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essential, have recovered without any such ministration. Secondly, That although we have employed it with the same view that we have applied the actual cautery for hysterical simulation of articular disease,, that is, to make a forcible impression on the patients mind,—we entirely distrust the benefit supposed to result from the effect directly produced on the orifices of the seminal vessels. On the whole, then, we do not think that this book should be regarded as a creditable contribution to medical science; and we consequently cannot congratulate the translator either on the service which he has rendered to his profession, or the line of practice with which he has thought proper to connect himself.
PHYSIOLOGY. EXPERIMENTS ON THE PANCREATIC FLUID OF THE CALF. BY M. J. L. LASSAIGNE.
Since it has been shown that the pancreatic fluid extracted from the dog, enjoys the remarkable property of making an emulsion with oil, and of causing its transformation into fatty acids, either at ordinary temperatures or at the temperatures of the bodies of mammalia; it has become matter of interest to submit to similar experiments the pancreatic fluid obtained from a large herbivorous animal, with the view of ascertaining if it acts in the same manner.
M. Colin, director of the anatomical department of the school of Alfort, having procured some of it, by the method shown to him by M. Bernard, and which he had successfully put in practice with the dog, a small quantity was sent to M. Lassaigne, which he immediately examined.
The pancreatic fluid of the calf, which has an amber yellow colour, is inodorous, is transparent and limpid, and possesses a tolerably marked saline taste; when tested with reddens litmus paper, it restores the blue tint. Heated, it becomes opalescent and turbid, and deposits some coagulated white flakes, which attach themselves to the sides of the vessel in which the experiment is made.
The small quantity at the author's disposal not permitting of a direct analysis, he thought it right to examine, in concert with M. Colin, the action which it exercises on oils.
For this purpose he divided it into several portions in glass tubes, and added to each portion a drop of pure olive oil. The agitation to which he subjected the tubes, formed no emulsion—the oil separating speedily, and floating on the top.
The prolongation of the experiment did not produce any effect, even after eight hours of contact at a temperature of 60° Fahr., the oil having remained neutral, and the liquid preserving its primitive alkalinity. Subsequently exposing these same tubes in a salt-water bath to 100° Fahr., and keeping up this temperature for fourteen hours, produced no change in the properties of the oil, or in those of the pancreatic juice subjected to the experiment.
This result is opposed to that obtained from the pancreatic juice of the dog, is it constant in the herbivorous animal, or is it an exceptional occurrence due to an alteration in the pancreatic juice of the animal, caused by the painful operation to which it had been subjected? The author does not admit the latter hy. pothesis, seeing that the animal survived, and did not appear to suffer in health. Journ. de Pharm., March 1851. FURTHER EXPERIMENTS ON THE PANCREATIC JUICE OF THE DOG.
BY M. J. L. LASSAIGNE. We know from the interesting experiments of MM. Bernard and Bareswil, that the pancreatic juice possesses the remarkable property of forming an emulsion with fatty bodies, either vegetable or animal, and of transforming them into fatty acids and glycerine, at the temperature of from 95° to 100° Fahr.
M. Bernard, in subsequently repeating, at the school of Alfort, along with M. Colin, the process by the aid of which he obtained the pancreatic fluid from animals, remitted to M. Lassaigne a portion of this juice, which he had extracted himself from a dog of middle size.
The experiments to which he submitted it, allow him to add some facts to those already known, and of which the principal may be stated in the following propositions :
1. The action of the pancreatic juice upon oils is produced even at the temperature of 53 to 60° Fahr. in some hours." In fact, on moistening several points of blue litmus paper with the emulsion produced by the olive oil and pancreatic juice, the moistened portions of the blue paper reddened shortly, from the circumference to the centre, on exposing to the air ; and to produce this effect, it was not found necessary to leave the mixture during twelve or fourteen hours at the temperature of the bodies of mammalia, as has been advanced by the authors quoted above.
2. The mixture of the pancreatic juice and oil becomes acid at ordinary temperatures, as the author has ascertained after an experiment of similar duration.
3. This acidification is produced in oxygen, air, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbonic oxide gases; the air does not seem to participate in this singular change, which is perhaps due to a force of the same nature as that designated by Berzelius, “ catalytic force," to explain certain re-actions in organs and inorganic chemistry.
4. The pancreatic juice can preserve its alkalinity and property of acting on oil for several days.
5. Under the same circumstances in which the oil is modified by this fluid, sugar and gum undergo no alteration, a circumstance which points out the speciality of the action which it exercises on fatty bodies.--Journ. de Pharm., March 1851.
MATERIA MEDICA. ON THE OXIDATION OF AMMONIA IN THE HUMAN BODY, WITH SOME REMARKS ON
NITRIFICATION. BY DR H. B. JONES. The author having shown, in a paper lately communicated to the Royal Society, that the effect of tartrate of ammonia on the acidity of the urine was totally different from that of tartrate of potash, and that carbonate of ammonia taken in very large quantities, did not produce any alkaline re-action of the urine, but that, on the contrary, the acidity was rather increased than diminished by such doses, repeated the experiments with carbonate of ammonia, hoping to obtain more decided results. Although, from these experiments, it was again apparent that no diminution of the acid re-action resulted from taking carbonate of ammonia, yet the fact of any great increase in the acidity of the urine could not be determined. In his former paper, the author suggested that an inquiry into the occurrence of nitric acid in the urine would probably give the solution of this unexpected effect of carbonate of ammonia; and he was led to undertake the experiments described in the present paper with the view of detecting the presence of that acid under particular circumstances.
The indigo test for nitric acid being more delicate than the proto-sulphate of iron test, it was chiefly employed; but a mixture of starch with a drop or two of solution of hydriodate of potash and hydrochloric acid was found to be a far more delicate test than either. Beginning with 10 grs. of nitrate of potash added to 10 oz. of urine, it was found at last that as little as 1 gr. of nitre to 10 oz. of urine could be detected with the greatest certainty and clearness when the starch test was used; but this quantity could not be detected as surely by the indigo test.
Experiments are described in which carbonate of ammonia was given, in doses varying from 10 grs. to 7 grs., to a healthy man in whose urine no nitric acid could previously be detected ; and the urine was tested at intervals of several hours after each dose. From these it appears that 10 grs. was the smallest quantity that gave decided evidence of nitric acid by both tests.
Having satisfied himself that when carbonate of ammonia was taken, small quantities of nitric acid passed off in the urine, the author made similar experiments with tartrate of ammonia, administered in doses of 60 and 40 grs. ; and in each case the starch test gave evidence of the presence of nitric acid in the urine some hours after. Similar experiments with the muriate of ammonia are next described; and in these the presence of nitric acid in the urine was readily detected three hours after the administration of the dose, even when it was so small as 10 grs.
By an experiment described in the paper, it was shown, that by a simple combustion of ammonia out of the body, as well as in the body, nitric acid was produced. From other experiments it appears that urea, also, by oxidation, whether in the body or out of the body, gives rise to nitric acid.
Having found that nitric acid was produced more readily and frequently than had been supposed to be the case, the author was led to try whether combustions in the atmosphere without ammonia could not give nitric acid. The presence of this acid was, in consequence, detected in the products of the combustion of alcohol, of coal, of a wax candle, and of hydrogen.
As this led to the supposition that nitric acid might exist in rain-water at all times, experiments were made on the rain-water collected on wet days in London, and the presence of nitric acid was discovered by the starch and also by the indigo test.
The conclusions the author comes to from his experiments are:
1. That the action of oxygen takes place in the body, not only on hydrogen, carbon, sulphur, and phosphorus, but also on nitrogen.
2. That in all cases of combustion, out of the body and in the body, if ammonia be present, it will be converted partly into nitric acid.
3. That the nitrogen of the air is not indifferent in ordinary cases of combustion, but that it gives rise to minute quantities of nitric acid.
He further remarks, that the production of nitric acid from ammonia in the body adds another to the many instances of the action of oxygen in man; and that the detection of nitric acid in the urine may lead to the conclusion, that the blood is being freed from ammonia, or from substances closely related to it, as urea, or possibly caffeine and other alkaloids.-Chemical Gazette, April 1851.
ON THE INFLUENCE OF MERCURY IN THE PRODUCTION OF CANCRUM ORIS. BY
DR DUGAS. The author states that in his district (Georgia) the occurrence of gangrenous affections of the cheeks, lips, and gums, in children, is by no means uncommon, and there are few communities in which there may not be found some living evidences of its havocs upon the face, as well as of the possibility of occasionally preventing a fatal result. He does not know of any satisfactory explanation of the fact that it affects exclusively those of tender years, and most frequently those between five and eight years of age. The object of his communication is to direct attention to a corresponding susceptibility of children of this age to mercurial salivation and sloughing, and to elicit the inquiry into the probable influence of NEW SERIES. -N0. XVII. MAY 1851.
mercurials in the occasional causation or excitation of such a state of things. Without denying, for a moment, that sloughing phagedena, cancrum oris, or gangrenopsis (as the affection is variously denominated) may and does occur in individuals who have never taken mercurials, he inquires whether it is not probable, that the use of an agent which does of itself sometimes induce a very similar destruction of tissues, and which is especially prone to do so at the very period of life most subject to gangrenopsis, may increase the tendency to this disease, if any exist in the system ? Having had his attention very early drawn to the danger of giving calomel to children during the period of second dentition, he is disposed to attribute to it the fact, that during a practice of twenty years he has never had a case of gangrenopsis which had not originated in the hands of others. He relates the case of a family of five children, three of whom had during the autumn successively taken with remittent fever, and died with most awful sloughing of the cheeks and lips. They were all treated with calomel. Discouraged at the result, the parents determined to change their medical adviser, and he was requested to see the other two children when similarly affected with fever. These were treated without mercurials, and recovered without gangrenopsis.-Southern Medical and Surgical Journal, October 1850, and Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal, March 19th, 1851.-Pp. 164.
THE DISINFECTING PROPERTIES OF CHLORINE. BY DR WEINSCH. The author, who considers cholera to be infectious, believes that the contagion is completely destroyed by chlorine. He advises the placing in the sick-rooms flat vessels with solution of chlorinated lime, washing the clothes and utensils of patients with this liquid, enveloping the bodies of the dead in winding-sheets soaked with it, and impregnating the atmosphere of the apartments with gaseous chlorine. He experimented also with contagious matter, especially vaccine lymph, the matter of scabies and of gonorrhea, and found that chlorine completely destroyed the activity of these contagions. In his experiments, he evolved the gas from a bottle, carried it by a tube, fitting by a cork, into a glass-bottle, with the bottom cut off; this rested in a cup filled with water, and the matter to be experimented on was placed upon a glass plate within the bottle, and was thus exposed to an atmosphere of chlorine. The chlorine appears to act very energetically upon the contagious matter, which seems to be rapidly so completely decomposed that it loses all its characteristic property. The matter commonly becomes thicker, more viscid, and acquires a darker colour. Vaccine virus, the matter of itch and of gonorrhæa, thus treated, were applied by inoculation to several individuals, but were quite innocuous.-Schmidt's Jahrbücher, No.I., 1851.
EDINBURGH MEDICO-CHIRURGICAL SOCIETY. MEETING V.–March 19, 1851.-Dr BEGBIE, President, in the Chair. Dr Robert Hamilton read some extracts from a medical report of the Edinburgh Eye Infirmary for the year 1850. The report had been drawn up by the medical officers of the institution-Benjamin Bell, Esq., F.R.C.S., &c., and himself. It has since been published.-(See Monthly Journal, April 1851.)
Mr Syme read a case of stricture of the urethra treated by external incision. The subject of Mr Syme's observations was one of the cases alluded to in Mr Miller's communication of the 19th February. The patient was a gentleman under forty years of age, during twenty of which he had suffered from stricture of the urethra. He had been under the care of various surgeons, and treated by the old method of dilatation without relief. In these circumstances, he sub mitted to the operation recently proposed by Mr Syme, which was performed by that gentleman. During the progress of recovery, symptoms manifested themselves which created some degree of alarm, but which Mr Syme thought of little consequence. A small abscess formed in the scrotum, and was evacuated by incision eight days after the operation. - The points of the case most deserving of attention were, in Mr Syme's opinion,
- 1st, That a stricture of twenty years' duration, which had resisted prolonged treatment by different practitioners, and progressively increased in severity, with serious derangement of the general health, was completely relieved by external incision; and 2d, That twelve months having passed without any re-appearance of the peculiar characters denoting the irritable or contractile stricture, the relief thus obtained might, he thought, be reasonably deemed permanent.
In conclusion, Mr Syme remarked that the mode of treatment he proposed was intended for the relief, not of stricture in its ordinary form, which readily yields to dilatation, but of that which resists this and all other known means of remedy. Unless a stricture resists dilatation, or speedily contracts after dilatation, he does not resort to division. • Mr Miller, Dr Matthews Duncan, and Mr Syme, took part in the discussion which followed.
SPECIAL MEETING.-April 2, 1851.-Dr DOUGLAS MACLAGAN, Vice-President,
in the Chair.
CALCULI IN KIDNEY. Dr Omond exhibited a kidney, containing a number of calculi in a progressive state of development, taken from a female patient, aged 50, in the Perth Infirmary. · When admitted she was in extreme exhaustion, and low delirium and coma supervened. The urine, when examined shortly before death, showed traces of albumen, without any crystalline deposit, while, under the microscope, it was seen to be loaded with pus globules.
MELANOSIS. Dr W. T. Gairdner exhibited a specimen of melanotic tubercle of the pleura and lung, from a patient who died in the hospital under the care of Professor Syme. The melanotic deposit existed in the penis, urethra, lymphatic glands of the groin and of the lumbar region, in the liver, spleen, kidneys, and in both lungs and pleuræ. The cause of death was serous and sanguineous effusion into the left pleura. Dr Gairdner also exhibited, without remark, a specimen of Bright's disease of the kidney, presenting unusually distinct granulations.
ON ELECTRO-BIOLOGY. F Dr Alexander Wood read a communication (see p. 407), entitled “Contributions towards the Study of Certain Phenomena which have recently been denominated Experiments in Electro-Biology." In the introduction of the paper, after some remarks on the common concurrence of scepticism in matters resting on authority, with credulity as to the marvellous, and on the peculiar tendency in this direction of the present age, he divided mesmeric phenomena into two classes :
Ist. Analogous, or those presenting characteristics showing their affinity with certain states of the body existing in health or disease.
2d. Heterologous, or those, such as clairvoyance, for which we had no analogues at all.
He assigned reasons for declining to consider the latter at all, in the present state of evidence regarding them; and therefore, restricting the inquiry to the first exclusively, he discussed it under the following divisions :