Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 31.djvu/737

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a large number of those who, if they had not been so inoculated, would have died of that disease. And we believe that the value of this discovery will be found much greater than can be estimated by its present utility, for it shows that it may become possible to avert by inoculation, even after infection, other diseases than hydrophobia. ... His researches have also added very largely to the knowledge of the pathology of hydrophobia, and have supplied what is of the highest practical value, namely, a sure means of determining whether an animal, which has died under suspicion of rabies, was really affected with that disease or not." The answer to the question whether M. Pasteur's treatment can be submitted to without danger to health or life, must be qualified accordingly as the question is applied to the ordinary method, concerning the entire safety of which no reason of doubt has yet appeared; or to the intensive method which has been applied only to cases deemed especially urgent. In many of the urgent cases the intensive method is believed to have been more efficacious than the ordinary method would have been. In other cases deaths have occurred under conditions which have suggested that they were due to the inoculations rather than to the infection from the rabid animal. But in these cases it is open to doubt whether the effect of the inoculation may not have been to modify the form of the rabies already nascent, into "paralytic rabies," rather than of itself to produce it. In order to reduce risks, M. Pasteur has greatly modified his intensive treatment, and limited its application to the most urgent cases.


The steamers of the new American "Arrow Line" are to be constructed upon a new principle, and with a view to an estimated speed sufficient to make the voyage between New York and Liverpool in a little more than four days. The Pocahontas will be 540 feet long, will be provided with 1,060 water-tight compartments, 500 of which are to be below the water-line, and will have 20 boilers with engines of 27,986 horse-power and capable of giving a speed of 22 knots an hour.

Professor Asaph Hall has determined the parallax of Aldebaran at 0·102", with a probable error of 0·0296.

The sixtieth meeting of the German Association of Naturalists will be held at Wiesbaden, September 18th to 24th. A number of new scientific instruments and preparations will be shown.

An unusually large number of foreign men of science will, it is expected, be present at the forthcoming meeting of the British Association in Manchester. Among the Americans are Cleveland Abbe, J. R. Eastman, of the United States Naval Observatory; and William Libbey, Malcolm McNeill, and C. A. Young, of Princeton College, in Section A; F. W. Clarke, J. W. Langley, and J. W. Mallet, in Section B; Asa Gray, C. S. Minot, and E. S. Morse, in Section D; Dana Horton and Judge Mackay, in Section F; and Thomas Egleston and J. B. Francis, in Section G.

Dr. E. A. A. Grange, of the Agricultural College of Michigan, describes a disease in the foot of the horse, frequently occurring in the summer season, which he calls laminitis, but which is often manifested as what is called chest-founder, from the position which it causes the horse to take, suggesting an affection of the chest. The disease is really an inflammation of the sensitive laminæ of the foot, sometimes involving neighboring structures, and may be compared with toothache. It may be caused by overheating and sudden cooling, overworking, overfeeding, or too long and close confinement in the stall. It is manifested by attitudes indicating pain, by irregularities in breathing, twitching movements, etc. The treatment materially depends upon the cause in the particular case, and is both general and local.

The British Inspectors of Explosives report for 1886 the continued satisfactory operation of the Explosives Act of 1875. Only one loss of life was returned in legitimate manufacture, as against an average of over eight in the eight years previous. Mention is made in the report of 143 accidents having occurred during the year, whereby 40 persons were killed and 136 injured. The averages for the previous nine years were 38 killed and 98 injured.

Mr. Alfred Carpenter, of the Marine Survey office, Bombay, has observed Macacus monkeys on the island off South Burmah opening oysters with a stone. They bring the stones from high-water mark down to low-water, selecting such stones as they can easily grasp. They effect the opening by striking the base of the upper valve until it dislocates and breaks up. They then extract the oyster with the finger and thumb, occasionally putting the mouth straight to the broken shell. The way they have chosen is the easiest way to open the shell.