but is frequently not more than four or five days, and the onset of the disease is usually sudden and ushered in by headache and vomiting. Stiffness and pain in the neck and retraction of the head are frequent, and twitching of the limbs and muscular tremor are often observed. Mental enfeeblement, stupor, or insensibility may occur, fever is present with prostration and wasting, and weakness or paralysis of various groups of muscles may ensue.

Cases show considerable variation in severity and duration; some are acute, others chronic, some are mild, others severe, and others again very acute and fulminating, so that death may result within twenty-four hours of the onset.

The causative micro-organism is a micrococcus, the "meningococcus ' (Diplococcus intracellularis), a small spherical microbe measuring about 1/25,000 in. in diameter. It occurs in pairs in groups principally within the cells of the exudation which forms on the membranes; it may also sometimes be found in the blood by culture. The meningococcus, when treated by the Gram staining process, remains uncoloured; it is readily cultivated on media containing serum, and by its cultural reactions can be distinguished from other similar micro-organisms, and does not develop at a temperature below about 75° F. The examination of the cerebro-spinal fluid for the presence of the meningococcus is now practised for purpose of diagnosis of the disease. No drug exerts any specific action upon the disease, but an "antimeningococcic serum" is unquestionably sometimes a valuable curative agent, though at other times it fails. This variation in effect probably depends upon the fact that varieties of the meningococcus exist, and unless the serum has been prepared with the variety for which it is to be employed it is likely to fail.

The disease is undoubtedly spread by contact and possibly in other ways. The meningococcus is sometimes found located at the back of the throat, and may so exist not only in persons who have had the disease, but also in those who are seemingly healthy and have not suffered from the disease; such individuals constitute "carriers" and are sources of infection, and attempts have of late been made to detect such carriers by bacteriological examination, so that they may be isolated. Of preventive measures little of value is known, but recently a trial has been made of vaccinating with killed cultures of the meningococcus, with what result remains to be seen. The presence of the meningococcus in the throat has suggested that the organism enters the body and central nervous system via the nasal passages. R. T. H.


THE subject of the address to be delivered by Sir William Ramsay at the annual meeting of the British Science Guild to be held this afternoon is "The National Organisation of Science." Owing to the war, the annual dinner of the guild will not be held this year.

THE annual general meeting of the Eugenics Education Society will be held this afternoon at the Grafton

Galleries, Grafton Street, W., and the presidential address will be delivered by Major Leonard Darwin upon the subject, "Eugenics During and After the War."

SIR ALMROTH WRIGHT has been awarded the Lecomte prize by the Paris Academy of Sciences. The prize, which is of the value of 2000l., is awarded triennially.

WE notice with much regret the announcement of the death on June 26, from heart failure, of Dr. R. H. Lock, inspector at the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, sometime fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, at thirty-six years of age.

MR. TENNANT said in the House of Commons on June 23 that practically all the laboratories in the country have been placed at the disposal of the War Office. Great benefit has been derived by the War Office from advice and information received from the Royal Society, the National Physical Laboratory, the universities, and other bodies, and Mr. Tennant took the opportunity of conveying to these scientific and learned bodies the thanks of the Army Council.


IN the House of Commons on June 28, Sir Philip Magnus asked the Prime. Minister whether, having regard to the necessity for the purposes of the war

of organising the services of fellows of the Royal Society and of other scientific bodies and also of the professors and staffs of our universities and technical schools, and of mobilising the scientific and technical resources of the laboratories and workshops of such institutions, and, having regard to the importance of creating a central committee or bureau for considering scientific problems that arise out of the war, for testing and developing inventions from whatever source they may originate, and reporting upon them to the special Department of State concerned, he will afford an opportunity of discussing the subject in the House? The reply of the Prime Minister was that opportunities would arise for this discussion.

A USEFUL ethnological collection has been made in Siberia by the University of Pennsylvania's expedition, according to news recently received in Philadelphia from its leader, Mr. H. U. Hall. Last 'summer was spent by the party among the Samoyed and Dolgan tribes, and last winter among the Tungus and Yakuts, between the Yenisei and Lena Rivers. The effect of the war has been felt by the expedition in raising the prices of everything and making "transportation" difficult.

THE annual meeting of the General Board of the National Physical Laboratory was held in the rooms of the Royal Society on Tuesday, June 15, when the

annual report and accounts for the year 1914-15 were adopted for presentation to the president and council of the Royal Society, and the programme of work for the coming year was approved. This year the usual gathering of visitors at Teddington, to meet the members of the General Board and to inspect the labora tory, will not take place. Twenty-five per cent. of the staff are on active service.

THE Council of the Royal Society of Arts has arranged with Prof. Vivian B. Lewes to give a short

[ocr errors]

course of special lectures during the recess on "Modern Munitions of War." Three lectures will be given, on Wednesday afternoons, July 7, 14, and 21. The first lecture will deal with Guns and Propellants," the second with "Mines, Shells, and High Explosives," and the third with "Poison Gases and Incendiary Bombs." The course will be under the Fothergill Trust. The lectures will be open to all fellows of the society, who can admit their friends personally, or by the usual tickets. Tickets will also be issued gratuitously to any persons interested in the subject who may apply to the secretary, Sir Henry Trueman Wood, at the offices of the society.

Engineering for June 25 announces the death of Mr. Charles Colson, C. B., late Deputy Civil Engineerin-Chief of the Admiralty. Mr. Colson, who died at St. Leonards on June 8, at the age of seventy-six, was connected with the War Department in early life, and joined the Admiralty in 1866. For many years he was assistant-engineer on the Portsmouth Dockyard extension. In 1883 he was selected to go to Malta to design a new graving dock for the Navy at that port. He held the post of Superintending Civil Engineer of Devonport Dockyard from 1892 to 1894, when he was appointed Assistant-Director of Civil

Engineering Works at the Admiralty. He was the

author of a book on docks and dock construction which has been widely used, and he contributed several papers to the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

WE record with regret the death of Mr. Howard Marsh, master of Downing College, and professor of surgery in the University of Cambridge. He died at The Lodge, Downing College, on June 24, aged seventy-five. After receiving his training at St. Bartholomew's Hospital he applied himself to surgery, becoming lecturer on surgery at his school. He was justly regarded as a leading authority on diseases and treatment of joints. He was an active member of the council of the Royal College of Surgeons, advocating the enfranchisement of the members of the college. In 1903, when he had reached an age at which many consultant surgeons seek retirement, he entered a new field of endeavour as professor of surgery in the University of Cambridge, where his energy and public spirit were given full scope. In 1907 he became master of Downing, succeeding Dr. Alex. Hill. His predecessor in the chair of surgery was the late Sir George M. Humphry.

IT is a wonderful story, in the Daily Chronicle of June 23, of the death of Dr. Chaillou. He was head of the anti-rabies department of the Pasteur Institute

in Paris. Those of us who remember the war of 1870-71 will remember what havoc it made of Pasteur's work. The institute had not then been founded; the work was done in the laboratories in the rue d'Ulm. Pasteur's young men went off to the war; Henri Ste. Claire Deville met his death there. When Pasteur died, in 1895, Roux was his successor, as head of the institute. History repeats itself; the Pasteurians have gone off to the war; and Chaillou has met his death there. On April 21 he had "demanded and obtained the perilous mission of disinfecting a battlefield near the enemy's trenches." At night, alone, he "reconnoitred the position"; he found work enough for twelve nights; the state of the battlefield must not be described here. On the night of April 24 he was within seven yards of the enemy's trenches, and was killed. Strange, to think of this man of science, accustomed to work of the very utmost minuteness and microscopical accuracy, stumbling about, in the dark, with a tin of disinfecting powder, among the piles of unburied dead. Shells fell on him and his men eleven were killed. Every day and every night precious lives, cultured and expert men, are flung away like this. We say that there will be a "shortage of doctors" when the war is over; but we scarcely stop to think of the tragedy in that off-hand phrase. The waste of the lives of the experts is terrible. Here was a man trained and disciplined in one of the most complex of all the sciences; and he is put to scavenging, to the very roughest and least skilled work, and he lays down his life for his friends over that. May his name live in the great institute where he worked more delicately for the good of mankind.

By the death of Dr. G. C. M. Mathison, which took place at Alexandria on May 20, in consequence of wounds received in Gallipoli, the sciences of physiology and pathology have suffered a serious loss. The taking away of young and enthusiastic workers, of which this is by no means the only instance, is one of the saddest things in the war. Dr. Mathison's chief scientific work was concerned with the analysis of the phenomena of asphyxia in its effects on the nervous system. He showed that the results both of deficient oxygen supply and also of increased accumulation of carbon dioxide are due to a common factor, namely, the rise of hydrogen-ion concentration in the blood. The various nerve centres were shown to be sensitive in different degrees to this agent; thus the bulbar centres are excited by one-fifth of the increase that the spinal centres require. In deprivation of oxygen without accumulation of carbon dioxide, it was shown that acids may be produced by disorganisation of the cells of the nerve centres themselves, a process which takes place suddenly and must be regarded as pathological. Deficiency of oxygen was found also to produce heart block by depression of conductivity in the auriculo-ventricular connection. In work done with the collaboration of Barcroft, Mathison showed that the rate at which oxyhæmoglobin gives up its oxygen to the tissues is greatly increased by a rise in the concentration of hydrogen ions, and that rises of such an extent as to be of importance in tissue respiration may occur when the oxygen supply is deficient. The effect of potassium on the vascular

system was also investigated and found to be of a dual nature. While it is depressant on the heart, it produces contraction of the arterioles, both by direct action upon the muscular fibres and by excitation of vaso-constrictor centres in the spinal cord and the


THE death of Lieut. R. B. Woosnam, killed in action at the Dardanelles on June 4, adds one more name to the steadily increasing list of workers in science who have given up their lives for their country in this great war. Lieut. Woosnam served with the 2nd Worcestershire Regiment in the South African war, and it was during that period that he first became known to the Natural History Museum by sending to that institution a number of small mammal and bird skins prepared so well that it was at once noticed that they were the work of a skilled collector and true naturalist. At the close of the war Woosnam offered his services to the museum as a collector, and on the offer being accepted he gave up soldiering for the time being. In his new capacity he carried out a difficult piece of zoological exploration through the Kalahari desert to Lage Ngami, and in October, 1905, he was appointed leader of the important expedition organised by the museum for the exploration of the Ruwenzori range in equatorial Africa. His companions were Mr. R. E. Dent, a former brother officer in the Worcestershire Regiment, the Hon. Gerald Legge, Mr. Douglas Carruthers, and Mr. A. F. R. Wollaston. The expedition reached a height of 16,794 ft., and Woosnam records that butterflies, moths, and diptera were seen on the snow up to 16,000 ft., blown there by the almost constant wind. On the bare rocks above the snow-line a few worms, lichens, and mosses were seen. As a result of the undertaking the National Museum was enriched by a large number of species new to science, and a very valuable addition made to our knowledge of the fauna and flora of tropical Africa. In 1911 Woosnam was appointed by the Secretary of State for the Colonies game warden in British East Africa. He very quickly surmounted the difficulties of the position, and it speaks volumes for the fine nature of the man that though he carried out his duties in the strictest manner and confiscated with unsparing hand illegally obtained sporting trophies and other objects, there was no more popular official in the Protectorate. He was mainly instrumental in getting together the International Conference for the Protection of Wild Animals in Africa which met in London last year. It is no secret that he formulated stringent plans, which were virtually adopted, for the effective carrying out of the object of the conference. Now, alas! all this is at an end, and with it has passed away a man of sterling character, of a lovable disposition, modest and unassuming almost to a fault, an unflinching adherent to duty.

THE thirteenth annual session of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science will be held at Pretoria, from Monday, July 5, to Saturday, July 10, inclusive, under the presidency of Mr. R. T. A. Innes, Union Astronomer. The sections and their presidents will be as follows:- —A-Astronomy, Mathe

« AnteriorContinuar »