Popular Science Monthly/Volume 35/June 1889/Notes

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Dr. F. P. Wightnick sounds another note of alarm against danger from lead-poisoning from using fruit canned in tin. Three cases have lately come under his observation in which he assigns the cause of trouble to this source. One case is that of a patient who had been using canned tomatoes for three years, and who had for several months suffered painful disorders of digestion. Analysis of the tomatoes revealed the presence of 0·987 grain of oxide of tin and 0·339 grain of chloride of lead per pound of preserved vegetables. The other cases are of a mother and son who have eaten canned tomatoes freely, and are suffering from similar digestive disorders. The evidence of lead-poisoning is not presented in so positive a form as in the other case. Medical men and chemists have usually inclined to the opinion that the danger of poisoning from canned fruits was insignificant.

The "Quarterly Journal of Inebriety" has called attention to the indiscriminate administration of policemen's discipline to so-called drunken cases in hot weather. Most frequently such cases are suffering far more from other causes than from liquor—from debility, heat-stroke, or some other cause peculiar to or resulting from the weather—added to a degree of intoxication which under ordinary circumstances might not attract an officer's attention—not unfrequently from the policeman's club or rough handling. The thing they need is medical attention, or at least medical examination, before being thrust into a hot, close cell.

The meeting of the British Association for this year is to be held at Newcastle-on-Tyne, under the presidency of Prof. W. H. Flower, F.R.S. The presidents of the various sections are as follows: A, Mathematical and Physical Science, Captain W. De W. Abney, R.E., C.B., F.R.S.—B, Chemical Science, Sir I. Lowthian Bell, F.R.S.—C. Geology, Prof. James Geikie, LL.D., F.R.S.—D, Biology, Prof. J. S. Burdon-Sanderson, M.A., M.D., LL.D., F.R.S.—E, Geography, Colonel Sir Francis de Winton, K.C.M.G., F.R.G.S.—F, Economic Science and Statistics, Prof. F. Y. Edgeworth, M.A., F.S.S.—G, Mechanical Science, William Anderson, M. Inst. C.E.—H, Anthropology, Prof. Sir W. Turner, LL.D., F.R.S.

A Botanical Congress has been called by the Botanical Society of France, to be held in Paris in August, for the presentation and discussion of treatises on botanical subjects, pure or applied. Particular attention will be given to considering the usefulness of establishing joint action looking to the preparation of maps showing the distribution of species and genera over the globe; and to the characters for classification furnished by anatomy.

The French Association for the Advancement of Science will meet in Paris, August 8th to 15th.

An affection similar to sunstroke is described by the "British Medical Journal" as produced by the electric light, and is called "electric-light stroke." It is very liable to attack the men working at the electric furnace of the Creuzot steel-works. As the heat emitted by this furnace is not felt to any great degree, the fact lends probability to the supposition that the "stroke" is an effect of light rather than of heat.

The French Academy of Sciences offers for 1889 the Prix Vaillant, of three thousand francs, for the best work on diseases of cereals in general; a grand prize of three thousand francs for the complete study of the embryology and development of any animal; the Prix Bréant, of one hundred thousand francs, for a specific against cholera; and a prize of five hundred francs for a theoretical and practical essay on the progress of aërial navigation since 1880.