Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/134

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Here we must leave the story of the infectious diseases, which has occupied our attention from the beginning of the third lecture to this point, and turn to a brief discussion of other methods of modern research in medicine, those of physiological chemistry, pharmacology and experimental pathology, which had their beginnings in the subjects (chemistry, physiology and pathology) discussed in the second lecture. The presentation must, however, necessarily be but brief and fragmentary, a mere summary, in fact, of aims and methods.

Physiological Chemistry.—The beginnings in this most important field of research were in Liebig's exact methods[1] for the study of organic chemistry and Wöhler's studies which are famous on account of his synthesis of urea. It is usually stated that the cultivation of physiological chemistry as a distinct science, with independent institutes of its own, dates from the eighth decade of the past century, when HoppeSeyler in 1872 established his laboratory at Strassburg and in 1877 founded the Zeitschrift f. physiologische Chemie. But although this period does represent the first attempt to sharply separate laboratories of physiological chemistry from those of organic chemistry, on the one hand, and of physiology, on the other, the first independent chair of physiological chemistry was established as my colleague, Dr. John Marshall, informs[2] me, at the University of Tübingen in 1845 and was held by Eugen Schlossberger; likewise Schlossberger's laboratory was the first one to be devoted exclusively to the study of physiological chemistry. It was to this chair that Hoppe-Seyler was appointed in 1861, and which he held until shortly after the close of the Franco-Prussian war, when he accepted a similar chair in the University of Strassburg.

  1. These appeared in the following publications: "Instructions for the Chemical Analysis of Organic Bodies," 1837; "Chemistry in its Application to Agriculture and Physiology," 1840; "Animal Chemistry or Organic Chemistry in its Application to Physiology and Pathology," 1842; "Handbook of Organic Analysis," 1853. (Dates taken from early English translations.)
  2. Dr. Marshall 's notes on the development of physiological chemistry at Tübingen are as follows: "In 1816 Dr. Med. George Kark Ludwig Sigwart at the request of the Medical faculty of the University of Tübingen delivered from time to time lectures on 'Zoochemie,' but notwithstanding that he was made professor extraordinarius in 1818 he was not provided with a laboratory. In 1835 the professor was given the use of quarters in the laboratory for agricultural and technical chemistry which was located in the old Tübingen castle. In 1845 Eugen Schlossberger, a pupil of Liebig and of Heinrich Rose was called to a professorship of physiological chemistry in Tübingen which was the first independent chair of physiological chemistry created at a German university and the laboratory was the first one to be established as a separate institution. From 1861 until 1872 this chair was held by Hoppe-Seyler when in 1872 he resigned to accept a professorship of the same title in the newly revived university at Strassburg. The laboratory in the old castle was occupied until 1885 when it was removed to the new building which had been erected for the subject."