Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Such findings so aptly provided for an intracellular occurrence of lipochrome that the working hypothesis for the nerve cell was based on them. The point that first focused our attention on the probable carotinoid identity of nerve cell lipochrome was its absence in the rabbit and dog. The rabbit and dog have colorless fat. Man and cattle, known to show intracellular lipochrome, have colored fat.

Verification was first sought in the chicken. With the use for the most part of Palmer's chickens above described, two series were run, the one lacking carotinoid containing food from birth, the other carotinoid fed. The carotinoid feeding ranged from a one week's introduction in a bird hitherto carotinoid free to a lifelong natural pigment food in others. In one half of the chickens of both series the factor of depression by heat, phosphorus, morphine or a rice flour diet was introduced to cover the side of disease.

The results were uncomplicated. Both normal and depressed chickens on any carotinoid diet showed the presence of the characteristic yellow pigment in all nerve cells. The carotinoid-free chickens lacked such a pigment in demonstrable amount.

However, this physiological demonstration of the introduction of carotinoid pigment demands for completeness the support of microchemistry. The question at once arises if the pigment introduced in nervous and other body tissues is identical with the lipofuscin, “wear. and-tear," fat-holding pigment described for the nerve and other somatic cells as specific. While it is true that the micro-chemistry of the lipochrome pigments is superficial, which is the reason that the analysis by that means has hitherto failed, yet it must be emphasized that it has become quite sufficient to demonstrate this identity. The application of this chemistry was more simple in our problem when following a means of providing or withdrawing the pigment at will. The yellow pigment introduced in nerve cells and the chicken skin, and the pigment of the carrot in frozen sections give the fat stains, the oxidation and decolorization by hydrogen peroxid and ferric

chlorid, the fat stains after oxidation, and the rapid solubilities in fat solvents in common with a supposed lipofuscin; while the most characteristic test for lipofuscin, the Nile blue stain of Hueck, equally applies to known lipochrome before and after its oxidation. This supposed metabolic pigment of the nerve cell is then identical with a true lipochrome.

Finally in corroboration of the species difference in the transferrence of the carotinoid pigment from plants, the cow as well as the chicken exhibits it in nerve cells, while swine with their colorless fat line up with the rabbit and dog in a complete absence. Man, who is best known to exhibit lipochrome, is also known to carry carotinoids in his blood serum, and has colored fat. The consistency is complete.

The lipochrome pigment of the nerve cell is therefore a plant carotinoid, derived from the food, but limited to such species as carry the carotinoids in the blood serum. The conception of it as a “wear-and-tear” pigment falls to the ground with its demonstration as an exogenous and fortuitous pigment. The melanin of the nerve cell is a true metabolic pigment, derived from nuclear materials and produced by chronic depression. Because of this, the conception of a "wear-and-tear” pigment is to be transferred to the melanin, as conditioned by agencies without the cell, with a restriction to the abnormal.

DAVID H. DOLLEY,

FRANCES V. GUTHRIE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

[blocks in formation]

SCIENCE

[blocks in formation]

OFFICIAL FIELD CROP INSPECTION

Now, when it has been forcibly brought out that the nation is vitally interested in farm results and that to get maximum production, some system of efficient supervision is essential it may not be out of place to call attention to a line of work in which official supervision would be beneficial and for various reasons quite essential, even under normal conditions. There is a phase of farm cropping, especially with cereals, in which the state is not only vitally interested but could become of great aid to growers, and to the consuming public. That line of work may perhaps be properly named official field crop inspection.

Great strides have been made, from the educational standpoint, in crop improvement during the past twenty-five years. It is apparent, however, to those who are closest to the work that improvement in cereal cropping is not nearly proportionate to the general gain in information as to possible cropping methods. There is much knowledge as to tillage, crop rotation, seed breeding, and much improvement in farm machinery and methods of crop handling through farm machinery; yet the processes which, from a scientific standpoint are necessary to high production of yield and quality are not in common practise and, when used, are so intermittently followed as to cause failure of crop improvement that should otherwise naturally follow.

If the above is true, it is worth the attention of those of us who are specialists in certain lines of agriculture to try to determine the reasons for such failure to follow best processes and to arrive at a remedy along the lines which may result in getting the process constructively carried on.

For example, much work is done in breeding seeds. The states and nation are at much expense to allow certain experts to study Men

Scientific Books :-
Huntington's World-power and Evolution:
PROFESSOR CHARLES SCHUCHERT .......... 211

New Activities in the History of Science : Pro

FESSOR LOUIS C. KARPINSKI .............. 213

Special Articles :

The Motion of a Gravitating Needle: Pro-
FESSOR CARL BARUS ...

.......... 214

MSS. intended for publication and books, etc., intended for review should be sent to The Editor of Science, Garrison-onHudson, N. Y.

delian methods of cross-breeding and other might not be beyond reasonable expectation. lines of work which result in the introduction Further, I believe this would be doubly asof new varieties and kinds. Certain business sured were it no longer possible for a man to men who are concerned with the results are plant the same general crop two years in sucnot backward in saying that this introduction cession on the same land. For the land conof varieties is often harmful rather than bene- trol proposition, we may not yet be ready, but ficial and those of us who are close enough to certainly, for the seed control proposition we the field to note the results are perhaps will have reached the stage when it is folly to ing to admit that many valuable varieties are claim that further improvement can be made so intermixed and so jumbled as to merit such by simple process of education when almost disapproval.

all the processes of marketing and general It is safe to say that in cereal agriculture farm procedure are so conducted as to offset varieties are not kept separate, and are not any improvement that can be made by interhandled in the same intelligent method as mittent educational processes, however effectthat which characterizes the best fruit and ively administered. I need not only call atvegetable growing methods. Is there any rea- tention to the fact that there are very few son why such should be the case ?

new varieties of cereals which remain in reaAgain, as I have pointed out in other ad- sonably pure form past the third generation dresses, though most agriculturists and many on the farm and in the market. Very few of able farmers are convinced that a crop rota- the wheats in the leading districts survive a tion is a necessary process for best seed and decade before they are replaced by some new crop production in cereals, yet, there are few creation which runs perhaps only a shorter crop rotation series which are recognized for more precarious existence. any particular region which are carried out Opposition to Progress. Many of us are with any consistency. There must be some prone to descant on the initiative being left general reason which accounts for such fail in the hands of the farmer and many in the ures to apply the principles, methods and business world or manufacturing side are teachings which all of us and many able farm- pretty sure to decry any attempt to improve ers believe in.

matters by the enactment of law. I am quite I do not wish here to enter into a dis- convinced that laws which are enacted but cussion of crop rotation, soil tillage or purely never put into operation are useless. I am sanitary matters of cropping, but will call at also convinced that those which are enacted tention to one phase which I think illustrates and put into operation and which remain in the way out, so that processes known to be operation, such as the sanitary laws for the necessary may be constructively continuous control of Texas fever, smallpox and comI advocate a legal basis for bringing about pulsory disinfection after diphtheria, scarlet stability and standardization of varieties in fever, etc., are laws which should have been cereal cropping. I believe that there is good enacted and which, because they are still in excuse for official supervision of seed pro force, prove that there was a necessity for duction and distribution.

such enactment. I also believe that it will be I am not, I believe, unduly optimistic when understood that many laws are enacted which I affirm that under properly systematized seed do not need to be enforced. They form the standardization and sanitary cropping through educational basis for stable processes. Many means of proper handling of the soil and seed, good laws are self-operative. Such laws reany state or the nation might readily lift its main on the books as a basis and guide for annual average yield of wheat several bushels those officials whose business it is to advocate per acre per year. I think that a minimum progressive advance. Such law, for instance, increase of five to ten bushels per acre for is the ordinary anti-expectoration law. It proper systematic handling of the seed crop was easy to make fun of and to say that it

[ocr errors]

was unnecessary and that everything could be not be a continuous accumulation of such done by education, but who among us will diseases in the soil and seed of special crops, contend that such criticism or opposition was there would be many so-called “educated well founded ?

men” who would throw up their hands in Nevertheless, when we strike the matter of feigned horror. Yet enactment of such soil farming processes and indicate that there seed laws would be but a natural consequence should be sanitary laws affecting farm pro following upon years of investigation and escesses, officially supervised by state officers tablished knowledge relative to what should non-amenable to politics, etc., there are many be done in order to control such cereal diswho object and say that such laws are un- eases. In other words, it would be but a necessary and that we should "rely on educa- natural step toward carrying out present cational methods,” indicating that too much knowledge of cereal control through sanitary supervision will bring about stagnation, etc. methods so that the work done may not be Then there are others who are sure to call continually and perpetually a loss through the such laws “sumptuary,” etc., tending to pre- carelessness of ordinary marketing and farmvent individual freedom of action and toward ing processes. depression of business operations.

I discuss this phase of the sanitary question In years past we have gone so far in this as to soil and seed only to introduce the idea laissez faire line of non-control of farming of the necessity that the states attempt by law matters that any approach to supervision by to standardize seed quality through proper the state of any farming work is sure to be methods of seed cropping and seed control. resented by some line of business, even though I propose the thought that many of our soit meets with favor in the eyes of those for called “educational campaigns” need a basis whom it is intended to directly help. Thus, of equitable law. One can not expect sanifor example, there are few of us but can re- tary or proper planning to be carried out member the strenuous efforts to resist fertilizer merely on the suggestion of a professor from control lines of work, and the strong oppo- the agricultural college or of an extension sition to enactment of horticultural and ento- worker if the carrying out of the processes mological supervision for control of insect must be placed eternally upon the utopian and fungus pests, and to the enactment of basis that the man who does the work may simple seed inspection laws. Even now, in hope for some results but whether he does the work of plant disease control, it is ap- or does not get them he should and is exparent that there are yet those who insist that pected to do it so that his neighbor may the state should keep out; that there should also prosper. Merely to recite to him that be no supervisory laws affecting control work. the public should have the benefit of the When, for example, but lately it was pro- better crop that he will raise loses force after posed that the states and nation should at a time except it be backed by an emergency tempt control of wheat rust through barberry such as has come about under war conditions. eradication, there were not a few who should It is too great a strain on the word "loyalty" know most as to the reasons for the necessity to ask it, unless asked of all. In fact, the of such eradication, who spoke out freely and work will not be done with sufficient unanimfeeling in the advocacy of a “campaign of ity to give worth while results except it be education” and as though we had not had done by all continuously, year by year. The that campaign for nigh on to two centuries. proper basis for sanitation on the farm as to And now, if one should but propose compul- crops is not different from in the home, facsory seed treatment for cereals for prevention tory and school. It should rest on equitable of smut and control of scab and similar cereal law, educationally and equitably administered. diseases, or a law simply to prevent continu. I believe that the first step in cereal crop ous cropping of the land so that there might improvement rests in a further extension of

creased the wheat crop in the go at which

the corn districts that the soil

our state seed and weed laws and in the supply of seed for the general cropped areas, activity of the forces represented by them, to an area of wheat does not represent one of one include proper control of seed crop production variety but of several and of many types of and of seed and grain distribution.

infectious diseases which accumulate in seed Present Status of Seed Production, Crop- and soil. In other words, we have no reliable ping and Marketing of Cereals. In the line basis of holding a crop to standardization; of cereal cropping and marketing we are not and the work of each cereal crop improver progressing as fast as the growth of our and public educator on breeding dies with population calls for. The increase in popu him. As to the truth of this, one could cite lation and of the population of the world, many instances as Wellman, Haynes and even in peace time, calls for a marked in Saunders. crease in cereal crop production. This in- These are strong assertions but are easily creased demand has brought the total acre- maintained to the satisfaction of any person

who knows field and market conditions. In close to the maximum acreage at which the corn states, corn culture is so overdone labor is available for its production, and, what in large districts that the soil and seed is so is worse, has reached such a high annual acre- contaminated with Fusarial types of fungi and age in the chief regions of wheat culture that other corn root and seed infecting organisms it is becoming extremely difficult to plan a that the seed is generally reduced in vitality rotation which will give sufficient improve and the soil is so infected that in spite of the ment in the sanitary status of the soil as to cultivation which is a necessity in that crop, crop refuse as to allow of seed improvement. good disease-free seed often fails to properly In spite of our knowledge in the matters of germinate in good fertile soil. This is but sanitary cereal cropping no consistent steps the story of the cotton crop, the flax crop and are taken to bring about such uniformity and the wheat crop over again. continuity as may be likely to tend to im- The Way Out.-Without attempting to furprovement either in the seed quality used in ther argue the matter, I propose in every bulk, from year to year, or in crop quality. cereal-producing state a law authorizing seed,

These conditions result from: (1) The fail- field crop inspection, seed certification, seed ure of our educational campaigns to prevent standardization and seed sales lists, all to be the constant cropping of the soil to one crop done under supervision of an officer who holds or its close disease infected cereal relations, his position not through local or political apand (2) the failure to hold varieties up to the pointment, but because of his position as an standards of purity necessary to meet crop- investigator and educator associated with and ping and marketing needs. In the chief areas directed through the proper educational board. of cereal production, whether we mean wheat, The law should be of such scope as to afford oats, barley or corn, constant cropping prevail the basis for proper educational propaganda as against constant processes of sanitary crop which would come as a necessary adjunct of a rotation. Particularly in wheat, barley and law which should carry sufficient funds to allow oats cropping, the chief methods of produc- of demonstrations and field work in the laying tion violate all the rules relative to standard- out of seed plots for standardization work. ized seeds more commonly than they are prac It should carry sufficient funds to allow of tised. Here the large acreage producers and proper survey of every township so that there the elevators and processes of marketing, speed- should be at least a local supply of seeds ily undo all the ideas of crop sanitation and grown which may be looked upon by the resigrain standardization. At least, they speed- dents of that township as standard stuff of ily bring the entire mass to an equilibrium of a given variety, and so inspected that it is minimum yield and uniformity of admixtures. reasonably free from the infectious diseases As the country elevator furnishes the chief characteristic of the crop. The law should be

« ZurückWeiter »