The Water-Pores of the Lamelli-Branch Foot

H. L. Osborn
1884 Science  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. 130 SCOIE. without sufficient evidence, said to be caused by the palms, -comparativel3 high vegetable types, perfectly innocent of the crime of which they were accused. Late investig Ations point to a bacterium of elongated forrm as tie cause, but the proofs are still insufficient. To le rn to recognize the enemy is certainly the most necessary thing to be done, but it is only half the task: ;Le must then learn to resist it. The more or less effective means of combat which have been employed up to the present tine have aimed, 1?, to prev( nt the dissemination of dangerous microbes; 2?, tc make the organism unsuitable for the propagation of the intruders; 3?, to retard, as -far as possibli, the growth of those which have entered, in order t,) give the organs opportunity to throw them off. 1 he first of these measures engrosses the attention of the hygienists: hospitals, quarantines, and disinf. ctants are among the means employed. I will not ;tnter upon a subject which touches so many disput d questions, but will confine myself to noticing certa n facts and to rectifying certain very wide-spread (rrors. Regarding infection, the nose is a poor guide; for the experiments of Mr. Miquel show very distinctly that substances in a state of putrefaction, se long as they are moist, do not emit living germs. ' ?he water of the Paris sewers holds eighty million miirobes per litre; and yet the air of the sewers contaiirs only eight hundred or nine hundred germs per cubi metre, about one-tenth the number found in a hospi al. By inoculating a rabbit, it was shown that these germs are, perfectly harmless. The moist earth does not give out living organisms to the atmosphere. On the contrary, the dust of our rooms, which we dc not at all mistrust, shows about two millions of tihese living germs per gram. The bacteria of intermi;tent fevers, which vegetate in the soil of the Romal Campagna, begin to spread in the air and to becon e dangerous only when the soil, dried by a scorching sun, is raised by the wind in the form of dust. It w-ould be easy to multiply examples, and to prove, ti at, in point of hygiene, we must be guided by sens: rather than by smell. We have as yet but begun his kind of study; for how does this total number 3f germs which the air or water holds interest us ? We would prefer to know the number of dangerolts germs. The proportions would doubtless be very different from those which concise analysis affords. Until we are better in ormed, we shall do well to push cleanliness to an extreme, and especially to put little trust in disinfei tion. The number of subtances which are less in urious to man than to micro-parasites is very smai'. The best disinfectant is perfectly useless if too A-eak a dose be used. For each of these substance there is one proportion which will destroy the rerms, and another which will arrest their vegetat on but not destroy them. This last dose is the one -ith which we are generally obliged to content ourse ves. The experiments of Air. Koch and Mr. Miq Lel show that the narcotic effect begins to be effect ive on microbes only when the substance in which tl ey are vegetating contains, among a thousand parts, >5 parts of alcohol, or 70 of 130 SCOIE.
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