Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/108

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104
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

Twelve healthy monkeys were then exposed to the bites of the same flies. Six of them contracted the disease and of these three died from it. The authors state that they would like to emphasize the fact that this does not appear to be simply a mechanical transference, but rather a biological one, requiring a period of extrinsic incubation in the intermediate host. Details are, however, lacking concerning the period of incubation and the precautions used to avoid passive contamination. Dr. Flexner had in one ease obtained infection by a filtrate from bedbugs which had fed on the blood of inoculated monkeys.

The preponderance of infantile paralysis in August, September and October, its prevalence in rural districts and its failure to spread in schools, asylums and the like, suggest an insect carrier, and the fact that the virus is a filterable parasite, invisible with the microscope, suggests an analogy with yellow fever and dengue known to be inoculated by mosquitoes. Dr. Flexner and his fellow workers at the Rockefeller Institute have, however, adduced strong experimental evidence that the mucous membrane of the nose is the site both of egress and ingress of the virus. While the problem in the case of infantile paralysis is not yet completely solved we may take satisfaction in the progress made by experimental methods in discovering the causes and preventing the occurrence of many of the most terrible diseases.

 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS

We record with regret the death of Sir George Howard Darwin, Plumian professor of astronomy and experimental philosophy at Cambridge University; of Dr. Elie de Cyon, formerly professor at the Academy of Sciences of St. Petersburg and the author of important contributions to physiology; of Dr. Oliver Clinton Wendell, assistant professor of astronomy in Harvard University; of Eben Jenks Loomis, for a half century in the Nautical Almanac Office; and of Edwin Smith, connected with the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey since 1870, known especially for his work on determinations of the force of gravity.

The Royal Society has awarded its medals as follows: a Royal medal to Professor William Mitchinson Hicks, F.R.S., for his researches in mathematical physics and investigations on the theory of spectroscopy; a Royal medal to Professor Grafton Elliot Smith, F.R.S., for his researches on the comparative anatomy of the brain; the Copley medal to Professor Felix Klein, of Göttingen, For.Mem.R.S., for his researches in mathematics; the Rumford medal to Professor Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, of Leyden, for his researches at low temperatures; the Davy medal to Professor Otto Wallach, of Göttingen, for his researches on the chemistry of the essential oils and the cyclo-olefines; the Darwin medal to Dr. Francis Darwin, F.R.S., for his work in conjunction with Charles Darwin, and for his researches in vegetable physiology; the Hughes medal to Mr. William Duddell, F.R.S., for his investigations in technical electricity; the Buchanan medal to Colonel William C. Gorgas, of the United States Army, for his sanitary administration of the works of the Panama Canal.

By the will of the late Morris Loeb, formerly professor of chemistry in New York University, large sums are left to scientific, educational and charitable institutions, mainly subject to the life interest of Mrs. Loeb. Harvard University will receive $500,000 for the advancement of physics and chemistry; $25,000 is given to the American Chemical Society for a museum and $2,500 to the National Academy of Sciences. Part of the residuary estate goes to the Smithsonian Institution and to the American Museum of Natural History.