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is a moot point. Pott, Sir A. Cooper, Boyer, and Malgaigne, deny the possibility of such an occurrence; while Bichat and Desault admit it. Monteggia has recorded a case which seems indisputable. He found, in the body of a man who died a few days after several fruitless attempts had been made at reduction, the opening in the capsular ligament so narrow that the head of the bone could only be restored to its normal position after dilatation of the opening by incision. Pétrequin has adduced another case in corroboration. *
We may observe, in conclusion, that each fasciculus contains eight folio pages of letterpress and four plates in illustration, which are well and tastefully executed in lithography. The usefulness of the latter might, we think, be still further enhanced if the more complicated drawings were accompanied by outline sketches, as the introduction of tinting would probably render a higher price necessary. We augur favourably of the progress of the work, from what has appeared. We consider it well-timed, and likely to be acceptable to the profession, especially if the author will avoid the mannerism of style above adverted to.
Investigations, Chemical and Physiological, relative to certain American Verte
brata. By JOSEPH JONES, M.D., Professor of Chemistry in the Savannah Medical College. (* Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge.' Published by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, July, 1856. 4to, pp. 137. With 27
Woodcuts.) There are few departments of physiological research that promise such interesting results as those in which the resources of modern chemistry are brought to bear upon the diverse circumstances under which life is carried on in the various animals. Merely to investigate the structure and organization of a number of unknown species, gains much for physiology. To learn their natural history, their habits, their climate, their food-adds still more, by vivifying (as it were) that anatomical knowledge which is, perhaps, always more living than its subjectmatter would suggest. But to trace by chemical research the nature and amount of those changes that constitute the physical life of the animal, gives a third and complementary means of inquiry, which may almost be said to exhaust our methods of research, and to restrict all future inquiry to the inexhaustible (but narrower) objects of amplifying and correcting the information derived from these three sources.
Among the many countries which the next few years may fairly be expected to bring forward as contributors of such information, the fauna of America renders it one of the most promising. And whatever may be the deficiencies of the book We now introduce to our readers, it is impossible to avoid expressing the hopeor rather the belief-that it will have the merit of inaugurating a series of researches of this kind, such as this great country has unusual facilities for undertaking. Vast as are the strides made by American physic and physiology during the last few years, they have scarcely been commensurate with the advances it has made during the same period in other sciences
. And this factwhich we suspect depends chiefly on the very indirect visible relation borne by physiology to the material prosperity of a nation-perhaps entitles us to assert, that nothing short of the careful cultivation of the higher branches of biological science by men especially affected thereto, can give America her proper position in this, the greatest (because the most useful) of modern sciences.
* Gazette Médicale, p. 20. 1837.
The chemical character of Dr. Joseph Jones's investigations is illustrated by a vast number of analyses, which indeed constitute the greater (just as they are scientifically the most accurate) part of the contents of his memoir. With laudable candour, he begins by detailing the method of analysis he has adopted in his numerous analyses of the blood; a proceeding which, always of extreme importance as a necessary condition for comparing the results of any two different chemists, is, if possible, even more essential in the chemistry of the blood. We are sorry to add that the practical usefulness of snch an explicit statement is only too well shown in the book before us; in which, with every wish to find our critical functions limited to a laudatory résumé of a very elaborate and interesting treatise, we have been obliged to come to the conclusion that the analyses which form its most important ingredients are so rough and inexact—not to say faultyas scarcely to deserve the name “analysis” at all. It seems to us, in short, that the author's process of analysing the blood is one which is sure to present, in its results, errors the amount of which can scar
arcely be estimated, but which are sufficient to destroy almost all their usefulness.
The solids of the blood are determined by evaporation of this fluid in a chloride of calcium bath, at a temperature which seems rather a high one-namely, 220° to 230° Fahr. Such a temperature at least would entail a loss of substances which, if not ranking as solids, are perhaps too important to be altogether overlooked, such as ammonia and fatty acids. In any case, however, this would hardly be a material error. But this process is repeated for the serum; the solids of which per 1000 parts of blood are next calculated on the extraordinary assumption, that the water of the blood “exists wholly in the form of serum.” Further, “the amount of albumen and extractive matters in 1000 parts of blood may be determined by subtracting the saline matter of the serum from the solid residue of the same, as determined by the above calculation.” The dried corpuscles are also determined by calculation, by subtracting the fibrin and the solids of the serum from the entire blood-solids. To obtain the moist corpuscles, the author merely multiplies the dry by four, a formula which (while we quite share his respect for Schmidt, its inventor) we must say is, on the very face of it, very doubtful, when perverted from a convenient summing up of some observations in the higher Mammalia to a means of inquiry in the opposite extremity of the Vertebrate series. We presume the salts of the corpuscles are obtained by subtraction also, as are confessedly the dried organic constituents of the serum.
It is surely unnecessary to comment upon such a method of research, or to point out how the unavoidable errors of its first steps, instead of being checked and exposed by its next, are added to, and every now and then multiplied, by those that follow, until the figures expressing the results become almost valueless-utterly valueless, at any rate, as regards those smooth and perfidious decimals that stand at the right hand of the dominant whole numbers, like the fawning parasites of an Eastern court. No wonder that our author's tables are numerous, and their totals as neat and perfect as those in an audit of a Royal British Bank! All that we can say is, if this be analysis, every man who separates the coins accidentally mixed in his pocket, into gold, silver, and copper, has conducted a process possessing nearly equal claims to a scientific character, and (like M. Jourdain talking prose so many years without knowing it) is an unconscious analytical chemist.
Another prominent and even systematic fault of the book is, that it mixes with valuable original observations a large quantity of physiological doctrine, such as would be only excusable in a loquacious meinber of a small medical society, or a student newly “ground for the College.” Here and there may be found statements objectionable chiefly because out of place: solids (if we may use the comparison) derived from well-known text-books, and imperfectly suspended in much water. Much allowance ought of course to be made for that fatal wish to be striking and eloquent, which is said to be epidemic across the Atlantic. But authors other than American sometimes require to be reminded that dilution and admixture, which are bad taste in poetry and narrative, are something much worse in strict scientific inquiries. Especially, the details of a series of observations are positively injured by the interpolation of doctrines, which may be useful without being probable, and probable without being true. Unconsciously perhaps to the reader, they impair the exactness of his comprehension, if indeed they do not lower the credibility he attaches to the whole. And hence, when we find such phrases as “unstable arrangement of atoms," and "feeble states of vital force," side by side with per-centages, and other details elicited by careful research, we cannot help wishing that the author had remembered the advice given to the lazy waiter in the jest-book by the angry gourmet--had put the flies and the soup into two separate dishes, leaving those of his intellectual guests who liked them mingled to mix for themselves.
But it is hard to see so much ability and research thrown away, without making an effort to save every possible fragment. And before passing on to notice the valuable and suggestive facts which lie scattered through these Essays, it is impossible to avoid inquiring whether the above general inaccuracies and oversights in our author's method of analysis can be tracked in such a way as to receive any correction, however vague or conjectural. Without answering such a question with a direct affirmative, we may point out two of his most important numerical estimates, the errors of which are not only marked, but almost measurable. As already stated, our author assumes that the water of the blood exists wholly in the form of serum. Taking the latter words in their strict sense, they would imply that the moist blood-corpuscles were anhydrous. But as this cannot have been intended, we infer that what Dr. Jones really wished to express was, that this water was present in a serum, which soaks the contents of the corpuscles. It is hardly necessary to call attention to the more than equivocal title of such a fluid to the term “serum;" or to say that, though of course it has never been isolated in sufficient quantity for any real analysis, we are fully entitled to assert that its composition is utterly different from that of the true serum—from that of the intercellular fluid of the blood deprived of its fibrin. Indeed, there can be no reasonable doubt that the cavity of the blood-corpuscle is occupied by a plasma of great richness and density-one which probably, in both these respects, as far transcends the liquor sanguinis (d fortiori the seruin), as this latter does the average nutritional fluid of the tissues, if we may use so vague a term. Calculating in this way the solids of the serum in 1000 parts of blood, our author therefore adds to the true serum a fluid quite distinct from it. He thus estimates the solids of the serum at far too high an amount. While, on the other hand, since he subtracts the mixed solids of this compound " serum” from the total bloodsolids, to give the solids of the corpuscles (“ dried corpuscles”), it is evident that he estimates these at as much too low an amount.
To determine the precise amounts of excess and deficiency respectively, is of course impossible. Indirectly, however, they may be guessed' at. For it is evident that what one gains the other loses; that the nominal albumen and extractive of the so-called serum contains what is really part of the deficient blood-corpuscles. So that, for example, if we could assume any maintenance of the ordinary proportion between the two in healthy human blood (about one part of solids of plasma to three of dried corpuscles), it would be easy to give a formula for reducing our author's numerous results to the analyses of other chemists. But this is precisely what we cannot do. It is probable that the proportion of solids of the corpuscles to solids of the plasma, varies extremely throughout the Vertebrate series. And though there seem evident indications that this variation is mainly at the expense of the plasma-in other words, that the materials of the corpuscles, perhaps even the total bulk of these bodies themselves, is a far less fluctuating quantity than the solid residuum of their liquor sanguinis, which is disproportionately poor in albuminous materials throughout the lower orders of the Vertebrate class still this fact little assists us. And even in the Mammalia, these proportions seem to have wide variations. Thus the blood of few of the higher Mammalia approaches more nearly to that of man than the blood of the dog. And yet, while some of the best chemists of modern times (especially Schmidt and Lehmann) assign to the solids of the corpuscles and plasma in man an amount of 156 and 48-5 respectively-a proportion nearly that of three to one above alluded to--these numbers in the blood of the dog appear to be about 151 and 75, or two to one respectively ;-& contrast in favour of the plasma of the lower animal, such as may perhaps be referred to its carnivorous diet, but assuredly not without some hesitation and reserve.
Hence, with no definite proportion between either the quantity or the residuum of the serum and corpuscles, such as might be supposed approximatively constant throughout the classes of animals whose blood has been examined by our author, it is impossible to offer more than the general statement, that the albumen and extractive of the liquor sanguinis are systematically represented above, and the dried corpuscles below, their true quantity. It may, however, be conjectured that the amount of these two errors is diminished in the Fishes and Reptiles, in whom the probably greater difference in the quantity of these two residua renders the similar errors less influential; or, in other words, the poorer plasma deducts less from the comparatively less altered corpuscles.
These remarks appear to be fully confirmed by comparing two estimates given by our author, of the blood of a dog in the ill-fed and well-fed states, with the results of other observers. Careful analyses by a variety of chemists, especially Andral, Berthold, Delafond, Denis, Dumas, Gavarret, Nasse, and Prévost, afford an average (deduced from about thirty instances) of the amount of the dried cor. puscles in this animal; and a similar, but smaller, series of observations gives us the quantity of solids of the serum.
Contrasting the former with the estimates calculated by Dr. Jones, we are at once struck by their complete reversal of the proportions obtained by this gentle
And while we thus find the calculations of Dr. Jones exhibiting precisely the discrepancies above deduced from a consideration of his method, it is interesting to notice that the very amount of these discrepancies seems to be also explained. Allowing for the rather unusual quantity of water present in the blood of the dog he examined—a circumstance which might easily be due to the idiosyncrasy or habits of the animal—the discrepancy of the two series is exactly removed, by supposing that the sernm-solids of the latter include so much of the solids of the corpuscles as would correspond to a nearly equal quantity of these cells; in other words, to anything approaching such a quantitative mixture of corpuscles and liquor sanguinis as obtains in the human subject. Thus, 72:+111-26 =183.26 : and ; (183.26)+}(183.26)=122:17+61.1, numbers which have nearly the same proportions to each other as the above 151 and 75.
But though Dr. Jones's analyses seem to us quite wanting in that accuracy* necessary for throwing much new light on the important subject of the comparative chemistry of the blood, and though for a similar reason they cannot even be connected and compared with those of preceding chemists, it would be wrong to overlook the information they bring on many points. Of these, some of the most interesting seem to be the following:
As regards the quantity of the blood, he shows how inapplicable are the methods suggested by Valentin and Lehmann; the first being the results of injecting a given quantity of water on the specific gravity of the blood ; the second, being the quantity of grape-sugar requisite for its escaping decomposition in the blood, so as to be eliminated by the kidneys. He adopts the simple expedient of holding the animal's body perpendicularly downwards, with extended neck, after having divided both jugulars and carotids; and sagaciously adds, that this method is peculiarly adapted to cold blooded animals, from the fact that their hearts continue beating for many hours after almost all blood has been abstracted. In this way, he found that the quantity of blood contained in the Chelonian and Ophidian reptiles he examined, amounted to a fraction of one-tenth to one-seventeenth of the weight of the body; or, approximatively, to a proportion of the total bodily mass scarcely half that found in the higher Mammalia.
* We pass over many lesser inaccuracies which may be charitably presumed to be errors chiefly of expression. For example, "If we multiply the number of dry blood-corpuscles by four, we obtain the quantity of fresh bloodcells.” The errors of orthography are probably the printer's. But in a rather sumptuous essay in quarto, such phrases as “liquor potassa," ** aqua ammonia," have a strange appearance.
In respect to the fibrin, it is curious that, while our author's facts tend decidedly to confirm the views of Zimmerman respecting its subordinate (or rather excretory) import, his opinions appear to be those still retained in most of the physiological text-books of the day. The strong arguments brought forward by Simon, in this country,* seem scarcely to have found any favour in his eyes, even while his observations repeat some of their most important statements in a newer and weightier form than they have ever hitherto been brought forward.
Thus, on inspecting the mere amounts of fibrin in one thousand parts of blood, as determined by Dr. Jones in some sixteen birds, reptiles, and fishes, we are struck by the wide range they offer. Excluding three instances in which its quantity and solubility prevented any definite estimate being made, the minimum and maximum of fibrin vary as widely as 35 and 5'73 respectively, and correspond with two Chelonian animals, the Snapping turtle (Chelonuria serpentina), and the Gopher (Testudo polyphemus), in whom the different diet (carnivorous and vegetivorous respectively) appears to be the only great nutritional fact of correlative importance ; while their structure seems to differ in scarcely any other respects than in those peculiarities of the digestive apparatus which we should expect to find varying consonantly with this difference of alimentation. Without assuming that the blood of the vegetivorous reptile really contains sixteen times the quantity of fibrin of the carnivorous one, or that the difference, if in no degree accidental, may not be somewhat compensated by other peculiaries of the blood-it is strange to find the fibrin-eating animal suddenly degrading (if not disposing of) the vast surplus of this principle it habitually eats, while the creature, by whom this and the other protein-compounds are obtained in scanty (and probably but necessary) amounts, exhibits a large proportion of what is supposed to be the highest result of the ingestion and elaboration of nutriment.
In the fishes and batrachians examined, the quantity of fibrin was scarcely to be determined from its unstable character, it being redissolved in the blood with great rapidity after its first deposition. This and facts of the same kind, which bave also been noticed by other observers, confirm the opinion of Mulder and others, that fibrin has little claim to be regarded as a specific compound, identical in composition as it exists in different species or individuals. They show, indeed, that it merges into albumen by what are probably innumerable gradations; and that it is often so utterly incapable of isolation from albumen, that not only is any quantitative estimate inaccurate, but that a scanty deposit of fibrin is likely to be sometimes overlooked altogether.
These, however, are by no means the deductions which the same facts suggest to Dr. Jones, who impresses upon his reader, with obtrusive italics, that “from this table we learn that the fibrin constitutes a remarkable index of the vital, organic, and intellectual endowments of animals.”
With respect to this opinion it need only be said, that, whatever view we take of fibrin, to whichever extreme of nutritional life we regard it as pertaining; whether it be the very pinnacle and climax of blood-life (as is suggested by Carpenter and Paget) or its decay and obsolescence (as is taught by Zimmerman and Simon), there is little difficulty in understanding why it should generally vary with
* Lectures on Pathology, p. 49. London, 1850.