Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/597

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587
EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY

The Vienna institution differs from most of the preceding biological institutes in that here experimentation, carried on for long periods of time, even generation after generation, if necessary, and always under the best possible conditions, takes the place of research in descriptive and comparative anatomy, or the briefer experiments of physiology. In the study of experimental evolution one not only follows the organisms through ovulation, fertilization and embryogenesis, but the new generation must be raised to the adult stage for another breeding. The laws through which the external factors of existence influence the vitality can only be determined when it is possible for the organisms

 

PSM V78 D597 House for higher vertebrates.png

Fig. 4. House for Higher Vertebrates.

 

experimented on to live under unchanging conditions for months or even years. Darwin acted upon these principles and his garden at Down must always rank as one of the greatest laboratories for experimental biology. It is only necessary to visit the zoological institute in Würzburg with its vivaria, series of basins and shaded pond, to realize, as one can from his writings, that Semper also was fully aware of the primary importance of experimentation in the solution of biological problems. Along with the foundation and growth of the Vienna institution has been that of the station for experimental evolution of the Carnegie Institution created and directed by Davenport, and the gardens developed by Ewart and Bateson in Great Britain. Similar establishments for the study of genetics have been advocated by Behla (1894), and more recently by Plate (1906) and Müller (1907). In-