2
686 indeed, may anti vaccinationists think with shame on those exquisite lines :- ’’ Continuo auditse voces, vagitus et ingens Infantumque animae flentes ...... Quos dulcis vitae exsortes, et ab ubere raptos, Abstulit atra dies, et funere mersit acerbo." " The leaflet goes on to give hard facts and figures which should convince anybody who is not in the bond of invin- -cible ignorance. We congratulate Mr. Wilson on his efforts to spread knowledge on the subject of small-pox and how to .avoid it. ____ THE VENTILATION OF THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT AND INFLUENZA. THE bad ventilation of the Houses of Parliament is notorious, not because the system adopted is necessarily wrong in principle, but because, however perfect the means of changing the air may be, it is difficult to draw upon a fresh and healthy supply. The environment of the building is a grave obstacle to all attempts to provide the legislative chambers with healthy air. The con- ditions outside the Houses are such as probably to favour the multiplication of organisms whenever they abound. The river Thames is practically in contact with the south walls of the Houses of Parliament, acting as a cold-water jacket upon the air within, whatever steps may be taken to purify it. The air is thus constantly undergoing changes which render it unhealthy and take out that healthy property charac- teristic of a fresh breeze. There is something in the vitalising influence of fresh air which neither physiology nor chemistry can satisfactorily explain. It is, at any rate, pretty certain that, if perfectly pure air, obtained by mixing pure chemically derived oxygen and nitrogen in the pro- portion contained in the atmosphere, could be prepared on the large scale, it would not meet the needs of healthy physio- logical requirement in the same way as fresh natural air does. Artificially heated air is frequently described as ’’ stuffy and the French physiologists describe such air as " devitalasé "- .a not inappropriate word. Foul air or unfresh air saps the power of the body to resist disease and hence the prevalence of disease, and especially respiratory disease, such as influ- enza, amongst those who habitually attend more or less crowded places or places where the air lacks its natural freshening effects. Thus senators in Parliament, judges in the courts, and the clerks in banks and insurance offices show a large percentage of epidemic influenza. In reply to questions this week in the House of Commons on the prevalence of influenza in the assembly no hope was held out .that the condition of ventilation could be improved. MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH AND PUBLIC ANALYST. WE expressed before now the opinion very definitely .that municipal bodies are not well advised in combining the appointments of medical officer of health and public .analyst. Such a combination for obvious reasons cannot be for the public advantage. Nowadays the science and practice of public hygiene are quite sufficient in themselves to occupy all the time of a medical officer who discharges his duties efficiently, in which case he is prevented from giving that systematic attention to laboratory work which is essential to the performance of the duties of the public analyst. The duties of a medical officer of health are ,quite exacting enough in regard to sanitation without the additional burden of having to undertake the analysis of some hundreds of samples of foods and drugs per annum. This has already proved to be the case in some of the muni- cipal boroughs where one man formerly occupied the two posts, and where now the medical officer and the public analyst are two independent men, acting in cooperation. The same situation has just been arrived at by the Health Committee of the Birmingham City Council, which has reported that the duties attached to the office of medical officer of health require Dr. Alfred Hill’s undivided atten- tion. Dr. Hill himself pointed out to the committee that the work of the joint appointments of medical officer of health and public analyst is too much for one man and asked to be relieved from the duties of the latter office. The committee was sensible enough to concur in this opinion and it decided to appoint a public analyst at a salary of £350 per annum, the medical officer’s salary, considering that he devotes the whole of his time to the service of the corporation, being permitted to remain as it was when he held both posts. Other municipal bodies will find that they will be compelled to adopt a similar course. STREET LETTERING AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES. THE new broom is understood to sweep clean and certainly there are reasons why it should be able to do so. Yet it not infrequently fails to justify its thorough-going character. Even the especial broom which has been placed in the hands of borough councils might be better employed for the removal of sundry public inconveniences than it has been. For the present we will mention only one such. The way- farer on our streets is usually in search of some particular house. By day he should succeed, even if a stranger, in finding a labeled corner which will serve him as a guide. The surer help of local informants is also available. After a time he arrives at his destination. The door is probably numbered, but above it as often as not is a sheet of plate-glass, either plain or fancifully uninstructive. He does not notice all this at the time. But how does he fare if he has to make the same journey for the first time after dark ? The streets are deserted, the scarce policeman is not near, and the lettered angle, clearly enough read in sunlight, is little better than a Coptic text in the mellowed light of a street lamp several yards distant. On that lamp there is no inscription. It is only with the joint assistance of patience, ingenuity, and fortune that he reaches the street he is making for, and happy is he then if he quickly finds his number on doorways glazed with blank nothing or with romantic names or floral devices. This is the ordinary lot. The medical practitioner who wanders forth at the call of duty in the small hours of the morning has even less light upon his quest unless he have a messenger to lead him, which he has not always. Surely the public and he may reasonably ask local authorities to help them in this matter. We admit that these have done something, but much remains to be done, and the work is not such that any great outlay should be required to complete it. We would have every street and corner labeled with bold and bright enamelled lettering (as not a few fortunately are), every corner lamp similarly inscribed upon the glass (as a limited number are), and the glass plate over every house- door plainly numbered. If this plan were carried out, and by order, what comparative convenience and facility would result and what needless waste of time would be prevented. LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY: A MUNIFICENT GIFT FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH. THE sum of £25,000 has been given by Mr. William John- ston, shipowner, of Liverpool, for furthering the university movement in that city. The money will be devoted, in accordance with the wishes of the donor, to promote research in pathology and physiology. The .625,000 are divided as follows : .610,000 are allocated to found a chair of chemical biology ; .66000 at 5 per cent. interest are allocated permanently to endow three Research Fellow- ships of P. 100 a year each. Of these Fellowships one is to be held by a medical graduate of a colonial university, a second by a graduate of medicine of the United States,

LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY: A MUNIFICENT GIFT FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH

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Page 1: LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY: A MUNIFICENT GIFT FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH

686

indeed, may anti vaccinationists think with shame on those

exquisite lines :-’’ Continuo auditse voces, vagitus et ingensInfantumque animae flentes ......

Quos dulcis vitae exsortes, et ab ubere raptos,Abstulit atra dies, et funere mersit acerbo."

"

The leaflet goes on to give hard facts and figures whichshould convince anybody who is not in the bond of invin-

-cible ignorance. We congratulate Mr. Wilson on his effortsto spread knowledge on the subject of small-pox and how to.avoid it.

____

THE VENTILATION OF THE HOUSES OFPARLIAMENT AND INFLUENZA.

THE bad ventilation of the Houses of Parliament is

notorious, not because the system adopted is necessarilywrong in principle, but because, however perfect themeans of changing the air may be, it is difficult to draw

upon a fresh and healthy supply. The environment ofthe building is a grave obstacle to all attempts to providethe legislative chambers with healthy air. The con-

ditions outside the Houses are such as probably to favourthe multiplication of organisms whenever they abound. Theriver Thames is practically in contact with the south wallsof the Houses of Parliament, acting as a cold-water jacketupon the air within, whatever steps may be taken to purify it.The air is thus constantly undergoing changes which renderit unhealthy and take out that healthy property charac-teristic of a fresh breeze. There is something in the

vitalising influence of fresh air which neither physiology nor chemistry can satisfactorily explain. It is, at any rate,pretty certain that, if perfectly pure air, obtained by mixingpure chemically derived oxygen and nitrogen in the pro-portion contained in the atmosphere, could be prepared on thelarge scale, it would not meet the needs of healthy physio-logical requirement in the same way as fresh natural air does.Artificially heated air is frequently described as ’’ stuffy andthe French physiologists describe such air as " devitalasé "-

.a not inappropriate word. Foul air or unfresh air saps the

power of the body to resist disease and hence the prevalenceof disease, and especially respiratory disease, such as influ-enza, amongst those who habitually attend more or less

crowded places or places where the air lacks its natural

freshening effects. Thus senators in Parliament, judgesin the courts, and the clerks in banks and insurance officesshow a large percentage of epidemic influenza. In replyto questions this week in the House of Commons on the

prevalence of influenza in the assembly no hope was held out.that the condition of ventilation could be improved.

MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH AND PUBLICANALYST.

WE expressed before now the opinion very definitely.that municipal bodies are not well advised in combiningthe appointments of medical officer of health and public.analyst. Such a combination for obvious reasons cannot befor the public advantage. Nowadays the science and practiceof public hygiene are quite sufficient in themselves to occupyall the time of a medical officer who discharges his dutiesefficiently, in which case he is prevented from givingthat systematic attention to laboratory work which is

essential to the performance of the duties of the publicanalyst. The duties of a medical officer of health are

,quite exacting enough in regard to sanitation without

the additional burden of having to undertake the analysis ofsome hundreds of samples of foods and drugs per annum.This has already proved to be the case in some of the muni-cipal boroughs where one man formerly occupied the twoposts, and where now the medical officer and the publicanalyst are two independent men, acting in cooperation.

The same situation has just been arrived at by the HealthCommittee of the Birmingham City Council, which has

reported that the duties attached to the office of medicalofficer of health require Dr. Alfred Hill’s undivided atten-tion. Dr. Hill himself pointed out to the committee thatthe work of the joint appointments of medical officer ofhealth and public analyst is too much for one man andasked to be relieved from the duties of the latteroffice. The committee was sensible enough to concur inthis opinion and it decided to appoint a public analyst ata salary of £350 per annum, the medical officer’s salary,considering that he devotes the whole of his time to theservice of the corporation, being permitted to remain as itwas when he held both posts. Other municipal bodies willfind that they will be compelled to adopt a similar course.

STREET LETTERING AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

THE new broom is understood to sweep clean and certainlythere are reasons why it should be able to do so. Yet it not

infrequently fails to justify its thorough-going character.

Even the especial broom which has been placed in the handsof borough councils might be better employed for the

removal of sundry public inconveniences than it has been.For the present we will mention only one such. The way-farer on our streets is usually in search of some particularhouse. By day he should succeed, even if a stranger, in

finding a labeled corner which will serve him as a guide. The

surer help of local informants is also available. After a timehe arrives at his destination. The door is probably numbered,but above it as often as not is a sheet of plate-glass, eitherplain or fancifully uninstructive. He does not notice all thisat the time. But how does he fare if he has to make thesame journey for the first time after dark ? The streets are

deserted, the scarce policeman is not near, and the letteredangle, clearly enough read in sunlight, is little better than a

Coptic text in the mellowed light of a street lamp severalyards distant. On that lamp there is no inscription. It is onlywith the joint assistance of patience, ingenuity, and fortunethat he reaches the street he is making for, and happy ishe then if he quickly finds his number on doorways glazedwith blank nothing or with romantic names or floral

devices. This is the ordinary lot. The medical practitionerwho wanders forth at the call of duty in the small hoursof the morning has even less light upon his quest unless

he have a messenger to lead him, which he has not always.Surely the public and he may reasonably ask local authoritiesto help them in this matter. We admit that these have done

something, but much remains to be done, and the work isnot such that any great outlay should be required to completeit. We would have every street and corner labeled withbold and bright enamelled lettering (as not a few fortunatelyare), every corner lamp similarly inscribed upon the glass (asa limited number are), and the glass plate over every house-door plainly numbered. If this plan were carried out, andby order, what comparative convenience and facility wouldresult and what needless waste of time would be prevented.

LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY: A MUNIFICENT GIFTFOR MEDICAL RESEARCH.

THE sum of £25,000 has been given by Mr. William John-ston, shipowner, of Liverpool, for furthering the universitymovement in that city. The money will be devoted, inaccordance with the wishes of the donor, to promote researchin pathology and physiology. The .625,000 are dividedas follows : .610,000 are allocated to found a chair ofchemical biology ; .66000 at 5 per cent. interest are

allocated permanently to endow three Research Fellow-

ships of P. 100 a year each. Of these Fellowships one isto be held by a medical graduate of a colonial university,a second by a graduate of medicine of the United States,

Page 2: LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY: A MUNIFICENT GIFT FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH

687

and a third by a research student in gynaecology, The re-

maining .69000 are to be spent in building a laboratory adjoin-ing the Thompson-Yates Laboratories, to accommodate theTropical School, the professors of chemical biology, experi-mental medicine, comparative pathology, and the serum

research department. -

LEICESTER AND VACCINATION.

ON March 5th the Lord Chief Justice, Mr. Justice

Darling, and Mr. Justice Channell gave judgment in thecase of Moore v. Keyte. The case was an appealfrom a conviction by the Leicester magistrates under theVaccination Acts, the appellant having been prosecuted bythe vaccination officer against the orders of the guardians.The most important question before] the court was whetherthe vaccination officer had powers to prosecute without theconsent, or against the wishes, of the guardians, and thecourt unanimously held that he had such powers.

SiR FRANCIS JEUNE, President of the Probate, Divorce,and Admiralty Division, and Mr. Justice Barnes have orderedthe following notice to be put up in their courts : "If anyperson to whom an oath is administered desires to swearwith uplifted hand in the form and manner in which an oathis usually administered in Scotland, he or she is permittedto do so. The following form of oath may be used-’ Iswear by Almighty God that I will speak the truth, thewhole truth, and nothing but the truth.’" We trust thatthis excellent example will be followed by the other judges.

A MEETING will be held in the Governors’ Hall of St.Thomas’s Hospital on Tuesday, March llth, at 4.30 P.M.,Mr. J. G. Wainwright, J.P., the Treasurer of the hospital, inthe chair, to consider the steps to be taken to raise a

memorial to the late Sir William Mac Cormac, Bart., K.C.B.,K.C.V.0., and to commemorate his connexion with the

hospital and the medical school.

THE medical profession is asked to note that the

permanent address of the Odontological Society of GreatBritain is now 20, Hanover-square, London, W.

Pharmacological Notes.DETERIORATION OF ALCOHOLIC SOLUTIONS OF PEPSIN.EuG. THIBAULT 1 has studied the effect of alcohol on the

activity of pepsin, varying the strength of the alcohol andthe duration of the experiments. He finds that, providedthe alcoholic strength is below 12 per cent., the solutionshows no immediate loss of strength, but above this strengththe solution immediately undergoes deterioration. The

peptonising power of the solution is almost destroyed at theend of four months, whether the alcoholic strength be aboveor below 12 5 per cent. Hence it appears that pepsin shouldnot be prescribed in the form of pepsin wine, as the fermentis destroyed to a greater or less extent according to the ageof the liquid. It is pointed out that sugar and certain othersubstances present in the wine have a partial preservativeeffect.

THE ACTION OF PEPSIN, TRYPSIN, AND PAPAIN.G. R. Baldwin and P. A. Levene,2 after studying the action

of proteolytic ferments on toxins, find that the diphtheriaand tetanus toxins are digested, and not simply neutralised,by pepsin, trypsin, and papain. They are thereby renderedinert. Tuberculin, a nucleo-proteid, is weakened in itsaction by these digestive ferments ; prolonged digestion withtrypsin, but not with pepsin, destroys its activity.

VALUE OF UROTROPIN.

According to W. F. Loebisch,3 urotropin or hexamethylene1 Journal de Pharmacie et de Chimie. Feb. 15th, 1902, p. 161.

2 Journal of Medical Research. 1901. vol. vi., p. 120.3 Chemisches Centralblatt, 1991, Band ii., p. 705.

tetramine is a good antiseptic, causes no bad symptoms, andlessens intestinal putrefaction. The ethereal sulphates ofthe urine are diminished.

LECITHIN IN TUBERCULOSIS.

H. Claude and Aly Zaky recommend lecithin as an

adjuvant to other means of treating tuberculosis from its

specific action on the elimination of phosphates in theurine and its beneficial action on nitrogenous metabolism.

ACTION OF SUPRARENAL EXTRACT.

John N. Langley finds that suprarenal extract causes abrief but active secretion of the salivary and lacrymalglands. This is not affected by degeneration of the post-ganglionic fibres of the superior cervical ganglion or bysmall doses of atropine, but the secretion is stopped by largedoses of atropine. The extract has no certain effect on thesecretion of sweat, but increases the secretion of bile. Itacts differently on different involuntary muscular organs,causing, for instance, inhibition of the bladder, stomach,and gall-bladder, and contraction of the anal sphincters,uterus, and blood-vessels. The theory that the extract actson sympathetic nerve-endings breaks down in variousinstances.

PHARMACOLOGICAL ACTION OF PURINE DERIVATIVES.An important investigation has been made by Oswald

Schmiedeberg on the comparative pharmacological actionsof some purine derivatives. Experiments were made withfrogs and rabbits. The action of caffeine and theobromineis already known to be twofold--viz., nervous and muscular.The nervous action depends on the presence of nitrogen inthe molecule, for it is exhibited also by ammonia and byammonium salts. The muscular action is characteristic ofthe purine nucleus. Purine itself exhibits both actions, whichare affected in degree by introduction of oxygen or alkylgroups. A large number of substances have been experi-mented with and their effects have been described.

Looking Back.FROM

THE LANCET, SUNDAY, MARCH 7, 1824.

LECTURE 39.1

TVedncsday Evening, Ma?’ch 3d.

A few minutes after 8 o’clock the Learned Professorentered the Theatre. Several pieces of orange peel laystrewed upon the table on which the preparations are

placed. This, said the learned professor smiling, as he tookup one of them, is, I presume, one of the raissi les .’ We trustthat this good natured rebuke will have more weight withthe class than any formal argument, to show the folly ofthe puerile practice which prevails during the half hour pre.ceding the Lecturer’s entrance.

In the last evening’s Lecture, gentlemen, I began todescribe to you the subject of the formation of calculi, thedifferent species of calculi, and the symptoms which attendthem. I shall now proceed with this subject. The painwhich a patient experiences from stone in the bladder is byno means in proportion to its bulk. It is not exactly in theinverse ratio to its magnitude, but still it approaches thatinverse ratio. When a stone becomes excessively large, thepatient generally loses the power of retaining his urine, andthe distillation of urine from the bladder, prevents thatcontraction of it which occasions so much pain to the patientin discharging the last drops of it. Doctor FRAXELix, thecelebrated American philosopher, who died of this disease,suffered excessively for a number of years from it, but atlast, when the stone acquired considerable magnitude, heexperienced but little pain. The pain does not so much

Comptes Rendus de la Société de Biologie, 1901, tome liii., pp. 821and 830.

3 Journal of Physiology, 1901, vol. xxvii., p. 237.3 Berichte, 1901, Band xxxiv., p. 2550.

1 Excerpt from report of this lecture delivered by Sir Astley Cooperin the Theatre of St. Thomas Hospital.