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DR. GEORGE BARGER has been appointed to Research Council bill which provides for the the chair of chemistry in connection with establishment of the Patent Office as a separate medicine at Edinburgh University. Dr. Barger institution, independent of the Interior Deis at present research chemist to the Medical partment and of every other existing departResearch Committee, National Health In- ment of the government. The discussion of the
foregoing resolution included no single word of At the University of Cambridge Mr. Joseph disesteem toward Secretary Lane, under whose Barcoft, F.R.S., of King's College, has been jurisdiction the office now is. appointed reader in physiology; Mr. A. V.
Dr. Geo. E. Hale, chairman of the Council, Hill, F.R.S., of King's College, university lec- in an address to the Patent Office Society on turer in physiology, and Dr. Hartridge, of
March 3, 1919, stated the present personnel of Kings College, university lecturer in the phys- the council's enlarged Advisory Committee on iology of the senses.
Industrial Research, including many well
known leaders in the industrial world. Dr. DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE
Hale deprecated the impracticable distinction PATENT REFORM PROSPECTS
between “pure" and "applied ” science, and A Report of the Patent Committee of the
emphasized again, even in connection with inNational Research Council, recommending
dustrial advance, the importance of what he inter alia, (1) the separation of the Patent preferred to call the fundamental sciences. Office from the Department of the Interior,
Because Dr. Hale had also stressed the im. (2) the creation of a single Court of Patent portance of those cross connections for which Appeals, to be located in Washington, and (3)
the Research Council aims to provide, assocertain salary readjustments, is being printed ciating the various groups of specialists now in the March issue of the Journal of the Pat
at work in diversified and somewhat isolated ent Office Society—of which additional con
fields, and because of the prospect of a contents are as follows: “ The Patent Office from
tinued activity on the part of the Patent Com1828 to 1836” (a historical article), by W. J.
mittee as above referred to, this latest anWyman; “A United States Patent Commis
nouncement was construed by Dr. Hale's hearsion" (preferring a commission to a commis
ers as justifying the hope of some very real sioner), by John Boyle; “A Proposed Reor
and general cooperative effort toward the esganization of the Examining Corps” (advo
tablishment of a patent system that shall in cating the grouping of related divisions into
fact do its proper part-nationally and per“departments," to be supervised by the respec
haps internationally—“ to promote the progress tive members of a strengthened board), by
of science and the useful arts." Bert Russell; “ Art Classification of Patents
BERT RUSSELL for Patent Office Use” (favoring reliance on
A STANDARD SCIENTIFIC ALPHABET analogies of structure and function), by G. A. Lovett.
TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: May I call the It is understood that the matters referred to
attention of Mr. J. C. Ruppenthal whose in the above-mentioned report are but initial
letter on, “A Standard Scientific Alphabet” measures and that the Patent Committee has
appeared in SCIENCE for February 21, 1919, been continued, to press for necessary legisla
pp. 191-192, to the International Phonetic tion.
Association. At a meeting of the Patent Office Society on
Its secretary, just before the war, was Paul February 17, the following resolution was
Passy, its address, 20 rue de la Madeleine, taken with reference to the proposed separa
Bourg La-Reine, Seine, France; its organ, tion: That the Patent Office Society approve,
Le Maitre Phonétique. It had about 1,800 and support by all proper means, both as an members and it has adopted an International organization and as individuals, that National alphabet which can be used for all languages and is widely employed by phoneticians. The of its soddenness on a bank of mud, or while work of Mr. A. G. Bell and the late Mr. H. deliquescently putrid it became picked more Sweet should also be referred to in this con- or less to pieces by all manner of sarcophagous nection.
creatures? No it seems to me that what the Of perhaps greater importance than a stand- doctor calls “ opisthotonus” is merely a physard alphabet is the question of an interna- ical phenomenon which causes the neck region tional language. In this connection the.“ Aca- of a macerating vertebral column to bend demia pro Interlingua” has carried on a sci- backward. For on the back of the column are entific study of the question and perhaps the stouter ligaments which hold the bones tomajority of its members are in favor of adopt gether: hence when the backbone eventually ing simplified Latin. Professor G. Peano, of loosens
up in the process of decomposition the Turin (Italy) University, is president of the bodies of the vertebræ separate earlier the Academia which has been in existence than the arches, thus producing the inbent over twenty-five years.
column. Of course there would be no great
A. FANTI degree of bending back in the chest region, BUREAU OF STANDARDS
for here the cage of ribs would long keep
the back straight: nor in the lumbar region, DR. MOODIE'S OPISTHOTONUS
since here the neural arches are short and there TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: Professor Mood
is therefore less leverage for their dorsal ligaie's Study No. 3, Paleopathology, “Opistho- ments: nor again in the tail, for here the tonus and Allied Phenomena among Fossil ligaments are far more nearly balanced in all Vertebrates,
,'1 aims to show that the bent back sides of the column. head which one sees not commonly in well
BASHFORD DEAN preserved vertebrates is a manifestation of COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY spastic distress" of the creature, "suggesting
FIELD WORK IN ARIZONA a strong neurotoxic condition,” and leading the author even to seek for the infecting bac- TO THE EDITOR OF SCIENCE: At the last facteria which have given the shortly-to-be-fossil- ulty meeting of the University of Arizona, ized vertebrate a cramp in the neck. This President R. B. von Kleinsmid outlined a plan condition Dr. Moodie compares with opistho- for summer-session work that was received tonus in man as illustrated in Bell's painful
with enthusiasm by the faculty, and may be drawing.
of interest to many readers of SCIENCE. Since I wonder, nevertheless, whether it is neces
the climate of Tucson is not suited to the sary to seek so far afield for the cause of this conventional campus summer-session, the unihead-bent-back position in fossils. This posi- versity plans to carry on vacation-work in the tion, every one will admit, is an extremely field, in several parts of the state where the common one, in fact most backboned animals climate is more bracing or where the work show it when they are well preserved—while
would be of such a character as to make the opisthotonus is, so far as I know, an extremely mid-summer heat a negligible consideration. rare malady. It would trouble one to find re- It is proposed that groups of students under corded cases of it in reptiles or birds, amphibia the direction and leadership of professors from or fishes: even in mammals collectively the the University of Arizona, study: archeology percentage of deaths following opisthotonus through actual excavation work in the northwould evidently be microscopically small. ern part of the state, geology at the Grand Then, too, when one of these rare cases died Canyon, biology at the Mt. Lemon camp, in cramp would it be apt long to retain mining engineering at the great copper mines, that position while it floated down a stream etc. Such opportunities for first-hand obserwith muscles rotting, or while it dried out vation and investigation in an interesting and 1 Am. Naturalist, LII., pp. 369-394.
comparatively fresh field will doubtless appeal
to many teachers of science throughout the an address delivered to workingmen in 1868, country.
F. M. PERRY stated the case in words of enduring cogency. TUCSON, ARIZONA
After saying that any one would be a fool who
should sit down to a game of chess on the winQUOTATIONS
ning or losing of which depended his life and SCIENCE IN THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT
fortune without knowing something of the Among the 707 members of the new parlia
rules of the game, he went on to say: ment there are two fellows of the Royal So
Yet it is a very plain and elementary truth, that ciety, that is to say, of the body which con- the life, the fortune and the happiness of every one tains the leading representatives of scientific of us do depend upon our knowing something of the knowledge and research. One of these, Mr. rules of a game infinitely more difficult and comBalfour, must be taken as an example of the
plicated than chess. It is a game which has been smaller number of fellows who are elected be
played for untold ages, every man and woman of
us being one of two players in a game of his or her cause of their social position and general cul
The chessboard is the world, the pieces are ture rather than of the normal body of fellows
the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the elected because of their devotion to and dis
game are what we call the laws of nature. The tinction in scientific research. Sir Joseph player on the other side is hidden from us. We Larmor, the other fellow, is a typical example know that his play is always fair, just and patient. of high scientific distinction, and it is merely But also we know, to our cost, that he never overan individual accident that his parliamentary looks a mistake, or makes the smallest allowance record is one of blameless devotion to party
for ignorance. To the man who plays well, the politics rather than of specific representation
highest stakes are paid, with that sort of overflow
ing generosity with which the strong shows deof science. Curiously enough, there are two
light in strength, and one who plays ill is checkformer teachers of human anatomy-Dr. Addi
mated-without haste, but without remorse. son and Sir Auckland Geddes—and Mr. Mackinder was a well-known geographer before he In the complicated conditions of modern life, became a politician. The great experience of very few of us can play our own game. In Sir Philip Magnus has been in the directorate sanitation, housing, public health, provision of institutions for applied science and tech- for research, relation of general research to nology rather than in actual scientific pursuits, specific inquiries, and a multitude of other matand a similar comment may be made on Mr. ters of fundamental importance, we have to Woolcock's relation to pharmacology and leave all the important moves to parliament. drugs.
Neither in parliament nor in the departments The new parliament will be charged with the from which most of the initiation comes, and duty of reconstructing the social, commercial on which all the execution will depend, is there and industrial fabric of the country and of a sufficient leaven of the requisite knowledge. the empire, and among its 707 members there It will be said that expert advice is always is only one whose life has been devoted to sci- taken on scientific matters. Assuming this, entific research. Let it be said at once that the and adding to it the further assumption that object of calling attention to this defect in the the advice is always acted on with intelligence House of Commons is not to advocate the and sympathy, it is to be noted that expert adpresence in parliament of scientific representa- vice is also always taken on financial matters, tives who should try to protect the interests of commercial matters, legal matters and so forth, scientific men in the fashion in which the rep- and that, none the less, there are in the House resentatives of professional and working-class of Commons very many members with expert trade unions foster the material interests of knowledge of, and interest in, finance business, their members. The point which ought to be and law. These are ready and able to suggest taken is wider, and concerns not a group of the final criticisms, adjustments and coordinaindividuals, but the whole nation. Huxley, in tions that may be required in the measures that are proposed. There is not this oppor- whose name does not appear in the title, but tunity in science, although science is funda- whose impress is upon every page.
It is not mental.
by chance that the great journals of anatomy The relative absence of scientific men from have been edited by no less distinguished leadthe House of Commons is both a cause and a ers than Max Schultze, His and Virchow. symptom of the neglect of science in this coun- The Carnegie Contributions which thus far try. The majority of members of parliament rank so well with these are essentially Mall's fall into two classes. One of these consists Archiv and one of his worthiest memorials. chiefly of representatives of the great work. Even though they are being so ably continued ing-class organizations, whose subscriptions by his junior colleague in the Carnegie Labsupply the necessary funds for contesting elec- oratory, who may realize all that Mall had tions, and whose membership gives the requi- planned, we can not repress deep regret that site electoral backing. Even if a similar com- the work was only well established-scarcely bination were to be desired in the case of sci- more than begun—when it was left for others entific workers an extremely doubtful propo- to carry on. sition—their numbers are too few to make it Why is the publication so attractive? Poseffective. The other great class consists chiefly sibly because of the absence of “efficiency" of persons who have inherited or acquired a methods, so incompatible with scholarly and competence, and who have the money and the artistic work. The contributions even appear leisure to woo an electorate. As matters are at irregular intervals when something of moarranged at present, it is almost impossible ment has been completed and not because it is for a man who devotes his life to scientific re- time for a new issue. There are no rules for search to acquire a competence. His life is preparing standard manuscript, no Procrustean spent between the laboratory and the lecture- regulation that for every plate there must be so room amid gray suburban or provincial sur- many pages of text, and thanks to the Carroundings, with possibly a small retiring pen- negie Institution, no insulting request that sion. He must be content, and for the most authors of accepted articles pay any part of part he is content, with the high adventures the cost of publication. If the editor finds a of thought and with the appreciation of his contribution unworthy of a place, he may fellows. We suggest that this compulsory seg. decline it; but if accepted, it will be fittingly regation is bad for scientific researchers and published with the needed figures skilfully worse for the nation.—London Times.
and delicately reproduced. And because the
editor's judgment is sound, it becomes an SCIENTIFIC BOOKS
achievement to have an article appear in such Contributions to Embryology. Published by select company. Probably the Contributions
the Carnegie Institution of Washington. shed their enlightening rays in the far corners No. 1, 1915; No. 26, 1918. Volumes 1-8. of the earth, but it is not so announced. The
Every Amercan embryologist who does not contributor, however, knows for himself that indulge in envy may pardonably take pride in wherever human embryology is studied, these the Contributions to Embryology issued by publications will be sought for and treasured. the Carnegie Institution. They form an an- The series of twenty-six papers thus far pubatomical publication of unqualified distinction, lished begins auspiciously with Mall's monosince all three factors needed for success have graph on the fate of the embryo in tubal fortunately been realized. First, there has pregnancy, and Professor Mall has contributed been a group of able contributors with beauti- two others—on cyclopia and on the intrafully illustrated and important manuscripts; chorionic magma. Professors Van der Stricht further, there has been generous means for the and Duesberg, who, during the occupation of proper publication of whatever is accepted. Belgium, became the welcome guests of AmerFinally, there has been an editor in charge, can anatomists, continued here their well
known investigations. Van der Stricht has to embryologists, though every institution written on the genesis and structure of the needs the complete file. Altogether it is a membrana tectoria and crista spiralis of the journal to be studied by those responsible for cochlea, and Duesberg on “la fécondation des our anatomical publications. When the Amerascidiens”-a study of chondriosomes. Cow- ican Journal of Anatomy was founded and dry likewise has dealt with the mitochondrial was being published in Baltimore largely under constituents of protoplasm and has supplied Mall's direction, it seemed that nothing better a shorter paper on the chromophile cells of was likely to appear in this country. But as the nervous system. Mitochondria in nerve the Journal became securely established, losing cells are quantitatively considered by Madge -perhaps we imagine it—the enthusiasm of D. Thurlow. The transitory cavities in the the earlier volumes, Mall's genius for publicacorpus striatum are described by Essick. Two tions sought new fields. His Contributions papers deal with tissue cultures, the occur- have caught in beautiful form and permanent rence of binucleate cells being described by record the spirit and purposes of current Macklin, and the development of connective American investigations in embryology, and tissue fibers by Margaret R. Lewis. Miss their future is full of promise. Sabin, through series of fine injections, stri
FREDERIC T. LEWIS kingly reproduced, has traced the transforma
HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL tion of the posterior cardinal veins of pig embryos, and, in a second paper, the origin of
SPECIAL ARTICLES the primitive vessels in the chick. Streeter
NOTE ON THE TECHNIQUE OF SOLUTION has advanced the study of the cerebral sinuses, CULTURE EXPERIMENTS WITH PLANTS which have been beautifully drawn, and has In recent years a large number of sand and described also the formation and spread of the solution culture experiments have been carried periotic tissue spaces. Weed's important work out by various laboratories. It is becoming on the development of the cerebrospinal spaces recognized that any complete understanding forms the whole of Volume 5. Clark inter- of soil fertility requires an insight into the prets an extraordinary anomaly of the thoracic absorption and metabolism of the plant as duct, and Cunningham describes the pul- well as the nature of the soil solution. In monary lymphatic vessels of pig embryos. connection with some investigations relating There are three monographic studies of normal to the latter question, this laboratory has human embryos, by Ingalls, Johnson and undertaken a series of studies on the effect of Watt; and a specimen with spina bifida is concentration and reaction of the nutrient described by Miss Wheeler. Corner reports on
solution on the growth and absorption of the the corpus luteum in the pig. Meyer has a barley plant. Incidental to this work it has statistical study of prenatal growth, based on been necessary to examine somewhat critically obstetrical records, and Shipley and Wislocki several phases of the technique employed in jointly, interested in the chemical products of sand and solution cultures, and it is desired to the poison glands of Bufo agua, a tropical present here a number of considerations beartoad, describe the histology of these epine- ing on the interpretation of these experiments. phrin-producing glands. In the twenty-sixth Ordinarily the conclusions from such inand last contribution, Kunitomo deals with vestigations have been based on the concentrathe retrogression of the caudal end of the tions and composition of the solutions as spinal cord and the decline of the tail in originally prepared. In very few cases have human embryos.
analyses been made of the solutions after conThe contributions are irregularly grouped tact with the plant, nor of the plants themin small volumes which are sold separately. selves. It is not known therefore exactly Doubtless it would be appreciated if a limited what was the condition of the solution during number of the separate articles were offered the periods between changes. The percentage