Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/146

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136
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. Chart Corrections for August, 1895. Pp. 12.

United States Fish Commission. Bulletin. Vol. XIV, 1894. Washington: Government Printing Office. Pp. 496.

United States Geological Survey. Monographs. Vols. XXIII and XXIV. Green Mountains in Massachusetts. By Raphael Pumpelly, J. E. Wolff, and T. N. Dale. Pp. 206. with Plates. Mollusca and Crustacea of the Miocene Formations of New Jersey. By Robert Parr Whitefield. Pp. 195, with Pates. — Bulletins: No. 118. A Geographic Dictionary of New Jersey. By Henry Gannett. Pp. 131; No. 119. A Geological Reconnaissance In Northwest Wyoming. By G. H. Eldridge. Pp. 72: No. 120. The Devonian System of Eastern Pennsylvania and New York. By C. S. Prosser. Pp. 81; No. 121. A Bibliography of North American Palæontology, 1888-1892. By C. R. Keyes. Pp. 251: No. 122. Results of Primary Triangulation. By Henry Gannett. Pp. 412.

University of the State of New York Examination Bulletin. No. 3. Academic Syllabus. Pp. 100. — Extension Bulletin, No. 9. Summer Schools. Pp. 142. — Regents' Bulletin. No. 31. Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference of Associated Academic Principals, December, 1894. Pp. 132.

Ward, Lester F. The Place of Sociology among the Sciences. Pp. 12. — Saporta and Williamson and their Work in Paleobotany. Pp. 18. — Fossil Plants. Pp. 8.

Weir, James. Jr. The Effect of Female Suffrage on Posterity. Pp. 10.

Wiley, Harvey W. Principles and Practice of Agricultural Analysis. Vol. II, Fertilizers. Easton, Pa.: Chemical Publishing Company. Pp. 332.




Fragments of Science.



Nature's Defenses against Disease. — It is maintained by Dr. C. Theodore Williams, of the Hospital for Consumptives, Brompton, England, that in most of the specific modes of treating consumption, particularly in the antiseptic modes, the greatest factor of all — the resisting power of the organism to disease — is ignored, and that it is to this that the physician should lend his aid and support. For if his means are effectual he can ward off disease, or if a patient has been already attacked he can limit its inroads and possibly arrest it altogether. The history of the treatment of phthisis shows that life in the pure air, judicious exercise, light, nourishing dietary, and such aids as cod-liver oil and tonics have effected more than all the bacillicide treatment put together. These all act on the old principle of helping Nature to help herself and reducing the vulnerability of the patient to attack. The weapons of resistance which Nature lends the human body are the leucocytes or phagocytes, studied by Metchnikoff, which absorb the bacilli and destroy their energy. Another destroyer of bacilli is the serum of certain animals; and a third method of destruction is seen in the process of fibrosis, which is largely present in chronic consumption. In a well-organized, well-developed, and therefore well-protected person the bacilli are overwhelmed by the irruption of phagocytes at the point of entry, and immunity is the result. In one of less protective power they may enter and be carried along by the lymphatics to the lymphatic glands, where they undergo digestion and destruction. When, however, the tubercle bacilli gain an entrance, and settle, and destroy the tissues, as in the case of the lung, the most that can be hoped for is that the progress may be obstructed by fibrous growth, or that, through developing and expanding the healthy lung in the neighborhood, pressure may be brought to bear on the diseased portion, inducing a drying process incompatible with the life of bacilli. This process is encouraged by living at high altitudes. The problem of treatment resolves itself principally into means to increase the number and activity of the phagocytes and thus render more probable the destruction of the tubercle bacilli. Moreover, whatever improves the quality of the phagocytes would also improve and enrich the blood and lymph serum, of which they form a principal part. To this quality the author attributes the virtue of cod-liver oil — to which he has found, he says, no substitute comparable. Sunshine and pure air are the best bacillicides. At Davos and St. Moritz phthisical patients almost invariably sleep with open windows throughout the winter, when the thermometer not uncommonly registers — 4° F., or 36° below the freezing point, care, of course, being taken to heat the room with stoves, to provide plenty of blankets and coverlets, and to see that the current of external air is not directed on to the patient,