1913 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)  
The Meeting of German Natural Scientists and Medical Men A few weeks ago Vienna was the meeting place of the eighty-fifth annual congress of the Deutsche Naturforscher und Aerzte, which lasted eight days. More than a thousand papers were on the official list in the thirty-four sections, and more than five thousand members formed the audience. The gathering outgrew its original aim, and it must be said that as in medical literature manv superfluous articles are written, so here numerous papers
more » ... e numerous papers should not have boon read, being of insufficient importance. The analogy between human and mouse cancer was dealt with in a paper by Dr. Frankl of Vienna. Von Hausemann had rejected all conclusions drawn from the observations of cancer in the mouse until proof of tho identity of human and mouse cancer was forthcoming. Dr. Krankl's experiments show that there is no essential différence between the cells of the cancers in man or mouse. The difference, which is chiefly histolocic and biolosrie, does not controvert the knowledge gained hitherto from experimental mouse cancer in its bearing on human cancer. The relations between cancer and infectious diseases was the subject of a paper by Schmidt of Innsbruck. He does not believe in a living virus of cancer. He has found that the rule "cancerous ancestors, tuberculous offspring," and its reverse, "tuberculous ancestors, cancerous offspring," are very frequent, lie also finds that the history of cancer patients rarely shows infectious diseases: In 44 per cent, of stomach cancers the "infection index" was 0. This peculiar hyperimmunity of cancerous patients is presented also in a refractory behavior of the organism toward vaccination with cow's l.Vmph. The explanation might be found in the supposition that the serum after infectious diseases contains a relative protecting body against cancer. The dosage of diphtheria antitoxin was investigated by Schick, Kassowitz and Tiusatti. They recommend the use of 100 units of antitoxin per kilogram of body-weight, in mild cases, and 500 units per kilogram in. severe cases. Repeated injections are unnecessary. Dr. Mall read a paper on spasmophilia in children. By variations of feeding he succeeded experimentally in producing hvperirritability of nerves in animals, which finally resulted in rachitic changes. He thus could prove the correlation of these two frequent conditions of childhood, and showed also the important rôle played herein by the parathyroid. Taussig read a paper on endemic goiter in Austria. He showed that out of each thousand recruits presented for admission to the army twenty-nine had to be dismissed for Boiter. Taussie believes that water derived from mountains is goiter-producing, by lacking an unknown substance, which eon I vols the equilibrium of the thyroid gland. Free consumption of meat seems to be a very good remedy against this trouble; a vegetarian life seems to promote the goitrous tendency. One of the most important papers was the report on syphilis and general,paralysis by Nonne, who asserts that at present the problem is not yet solved as to who will become tabetic or paralytic and who not. It is certain that both tabes and general paralysis of the insane are true syphilitic diseases. These patients are actively diseased. But it seems that there is a special genus of Spirochaeta pallida which has special affinity for the nervous system and produces syphilis°f the meninges and the nerves. Even in very earlv cases one Sometimes sees affections of the brain and its covers. These Persons are predisposed to fall victims to general paralysis of the insane or to tabetic conditions. Dr. Hock emphasized the necessity of conserving the first teeth of childhood in order to keep the mouth and jaws in a Condition fit to receive the permanent teeth. In some cases *t is advisable to remove, after the twelfth year of age, tho first permanent molar tooth, which by this time has served its object. This removal gives space for the wisdom-tooth to break through without the usual trouble. Dr. Hock believes that this simple procedure does away with a large percentage of dental caries otherwise so frequent. The problem of mixing human races with each other was discussed by Fischer, who said that although little experimental work is existing in this field, nevertheless it could be shown that mendelian laws were obeyed. Racial features were lust as well inherited as parental general features, and they were often split, but not lost in the grandchildren. In a similar paper Abel showed that as yet there is no single absolute proof known for a real morphologic atavism in animals, The law may be formulated that an organ which in the course of ontology (during development of the genus) has become rudimentary never regains its original strength Eve I if later on its presence should be required, if is replaced by an analoffous orean. The metabolism of iron in the body of the new-born was studied by Drs. Langstein and Edelstein (Berlin). They foun 1 that within tho first week of life the infant loses iron by means of the bowels and that not until later is the metal retained and stored up from the food. The importance of water in the metabolism of infants was shown by Dr. Lederer. Ho found that the human (and animal) organism is subjected to a gradual loss of water normally. Children with disturbances of the alimentary harmony show increased contents of water in the organs; also those with the exudative diathesis with their tendency to frequent catarrhs. The disturbance of water metabolism is thus one of the chief sources of disease in childhood (adenoid ring). This investigation proves the correctness of the ancient supposition of "constitution," which now has been placed on a safe chemical-physical base. Interesting papers were read also at the meeting of the psychologists; one by Kafka of Munich, especially, aroused much discussion. This investigator studied the psychology of animals, and demands that careful attention be paid to this important part of biology, as it offers valuable clues to the understanding of human psychology as well as for general knowledge of the development of conscience. Analogy with human psychology could not be disregarded except for unscientific reasons. The fight against malaria in Austria was described by Dr. von Celebrini of Trieste. He advised the regular intake of quinin daily during the malaria season, at least 5 grains per dose for adults. Children must, be (rented too, otherwise the whole campaign is useless. Mechanical protection from Anopheles is worthless and costly; best is the destruction of insects, practiced according to their biologic conditions in the affected districts. Other papers were read on the use of india-rubber for covering warships; the future of our earth; the theories of the tides; the refutation of Newton's law of gravitation; modern methods of stereoscopic photography; paleontology and human development; the color-sense of animals; the tectonic structure of the Alps; the chemical substance used by Hannibal to dissolve the rocks of the Alps, etc. After the congress was over, a large number of visitors remained in Vienna and availed themselves of the opportunity of visiting the medical and scientific institutes of this city. Marriages
doi:10.1001/jama.1913.04350250057021 fatcat:iy74e3uvurau7m4pcgc4tdvj4q