Underground Forests in the Thames Valley.—An interesting geological discovery, as we learn from Nature, was recently made during excavations for a new tidal basin at the Surrey Commercial Docks, London. On penetrating some six feet below the surface, the workmen everywhere came across a subterranean forest-bed, consisting of peat with trunks of trees, for the most part still standing erect. All are of species still inhabiting Britain; the oak, alder, and willow, are apparently most abundant. The trees are not mineralized, but retain their vegetable character, except that they are thoroughly saturated with water. In the peat are found bones of the great fossil ox. Fresh-water shells are also found. No doubt is entertained that the bed thus exposed is a continuation of the old buried forest which has been brought to light at various other localities on both sides of the Thames. In each ease the forest-bed is found buried beneath the marsh-clay, showing that the land has sunk below the tidal level since the forest flourished.
The Medication of Infants.—From experiments made by Dr. Lewald it appears that sundry medicines are most advantageously introduced into the system of an infant through the mother's milk. Thus of iron a larger quantity can be administered to the infant in this way than by any other means. Bismuth, however, is eliminated in the milk only in very small quantity. Iodine does not appear in the milk until ninety-six hours after taking it; iodide of potassium appears four hours after ingestion, and continues to be eliminated for eleven days. Arsenic appears in the milk at the end of seventeen hours, and continues for at least forty hours. Oxide of zinc, though one of the most insoluble preparations, is eliminated by the milk; it disappears sooner than iron. The elimination of antimony is an undeniable fact, and it is well to bear this in mind during the period of nursing; the same holds true in regard to mercurial preparations. That alcohol and narcotics are eliminated by the milk has not been demonstrated. Sulphate of quinine is eliminated very easily, and a child suffering from intermittent fever was cured by administering quinine to the nurse.
The printing-press at which Benjamin Franklin worked in Loudon will be exhibited at Philadelphia. This press was at one time the property of Harrild & Sous, of London, but in 1841 they allowed it to be forwarded to Philadelphia. By way of acknowledgment, a sum of money was to be handed over to the Printers' Pension Corporation, for the purpose of founding a pension for an aged printer. This has never been done, and hence Franklin's press by right belongs to Messrs. Harrild, and should appear at the Centennial Exhibition as an English and not an American exhibit.
In the "Annual of Natural Science," of Würtemberg, Otto Hahn has an elaborate review of the Eozoön Canadense question. This article, which is very long, is published in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, for April. The author, after an examination of the geological, the mineralogical, and the zoölogical facts, pronounces the so-called eozoön structures to be purely mineral in their origin.
In replying to Tyndall, Dr. Bastian cites a number of investigators as supporting his views on biogenesis. Among the authorities thus quoted are E. Ray Lankester and Dr. Pode; but the former of these two gentlemen now writes to Nature, saying that their (i. e., Lankester's and Pode's) results "conclusively and categorically contradict the particular assertions contained in Dr. Bastian's book, 'The Beginnings of Life,' into the truth of which they set themselves to inquire."
Specimens of paper and cardboard made from peat were recently presented to the Berlin Polytechnic Association by Herr Veyt-Meyer. The paper and cardboard were very firm, and the latter was so thick that it might be planed and polished. Paper made of peat alone is like that made from wood or straw; but only fifteen per cent, of rags is needed to give it consistence. A large factory for the manufacture of peat paper is to be established in Prussia.
In order to act intelligently against the cotton-worm, Southern planters are advised by Prof. A. R. Grote to act in concert. He further recommends that, whatever agent is employed to destroy the worm, be used against the first brood that appears in the locality, so as to prevent its spreading farther. It is highly desirable that the life-history and habits of such insect-pests should be thoroughly studied, with a view to their extermination.
Prof. Benjamin Silliman, of Yale College, has patented a process for giving reso-