Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/434

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The author's Fungi: their Nature, Influence, and Uses, which appeared in 1875 and passed through several editions, has long been the standard, and probably one of the best and most comprehensive works in our language on the subject. The rapid advance in knowledge of the life history and development of these organisms during the last ten years, and especially the large scheme of classification carried out by Prof. Saccardo, have, however, made it essential that, in order to keep pace with the times, a guide and introduction should be prepared for the use of students, which, without superseding the volume of 1875 as a popular instructor, should treat the subject more after the manner of a text-book, adapted to the illustration of recent discoveries, and an explanation of the methods of classification. The present work[1] is the result of an effort to supply this want. The first part of the book—organography—relates to the general character and features of the fungi. An attempt is made in the introduction to differentiate them from the other cryptogams, and particularly from the other thallophytes, the algae and the lichens. Then the mycelium is described, and in the succeeding chapters the carpophore, or the supporter of the fructification; the receptacle, or envelope of the fructification where there is an envelope; the fructification, fertilization, dichocarpism, or the existence of two distinct forms of fructification; saprophytes and parasites, or fungi that grow on dead and those that grow on living organisms; and the constituents of fungi. The second part is devoted to classification, and begins with a chapter on fungi in general, after which the phycomycetes, the higher fungi, the meromycetes, and the mycomycetes, and their subdivisions—naked, spored, puffball, discoid, subterranean, capsular, gaping, conjugating, rust, mold, and slime fungi, and the rest—are described. The third part includes chapters on the Census of Fungi and their geographical distribution, and an appendix on collecting, to all of which are added a glossary and an index, together with bibliographies of each department.

The sixth edition of M. Schützenberger's standard work on Fermentation[2] is substantially a new book. It has been brought up abreast of the present condition of the science, which has made so great advances under the impulse given it by the discoveries of Pasteur. Nothing is required to be said of the importance of the theory of fermentations in science, and in its innumerable applications in the industries, agriculture, hygiene, and medicine. Many of the most important economical processes are dependent upon the action of ferments. In other processes the equally important thing is to prevent or stay it. In the first part of the book the author treats of the fermentations brought about by the intervention of an organized or figured ferment—alcoholic, viscous, lactic, ammoniacal, or butyric—and by oxidation; the second part is devoted to fermentations provoked by the soluble products elaborated by living organisms.

A series of Chemical Experiments has been prepared by R. P. Williams, author of two other chemical books (Ginn, 60 cents). The experiments are adapted for use with any text-book of chemistry, or without a text-book. They are especially designed to show the properties of substances and classes of substances, and more than half of the one hundred and two experiments—or, more properly, sets of experiments—deal with the reactions used in qualitative analysis. By means of a systematic and condensed mode of statement, directions for a great many operations are put into a moderate compass. The qualities that the author has especially aimed to give his manual are thus stated: "In preparing the experiments the author has endeavored, first, to select such as are most instructive and best illustrate the subject without being too elaborate;

  1. Introduction to the Study of Fungi. By M. C. Cooke. Pp. 300, 8vo. London: Adam and Charles Black; New York: Macmillan & Co. Price, $3.50.
  2. Les Fermentations (Fermentation). Par P. Schützenberger, Membre de l'Institut. Sixth edition. Pp. 315, 8vo. Paris: Fé1ix Alcan.