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VoL. 107 JANUARY, 1935 No. I 



T HAS been charged by some that much of our present social dis- 
comfort is due to the fact that Science moves ahead too fast and 
leaves our social structures weak and incomplete. In partial proof of 
this they call attention to the “great mistakes of public health per- 
formances.” Thus, they claim, the increase in the span of life, due to 
the health sciences, only means a larger quota of old and useless de- 
pendents and an obvious population increase. Conservation of child 
life, by the same token, piles up the population. Then, too, they call 
attention to the conquest of the plagues that once provided ample 
pruning of the much too rapid growth of Adam’s progeny. All of 
these achievements, they say, only incline to add to a population already 
embarrassed, already too full for comfort, leaving only the hideous 
instrumentality of war to dam and damn the flood of earth’s time- 
binding parasites. Birth control and the sterilization of the unfit, 
acknowledgedly the plans and performances of the proponents of the 
scientific method, are held to be of little significance as bars against 

More people, with less to do, again because of progress in the 
mechanical sciences, add to the world’s dilemma. The mechaniz- 
ing and standardizing of the industries have robbed the willing work- 
man of his chance to live in decent comfort—and the dole will be 
eventually the most significant weapon in the barren armory of the 
great New Deal. 

All of these things, and more, they allege, are due to the rabid, 
rapid, scientific progress. 

“Slow up” is their challenge and charge to technology. 

“Catch up” is the answer of Science!! 


Science Marches On! = 

Conceit, not courage, is too frequently the force that finds an 

editorial writer rushing madly to the front page. He loves to see 

his dressed-up thoughts parade the promenade of print. “A panoply 

of phrase without a single fact”—-such was the newspaper editorial 

the reading of which occasioned this bit of writing. This is how the 
editorial ended ! 

“Let Science lag a while—invention hide its head—the pro- 
fessor sleep a long, long sleep, and soon enough the destinies of 
the world will take a better turn. Let Science stop its foolish 
challenge to the gods!” 

How inane! How asinine! 

For so little it is, after all, that humanity knows—and how much 
its destinies, science or no science, still rest and ever will rest in the 
limber laps of the gods who nod serenely on Olympus. 

And those who fear the day when man himself shall reach 
Olympus, need worry none—for 

“like the day, in flight before the night, 
God calls his caravan—at man’s approach 
Calls his swift caravan—and moves, moves on.” 

That dreaded, dreadful day will never come when man, for all his 
progress, dare shake his fist at heaven and heave his challenge at the 

In the meantime Science zz// carry on—and the record of progress 
for the year just tucked away by Chronos shows that it is the pro- 
fessors and not the dictators, the scientists and not the sociologists, 
who lead the race to real achievements. 

Read this record of the progress ¢ of science in certain fields 
during 1934. 


Triple weight hydrogen, three times as heavy per atom as the 
ordinary kind, was discovered at Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory 
by Lord Rutherford and Drs. M. L. Oliphant and P. Harteck; at 
Carnegie Institution’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism by Dr. 
M. A. Tuve, L. R. Hafstad and Odd Dahl; at Princeton University 

yAbstracted from a copyrighted article by Science Service. 

| ‘ 

Science Marches On! 3 
by Drs. Gaylord P. Harnwell, Henry D. Smyth, Walker Bleakney and 
Philip T. Smith. 

Existence of helium of atomic mass three instead of four was 
reported by Dr. P. I. Dee, of Cavendish Laboratory of Cambridge 

Age-long impact of cosmic rays on the earth’s surface caused the 
formation of the rock-like material of the crust. out of the nickel-iron 
core, is the suggestion of Prof. Gilbert N. Lewis, of the University of 

A new chemical indicator called “nitrazine yellow” for telling the 
difference between acid and base solutions at low concentrations was 
developed by Dr. Henry Wenker. 

Protactinium, after uranium the heaviest of all elements in atomic 
weight, was successfully isolated independently in the United States 
by Dr. Aristid Von Grosse, University of Chicago, and in Berlin by 
Drs. Georg Graue and Hans Kading, Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. 

The atomic weight of protactinium was measured as 231 times 
that of hydrogen by Dr. Aristid Von Grosse and M. S. Agruss, of the 
University of Chicago. 

Prof. Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist, reported the production of 
new material by bombarding uranium, present heavy-weight champion, 
with neutrons, but later found that what he had mistaken for element 
No. 93 was really a new form of actinium of atomic number 91. 

Propane, a normal constituent of liquefied natural gas, can extract 
a considerable portion of the so-called Pennsylvania type of ingredient 
of lubricating oil, making a superior oil out of supposedly inferior 
western oils, Dr. Ulric B. Bray, of Los Angeles, found. 

Specially prepared calcium sulfate or gypsum, called soluble an- 
hydrite, was developed as a drying agent by Prof. W. A. Hammond, 
’ of Antioch College, and Prof. J. R. Winthrow, of Ohio State Uni- 
versity, useful in dehydrating alcohol and other chemicals. 

Isolation in pure crystalline form of a new, very reactive sub- 
stance, gamma methyl fructoside, from fructose, the sugar of fruits, 
by Dr. Claude S. Hudson, U. S. National Institute of Health, called in 
question current chemical views as to the composition of sucrose, the 
common sugar of commerce. 

Citric acid, which makes lemons sour, was extracted commercially 
from the cheapest kinds of Russian tobacco by Soviet chemists. 

Science Marches On! An Jour 

A rival for transparent cellulose wrapping material called Pliofilm 
was made synthetically from rubber which is moisture-proof, elastic 
and easily sealed by slight heat and pressure. 

A new antiseptic, azochloramid, soluble in water and not easily 
destroyed by heat, was reported to the American Chemical Society by 
Dr. Franz C. Schmelkes and Henry C. Marks. 

Commercial extraction of bromine from sea water was achieved 
at the Wilmington, N. C., plant of the Dow Chemical Co., by a method 
which may have also, as a by-product, the extraction of gold from the 

Various chemicals which stepped out of the “rarity” class into 
commercial production by carload lots during 1934 include: 1. Aceta- 
mide, valuable chemical solvent; 2. Diphenyl oxide, a fluid with high 
boiling point and chemical stability useful as a heat transfer agent be- 
tween boiler furnace and high-pressure steam in high temperature 
boilers, which allows cheaper boiler construction; 3. Boron carbide, 
industrial abrasive approaching the diamond in hardness, which is 
made from coke and boron in electric furnaces. 

A new method of chemical separation of artificial radioactive 
isctopes from the parent substance was developed by Drs. Leo Szilard 
and T. A. Chalmers, of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, which, 
for the case of iodine, involves the use of pure iodine vapor to prevent 
radioactive iodine atoms, formed by the bombardment of ethyl iodide, 
from returning to the target. The method appears useful for the eon- 
centration of man-made radioactive products of atomic numbers higher 
than 30. 


A triumph of obstetric and pediatric practice was the successful 
delivery and rearing, with every prospect after six months of continued — 
life and health, of the Dionne quintuplets; credit for this medical 
triumph belongs to Dr. A. R. Dafoe, Canadian “country doctor,” who 
struggled against great odds to save the mother and all five baby girls. 

Progress in the fight against infantile paralysis was marked by 
reports of successful use in humans of two vaccines against the disease, 
one developed by Dr. Maurice Brodie, of the New York City Health 
Department, and the other by Dr. John A. Kolmer, Temple Univer- 
sity Medical School, Philadelphia. 

An anti-influenza horse serum, successful in mice, and a method 
of using these common laboratory animals for influenza studies were 

reported by Drs. C. H. Andrewes, P. P. Laidlaw and Wilson Smith, 
National Institute for Medical Research, London. 

A method of protecting against encephalitis, popularly called 
“sleeping sickness,” but so far applied only to mice, was developed by 
Drs. Leslie T. Webster and George L. Fite, Rockefeller Institute for 
Medical Research. 

Vaccination against parrot fever or psittacosis was announced by 
Dr. Thomas M. Rivers, Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research ; 
seven laboratory workers were first to be given this protection, which 
is not considered practicable as yet for the general population. 

Isolation and preparation of the pure substance made by the 
tubercle bacillus that is responsible for the tuberculin skin test in man 
and animals was announced by Dr. Florence Seibert, Henry Phipps 
Institute, Philadelphia. 

A new explanation of the cause of glandular diseases, such as 
exophthalmic goiter, which suggests revision in the method of treating 
these diseases, arose from the discovery by Dr. J. B. Collip and asso- 
ciates at McGill University that the body develops resistance to certain 
hormones after prolonged administration, probably because of the 
presence of antihormones. 

Tremendous precocity of growth and development in successive 
generations of rats as a result of treatment with thymus gland extract 
and dwarfism in rats as a result of treatment with pineal gland extract, 
showing that normal stature apparently depends on proper balance 
between thymus and pineal glands, was obtained by Drs. Leonard G. 
Rowntree and J. H. Clark, of the Philadelphia Institute for Medical 
Research and Dr. A. M. Hanson, Faribault, Minn. 

Cortin, life-saving hormone of the adrenal gland cortex, was ob- 
tained in pure crystalline form for the first time and its chemical 
formula discovered, Dr. E. C. Kendall, Mayo Foundation, announced. 

Sterility was cured in a significant proportion of human beings 
by giving to one or other parent an endocrine gland preparation to 
make up for hormone deficit, the late Dr. Allan Winter Rowe, Evans 
Memorial Hospital, Boston, reported. 

The molecular weight and composition of the substance in the 
thyroid gland, the absence of which causes goiter, was determined by 
Dr. Michael Heidelberger, Columbia University, New York City. 

In the posterior pituitary gland a new factor, probably a new 
hormone, which controls the activity of the acid-secreting cells of the 


6 Science Marches On! ee 
stomach and may therefore be of interest in connection with the pro- 
duction of stomach ulcers, was discovered by Drs. E. C. Dodds, R. L. 
Nole and E. R. Smith, Courtauld Institute of Biochemistry, London. 

Success in the treatment of the mental disease, involutional melan- 
cholia, by the sex hormone, theelin, was reported by Dr. August A. 
Werner and associates at St. Louis University School of Medicine. 

A method for and preliminary results of transplantation of living 
grafts of thyroid and parathyroid gland tissues in human patients were 
reported by Drs. Harvey B. Stone, J. C. Owings and George O. Gey, 
Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore. 

Amidopyrine and chemically related headache and aiaedltatitee 
remedies are one if not the sole cause of agranulopenia, fatal bone 
marrow disease which has been on the increase in recent years, Drs. 
F. W. Madison and T. L. Squier, Milwaukee, reported and research 
by many other scientists, including Drs. Roy R. Kracke and Francis P. 
Parker, Emory University, confirmed. 

A substance in the kidney excretion of expectant mothers that 
produced a tenfold decrease in the growth of cancers in mice was dis- 
covered by Drs. Henry J. Ullmann, Fritz Bischoff and Richard D. 
Evans and L. C. Maxwell, chemist, Santa Barbara, Calif., Cottage 
Hospital, the International Cancer Research Foundation, Philadelphia, 

The cancer-producing property of mineral oil is related closely to 
the oil’s refractivity constant, Dr. C. C. Twort and J. W. Twort, of 
the Manchester, England, Committee on Cancer found; selection or 
treatment of lubricating oils with this fact in mind may result in lessen- 
ing of skin cancer among textile workers, known as mule spinners’ 
cancer, they suggested. 

One of the normal constituents of the body, a bile acid, was trans- 
formed by simple chemical means into a cancer-producing substance 
by Dr. J. W. Cook and associates at the London Free Cancer Hospital 
under a grant from the International Cancer Research Foundation. 

The venom of an Indian snake, Vipera russellii, contains a sub- 
stance which very rapidly clots both normal and hemophilic blood in 
the test tube and which was successful in checking bleeding after 
dental and other operations in both normal and hemophilic patients, 
Dr. R. G. Macfarlane, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, and Bur- 
gess Barnett, curator of reptiles, Zoological Society of London, re- 

Science Marches On! 7 

Ability to hasten blood-clotting and thus to control hemorrhage is 
a property of human milk, fresh or dried, but not of milk from other 
animals, Prof. A. Solé, of Vienna, reported. 

Deaths from peritonitis, often fatal infection following abdominal 
operations, may be reduced by vaccination with a concentrated fraction 
ot bovine amniotic fluid, Drs. Herbert L. Johnson and Edward L. 
Young, Boston, announced. 

A derivative of morphine, dihydrodesoxymorphine-D, made by 
Dr. Lyndon F. Small, University of Virginia, was patented and will 
be manufactured under government license for use on patients in order 
to determine whether it is habit-forming like morphine. 

A serum, believed to be the first, that counteracts the effect of 
the often fatal bite of the black widow spider, was perfected by Dr. 
Fred D’Amour, University of Denver professor. 

New knowledge of how pancreatic enzymes or ferments become 
active was obtained with the extraction of a new and potent protein- 
digesting enzyme, chymotrypsin, and a new protein, chymo-trypsinogen, 
by Drs. M. Kunitz and J. H. Northrop, Rockefeller Institute labora- 
tories at Princeton, N. J. 

The outbreak of amebic dysentery starting in Chicago during the 
fall of 1933 was found by the Chicago City Health Department to be 
caused by sewage contamination of the water supply of two Chicago 

The cysts which transmit amebic dysentery can be filtered out of 
water by the usual filtration methods used to purify water supplies, 
Dr. Bertha Kaplan Spector, U. S. Public Health Service, and John R. 
Bayliss and Oscar Gullins, chemists of the Chicago Department of 
Public Works, found in experiments at the Chicago Experiment Fil- 
tration Plant. 

Complete degeneration of myelin sheath segments of the nerves 
resulting from strong alcoholic intoxication is permanent, but the slight 
irritative changes from mild daily intoxication are quickly repaired, 
Dr. C. C. Speidel, University of Virginia Medical School, learned from 
observation of frog tadpoles. 

A new precise method for destroying successive layers of nerve 
cells from the brain cortex, thus greatly facilitating the study of local- 
ization of function, was announced by Dr. J. G. Dusser de Barenne, 
Yale School of Medicine. 

8 Science Marches On! { 

Alcoholic neuritis, serious nervous disease resulting in paralysis 
and often death, is due to lack of food and not to the poisonous effect 
of the alcohol on the peripheral nerves of the body, Dr. Maurice B. 
Strauss, Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, Boston, reperted. 

Scurvy-preventing vitamin C is manufactured in the body of 
infants up to the age of five months, Paul Rohmar, N. Bezsonoff and 
Ursula Sanders, of the medical faculty of the University of Stras- 
bourg, reported. 

Spectrum analysis of vitamin E, which makes possible the identi- 
fication of this food factor by physical measurements as well-as by 
feeding experiments with animals, was accomplished for the first time 
Ly Drs. A. J. P. Martin, T. Moore, Marion Schmidt and F. P. Bow- 
den, Dunn Nutritional Laboratory, University of Cambridge, England. 

A new rickets-preventive was found in cholesterilene sulfonic 
acid, chemical relative of vitamin D, Prof. Lester Yoder, Iowa State 
College and Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station, announced. 

A dietary factor which can prevent hemorrhage in chicks and may 
be a new hitherto unknown vitamin was found in seeds and cereals by 
H. Dam, of the Biochemical Institute, University, Copenhagen. 

Tetany, severe nervous and muscular disease featured by painful 
muscular cramps and not to be confused with tetanus or lockjaw, can 
be cured or greatly relieved by treatment with “A. T. 10,” a chemical 
fraction of irradiated ergosterol or vitamin D, Dr. I. Snapper, pro- 
fessor of medicine and general pathology, University of Amsterdam, 

A thermocouple that gives the temperature of air deep in the 
lungs by measuring the temperature of each breath was devised by 
Dr. Francis G. Benedict, director of the Boston nutrition laboratory of 
the Carnegie Institution. 

Verification of the fact that the blindness-causing form of the 
tropical disease, onchocerciasis, is widespread in the Belgian Congo 
and that about one-third of the wild-flies, regarded as chief carriers of 
the malady, are infected with the disease was made by a Harvard 
University expedition under the direction of Dr. Richard P. Strong. 

Azochloramide, new germicide and disinfectant that kills bacteria 
without injuring living tissues and does not break down in the presence 
of organic matter, was announced by Dr. Franz C. Schmelkes and 
associates of Wallace and Tiernan Research Laboratories, Belleville, 
N. J. 


t _ Science Marches On! 9 

Radioactivity was created by an external cause for the first time 
when Prof. F. Joliot and Mme. Irene Curie-Joliot, Institute of 
Radium, Paris, bombarded boron, magnesium and aluminum with 
alpha particles with the result that positrons were given off after the 
bombardment was stopped. 

Chemical proof of artificial transmutation was obtained by Prof. 
F. Joliot and Mme. Irene Curie-Joliot, Institute of Radium, Paris, as 
a result of their production of artificial radioactivity. 

Artificial production of radioactive elements useful in medicine 
and superior in intensity to the rays of radium was predicted at the 
International Conference on Physics by Prof. F. Joliot and his wife 
Irene Curie-Joliot, who discovered the way to make many elements 

Carbon is made artificially radioactive when a delayed production 
of positrons is produced by bombardment with deutons accelerated with 
a million-volt tube, Prof. C. C. Lauritsen, R. Crane and W. Harper, 
California Institute of Technology, demonstrated. 

Artificial radioactivity was produced in graphite (carbon) by 
bombardment with 600,000-volt protons with the production of posi- 
trons, Drs. J. D. Cockcroft, C. W. Gilbert and E. T. S. Walton, Cam- 
bridge, England, demonstrated: 

_ Alpha particles are ejected from lithium at speeds greater than 
the swiftest radioactively produced alpha particles when lithium is 
bombarded with deutons, Cavendish Laboratory experiments showed. 

A way to make common element sodium radioactive by artificial 
means——and yield gamma radiation over twice as penetrating as that 
from natural sources—was discovered by Prof. Ernest Lawrence and 
Drs. Edwin McMillan and Malcolm C. Henderson at University of 

On basis of experiments on bombarding heavy uranium with 
neutrons, Prof. Enrico Fermi, Italian physicist, predicted the early 
discovery of a whole series of radioactive elements lying between 
thorium and actinium in the periodic table. 

Artificially produced gamma radiation having penetrating power 
equal to 3,500,000 electron-volts of energy was reported by Drs. C. C. 
Lauritsen and H. R. Crane, of California University. 

A theory of the origin of the mysterious cosmic rays was ad- 
vanced by Prof. F. Zwicky, of California Institute of Technology, and 

10 Science Marches On! { An Jews. 
Dr. W. Baade, of Mt. Wilson Observatory, which says the rays are 
caused by the sudden flare-up, or bursts of energy, from the type of 
star known as super-novae. 

Cosmic rays were deflected by strong electric fields for the first 
time in the laboratories of Stuttgart University by Ernst Lenz, pupil 
of Prof. Erich Regener, world-famous cosmic ray authority, indicating 
that much of the radiation is corpuscular in nature. 

For the first time the intensity of cosmic rays was found to vary 
with different times of the day, the maximum occurring at noon and 
minimum between 9 P. M. and 3 A. M., by Dr. Victor F. Hess, of the 
University of Innsbruck, working in the Tyrol Mountains, 7600 feet 
above sea level. 

Partial annihilation of matter, the building-up process whereby 
heavier elements could be formed from atoms of hydrogen, is respon- 
sible for the formation of cosmic rays, Dr. R. A. Millikan declared. 

While cosmic rays are now known to consist of a mixture of 
corpuscular particles and photons of light, the particle part of the rays 
accounts for from go to 98 per cent. of the total intensity at the top 
of the atmosphere, Dr. T. H. Johnson, of Bartol Research Foundation, 

Plans were announced by Dr. A. H. Compton for extended cosmic 
ray research with small unmanned free-flight balloons which would 
transmit by radio the data being obtained in automatic instruments 
miles about the earth. 

Cosmic ray measurements 820 feet below the surface of the Red 
Sea indicate that a large share of cosmic radiation consists of electrical 
particles, contends Prof. W. F. G. Swann, of Bartol Research Foun- 

Radiation resembling cosmic rays but less penetrating is thrown 
out by the tops of thunderstorm clouds, Dr. B. F. G. Schonland, South 
African physicist, reported. 

Hardest cosmic rays so far discovered ea more than 
800 meters or 2620 feet of water) were discovered by Dr. Axel Corlin, 
University of Lund, Sweden, through experiments in an iron mine. 

The formation of positrons from cosmic or gamma rays received 
support from calculations by Drs. W. Heitler and F. Sauter, of Bristol 
and Berlin. 

Cosmic rays are charged particles, not radiation, Drs. A. H. 
Compton and R. J. Stephenson, University of Chicago, concluded on 

eu | Science Marches On! II 
the basis of cosmic ray meter records of the Settle-Fordney strato- 
sphere eleven-mile-high flight. 

Evidence accumulated that a trinity of particles—neutron, posi- 
tron and electron—compose all the matter of the universe. 

Following Dr. R. M. Langer’s and Dr. Carl Anderson’s early 
prediction, renewed suggestions that there exists a new atomic particle 
—the negative proton—were advanced by Dr. S. Tolansky, of the 
Imperial College of Science, London, and Prof. G. Gamow, of the 
Polytechnical Institute, Leningrad, U. S. S. R. 

A new atomic particle—a double-weight neutron—was suggested 
by Dr. M. A. Tuve, of Carnegie Institution in Washington. 

Experimental proof of conversion of radiation (cosmic or gamma 
rays) into matter (electrons or positrons) was questioned by Dr. Carl 
D. Anderson, California Institute of Technology, who holds that when 
lead or aluminum is bombarded rays merely knock out particles already 
existing in atomic nuclei. 

A new source of protons for atomic bombardments, consisting of 
an electric arc operating in hydrogen at low pressure between an incan- 
descent filament and a metal electrode, was devised by Drs. Edward S. 
Lamar and Overton Luhr, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Fast electrons, as well as cosmic and gamma rays, may give rise 
to pairs of negative and positive particles when they hit nuclei of 
atoms, Dr. D. Skobeltzyn, Leningrad, found. 

_ Prof. Enrico Fermi, of Italy, discovered the type of artificial 
radioactivity in which a negative electron or beta particle is liberated— 
as contrasted with the liberation of the positron in the Joliot exper- 
iments—by bombarding elements with neutrons. 

That the half-life or rate of decay of artificial radioactive mate- 
rials is different for the same substance when produced in different 
ways was shown by. the experiments of Drs. C. C. Lauritsen, R. Crane, 
and W. Harper, California Institute of Technology, who found that, 
when they turned carbon into nitrogen by bombarding it with deutons, 
the half-life of the material was different from the nitrogen made by 
the Joliots in Paris by bombarding carbon with alpha particles. 

The positron is the shortest lived thing in the universe and dies 
when absorbed by matter as predicted by the Dirac theory, Prof. F. 
Joliot and Prof. Jean Thibaud, French scientists, determined inde- 

Science Marches On! 

Using instruments counting individual photons of light, Swiss 
scientists, Edgar Meyer, M. Schein and B. Stoll have been able to 
detect a new band of invisible light in the ultraviolet in the region from 
2400 to 1900 Angstrom units. 

By free-flight balloon ascensions Prof. Erich Regener, of the 
Physical Institute of Stuttgart, Germany, indicated that 70 per cent. 
of the ozone is below 19.5 miles altitude, much lower than the height 
previously supposed. 

Invention by Prof. G. R. Harrison, of Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, of two devices for measuring and analyzing complicated 
spectra are: (1) a wavelength computing machine which automatically 
prints wavelengths and intensities with all correction factors directly 
on a photographic plate, and (2) an interval sorter which performs 
and sorts 50,000 subtractions of wave numbers per minute. 

Analysis of the observations made by American investigators 
during the Polar Year indicates that the temperature of the region 
from 62 to 124 miles above the earth is probably in the neighborhood 
of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Small periodic variations in the measurements of the velocity of 
light were found in the course of extensions of Michelson’s experi- 
ments at Mt. Wilson Observatory, which gave a new average value, 
299,774 kilometers per second, but these were attributed not to a real 
variation in light’s speed but to other undiscovered causes. 

A new theory of relativity developed by Sir Shah Sulaiman, dis- 
tinguished mathematician and justice at Allahabad, India, links the 
classical mechanics of Isaac Newton with results predicted by Ein- 
stein’s relativity. 

“Photographs” of atoms magnified, in effect, 200,000,000 times 
obtained by the use of X-rays were exhibited by Prof. A. H. Compton 
and Dr. E. O. Wollan, of the University of Chicago. 

X-ray studies of the structure of wood fibers reveal that even, 
soft tone accompanies the non-orientation of the wood fibers in the 
maple back of a violin, Dr. K. Lark-Horovitz and W. I. Caldwell, of 
Purdue University, have discovered. 

Heat-absorbing glass which removes 52 per cent. of the “hot” 
Lut invisible infrared rays and which is expected to prove useful for 
skylight in southern factories during hot summer months, was re- 
ported by Dr. Roger S. Estey, physicist of the Electrical Testing Lab- 
oratories, New York City, to the Optical Society of America. 

Science Marches On! 13 

Sextants and binoculars can be improved for use under certain 
light conditions by attaching polarizing prisms, Dr. E. O. Hulburt, 
Naval Research Laboratory, found. 

A precise value for the velocity of sound, 1087.13 feet per second 
at zero degrees Centigrade, was announced by Dr. Dayton C. Miller, 
Case School of Applied Science, who computed data from big gun 
firing just after the close of the World War. 

By firing a gun into the barrel of a similar gun, Dr. C. Ramsauer, 
German physicist, developed a method of producing high pressures 
and high temperatures simultaneously. 

The Raman effect of heavy water (containing hydrogen isotope 
mass two) is different from that of ordinary water, Dr. R. W. Wood, 
Johns Hopkins University, found. 

' Production of clear crystals of lithium fluoride transparent to goo 
Angstrom units in the ultraviolet and with practically no variation in 
dispersion over visible spectrum, have been developed as a practical 
optical material in large sizes by Prof. D. C. Stockbarger, of Massa- 
chusetts Institute of Technology. 

And it is fortunate that in the “bright lexicon” of Science there is 
no such word as compromise—either with time or truth. 


Sterilization of Sodium Diethylbarbiturate Solutions. C. J. T. 
Madsen. Dansk. Tids. Farm. 8, 62 (1934). Through Chem. Abst. 
28, 6521 (1934). A Io per cent. solution of sodium diethylbarbitu- 
rate after 60 minutes at 100 degrees loses 2.5 per cent. by decom- 
position to diethylacetylurea and the original pH of 10.1 falls to 9.3. 
Diethylacetylurea forms CH(C2H;)2COOH and urea, and the lat- 
ter gives off COg and NH3. The rate of decomposition is decreased 
by decrease in pH. A Io per cent. solution of sodium diethylbarbi- 
turate, pH 8.9, after 60 minutes at 100 degrees loses 1.5 per cent. 
by decomposition. 

The Medical Works of Maimonides $} Am. Jour. Pharm. 

January, 1935 


By Louis Gershenfeld, Ph. M., B. Sc., P. D. 

Professor of Bacteriology and Hygiene, Philadelphia College of - 
Pharmacy and Science 

OSES MAIMONIDES, the Hispano-Jewish philosopher, 

theologian, physician and astronomer, known as Rabbi Moses 
ben Maimon, and (Rabbi M. b. M., hence) Rambam, often called 
the Second Moses and known under other names with various hon- 
orary titles was born in Cordova, Spain, on March 30, 1135; died 
in Egypt on December 13, 1204; and was buried in Tiberias, Pal- 
estine. This year marks the octocentennial of the birth of this most 
interesting character who is regarded as the greatest of Medieval 
Jewish writers, thinkers and scholars. His fame as a distinguished 
and the most rational physician of the Middle Ages was, however, 
overshadowed by his famous reputation as a philosopher and Tal- 

Maimonides practiced medicine with religious fervor as if the 
medical art was a holy calling. He himself tells us that the purpose 
of medicine: “Was to teach humanity the causes of ill health, the 
correct dietetic hygiene, the methods of making the body capable of 
useful labor, how to prolong life, and how to avoid disease. It thus 
directly elevates the human being to a higher moral plane where the 
pursuit of Truth is possible and where the happiness of the Soul is 
attainable.” Those interested in preventive medicine can gather 
much of interest in Maimonides’ writings, for hygiene (and espe- 
cially dietetic hygiene) is a topic discussed freely and frequently in 
many of his works. He was a staunch advocate of the guarding 
against rather than the curing of disease. 

His extensive medical knowledge was sought by the court and 
the general population alike. He was admired by the elite, wor- 
shipped by the masses, and was the favorite of royalty and the idol 
of their subjects. In one of his letters written in 1199 to his disciple 
Samuel ibn Tibbon advising him not to visit him at that time, he 
gives a vivid picture of his professional duties which required all 

An Jour. Pram { The Medical Works of Maimonides 15 
of his time, day and night, so that he had but little freedom for him- 
self, even for his meals. In spite of these duties, he still fulfilled 
the functions of Chief Rabbi or Nagid and wrote “Responsa” ad- 
dressed to all parts of the world. His energy was invincible. The 
following extracts from this letter are of interest: “Now God knows 
that in order to write this to you I have escaped to a secluded spot, 
where people would not think to find me, sometimes leaning for 
support against the wall, sometimes lying down on account of my 
excessive weakness, for I have grown old and feeble. I dwell at 
Fostat and the Sultan resides at Cairo. These two places are two 
Sabbath days’ journey (about one mile and a half) distant from 
each other. My duties to the Sultan are very heavy. I am obliged 
to visit him every day, early in the morning; and when he or any 
of his children, or any of the inmates of his harem, are indisposed 
I dare not quit Cairo, but most stay during the greater part of the 
day in the palace. It also frequently happens that one or two of 
the royal officers fall sick, and I must attend to their healing. Hence, 
as a rule, I repair to Cairo very early in the day, and even if noth- 
ing unusual happens, I do not return to Fostat until the afternoon. 
Then I am almost dying with hunger. I find the antechambers filled 
with people, both Jews and Moslems, nobles and common people, 
judges and bailiffs, friends and foes—a mixed multitude, who await 
the time of my return. I dismount from my animal, wash my 
hands, go forth to my patients, and entreat them to bear with me 
while I partake of some slight refreshment, the only meal I take 
in the twenty-four hours. Then I attend to my patients, write pre- 
scriptions and directions for their various ailments. Patients go in 
and out until nightfall, and sometimes even, I solemnly assure you, 
until two hours and more in the night. I converse with and pre- 
scribe for them while lying down from sheer fatigue, and when 
night falls I am so exhausted that I can scarcely speak. In conse- 
quence of this, no Israelite can have any private interview with me 
except on the Sabbath. On that day the whole congregation, or 
at least the majority of the members, come to me after the morning 
service, when I instruct them as to their proceedings during the whole 
week ; we study together a little until noon, when they depart. Some 
of them return, and read with me after the afternoon service until 
evening prayers. In this manner I spend that day. I have here fe- 
lated to you only a part of what you would see if you were to visit 


16 The Medical Works of Maimonides Jour. Pharm. 

All of his medical writings were written in Arabic. Though 
these contain summaries, classifications and elaborations of Galen’s 
writings derived in the main from the standard Arabic Galenism 
of his day (from such authors as al-Razi, al-Tamimi, Ibn Sina, Ibn 
Wafid, ‘Ali ibn Ridwan and Ibn Zuhr), they are tempered with 
his own critical knowledge gained through his extensive experience 
by direct observaiion and by actual experimentation. His most pop- 
ular medical work generally spoken of as Moses’ Aphorisms or 
Moses’ Medical Aphorisms or Principles was the Kitab al-fusil 
fi-l-tibb or Fusil Misa, (known in Hebrew as Pirge Mosheh), 
written about 1187-1190. It is a collection of 1500 aphorisms ex- 
tracted from Galen’s writings together with forty-two critical re- 
marks. Galen’s thoughts were classified in twenty-four chapters 
devoted respectively to: Chapters (1-3), anatomy, physiology, gen- 
eral pathology; (4-6), symptomatology and diagnosis, with special 
reference to the pulse and urine; (7) etiology; (8-9) general and 
special therapeutics; (10-11) fevers and crises; (12-14) bloodletting, 
cathartics, emetics; (15) surgery; (16) gynecology; (17) hygiene; 
(18) gymnastics, massage, etc.; (19) bathing; (20) dietetics; (21- 
22) drugs; (23) Galenic ideas which are often misunderstood ; and 
(24) rare cases. In a final chapter (25), the author outlines a gen- 
eral criticism of Galenic medicine and philosophy, indicating some 
forty topics about which Galen contradicted himself. It ends with 
a discussion of Galen’s teleological ideas from the Biblical stand- 
point. This last chapter, the most important of the work, was ap- 
parently unfinished at the time of Maimonides’ death, as it was edited 
posthumously by the latter’s nephew Yisuf ibn ‘Adallih Abi-l-Ma‘ 
ali, in 1204-1205. 

Next in popularity only to the Fusiil was the Maqala fi-tadbir 
al-sihha known popularly as the Tadbir al-sihha, which is com- 
posed of four books on diet and personal hygiene and was addressed 
about 1198 to al-Malik al-Afdal Niar-al-din ‘Ali, Saladin’s eldest 
son. The latter suffered from fits of melancholia, and requested 
from Maimonides, his chief physician, a regimen. ‘This work, a 
compilation obtained from ancient and Arabic writings and published 
first in Hebrew in the Journal “Kerem Hemed” (III, 9-31), is di- 
vided into four parts, as follows: (1) explanations of the case, and 
general hygienic and dietetic rules, with frequent references to Hip- 
pocrates and Galen; (2) easy remedies for use while traveling, or 

Am. Jour. Pharm. The Medical Works ‘of: Maimonides 17 
when a physician is not available; (3) hygiene of the soul; psycho- 
therapeutic rules partly derived from Aristotle and from al-Farabi; 
(4) summary of hygiene and dietetics in the form of seventeen 
aphorisms. His Magéala fil-l-bayan al-a ‘rad (Discourses on the Ex- 
planation of Accidents) regarded by some as the continuation of sec- 
tion five of his work on diet, was written for the safne prince al- 
Afdal, who was then residing at Riqqa in Upper Egypt. This work 
known in Hebrew as Teshubot ‘al she’ elot peratiyyot and in Latin 
as De causis accidentium apparentium is divided into twenty-two 
chapters. Written about 1200, it apparently was Maimonides’ last 
medical effort. Therein are contained many prescriptions, formulas 
of other physicians, with his own criticisms gently expressed; and 
prescriptions by himself follow which are of interest because of 
their simplicity and medicinal value. 

His work on poisons and antidotes, Kitab al-sumiim wal- 
mutaharriz min al-adwiya al-qitalah, was written in 1199 for and at 
the request of the vizir al-Qadi al-Fadil, and is also known as the 
Risalat al-fadiliyya. It was translated into many languages. The 
Latin translation known as De venenis (or contra venena) was a 
text extensively used by fourteenth century physicians. The Hebrew 
translation is known as Ha ma’amar ha-nikbad (or Ha-ma’amar be- 
ter’iaq). This work, a compilation of all that was known about the 
subject treated, is divided into two sections, preceded by an intro- 
duction, the latter explaining al-Fadil’s efforts to obtain from many 
distant countries all the ingredients needed to prepare the great 
theriaca. Section 1 divided into four parts deals with the venomous 
stings of insects (scorpions, spiders, bees, wasps, snakes, etc.), the 
biting of mad dogs, and the treatment of such wounds. He points 
out the great length of time of the incubation period of rabies, and 
he states that the bite of a mad dog is to be feared whereas that of a 
healthy dog is of little importance. Section II, divided into six 
chapters, deals with vegetable and mineral (mainly internal) poisons 
(such as verdigris, arsenic, litharge, opium, henbane, and other sola- 
naceous herbs, mushrooms, etc.), and their antidotes. The clinical 
‘description of some cases of poisoning are very interesting. In this 
work, Maimonides constantly mentions the necessity for ligation and 
suction of wounds. Here in part are directions which he gives for 
the treatment of poisoned wounds: “The first thing to do is to apply 
a tight band above the bitten part so as to prevent the poison gaining 
entrance to the body. While this is being done, an assistant should 

18 The Medical Works of Maimonides jae 
make incisions in and about the wound, and then, after rinsing 
one’s mouth with oil, or with oil and wine, the wound should be 
thoroughly sucked, being careful to spit out everything taken into 
the mouth. He who so sucks the wound should have no sore places 
in the mouth, nor any carious teeth. Should sucking be impossible, 
cupping may be resorted to.” 

Two treatises, short and long texts, were written by Maimonides 
on coitus and on the hygienic aspects of sexual intercourse. This 
work, the Magala fi-l-jima‘ was dedicated to al-Muzaffir I, 
(Ayyibid) Sultan of Hamat (1178-1191), nephew of Saladin. The 
Hebrew translations are known as Ma’amar ‘al ribbui ha-tashmish and 
Ma’amar ha-mishgal. The longer text is divided into nineteen chap- 
ters and deals with differences in sexual temperament, the use and 
danger of sexual intercourse, abstinence, aphrodisiacs and anaphro- 
disiacs, narcotics, etc. Regarded as an authority during his day, 
and an advocate of sexual intercourse, the following extracts are of 
interest. “When erection,” he said, “occurs in a natural and uncon- 
conscious manner, and when after directing one’s thoughts towards 
other subjects one feels the erection persist, and if there is a sluggish 
sensation in the regions of the kidneys, and the cords of the testicles 
are tightened and the flesh is warm, then one needs to have sexual 
intercourse and it is hygienic to perform the act.” He states fur- 
ther that “Copulation is life; strength to the body, and light to the 
eyes. But when one abuses it, the body is consumed in it vigor and 
life is crushed. Solomon has well said in his wisdom: ‘Give not 
your strength to woman’.” 

The Magéla fi-l-rabw (a work on asthma), written about 1190 
contains thirteen chapters dealing with diet and climate in general, 
with a discussion of the climate and food of different countries, 
particularly of Egypt. The best diet and climate for asthmatics 
follow. His treatise on hemorrhoids (Magila fi-l-bawdsir), known 
in Hebrew as Ha-ma’amar bi-refu’at ha-tehorim, is composed of 
seven chapters. He ascribed hemorrhoids to bad digestion, mainly 
to constipation, and advocated a light diet, predominantly vegetarian. 
He mentioned the danger of bloodletting and of surgical interven- 
tion, which he says should be reserved for extreme cases. 

A collection of extracts from Galenic writings, the Mukhtasarat 
(abridgments, digest) (lost in its original Arabic but available in 
Hebrew translations) and a commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms 


Ant Jour Medical Works of Maimonides 19 
are to be found among his medical works. Other medical writings 
ascribed to him are the Sefer-refu’oth (Book of remedies or medi- 
cines) in Hebrew, and the Kitab al-asbab wal-‘alamat (Causes and 
symptoms) in Arabic. It is of interest to note that in his many 
writings on methods of treatment he reveals a marked opposition 
to polypharmacy (complicated mixtures of medicaments). He rec- 
ommends only simple remedies and would only use drugs which he 
himself tested or which had been found satisfactory and in turn 
recommended by recognized medical authorities. “In minor ail- 
ments,” he wrote, “Nature cures the body without the need of medic- 
inal remedies, if the patient only follows certain dietetic regulations. 
Where, however, the services of a physician are required, he should 
see to it that he aids Nature in her beneficial course. Most of the 
doctors err in their treatment. In endeavoring to assist Nature, they 
weaken the body with their prescriptions.” 

The physician’s prayer, ranking as it does with the oath of Hip- 
pocrates (matching the latter and completing it from the Jewish 
viewpoint), has been widely circulated and is a valuable contribution 
to medical deontology. It is ascribed to Maimonides and is most 
frequently known as Maimonides’ prayer. However there is no gen- 

uine proof that this was composed by Maimonides though many 
regarded it as Maimonidean in tone and spirit. 
This prayer for physicians follows: 


“Thy Eternal Providence has appointed me to watch over the 
life and health of Thy creatures. May the love for my art actuate 
me at all times; may neither avarice, nor miserliness, nor the thirst 
for glory, nor for a great reputation engage my mind; for the enemies 
of Truth and Philanthropy could easily deceive me and make me 
forgetful of my lofty aim of doing good to Thy children. 

_ May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in 

Grant me strength, time, and opportunity always to correct what 
I have acquired, always to extend its domain; for knowledge is im- 
mense and the spirit of man can extend infinitely to enrich itself 
daily with new requirements. Today he can discover his errors of 
yesterday and tomorrow he may obtain a new light on what he thinks 
himself sure of today. 

O God, Thou has appointed me to watch over the life and death 
of Thy creatures; here I am ready for my vocation. 

The Medical Works of Maimonides § At. 

January, 1935 

And now I turn unto my calling: 
O stand by me, my God, in this truly important task; 
Grant me success! For— 
Without Thy loving counsel and support, 
Man can avail but naught. 
Inspire me with true love for this my art 
And for Thy creatures, 
O, grant— 
That neither greed for gain, nor thirst for fame, nor vain 
May interfere with my activity. _ 
For these I know are the enemies of Truth and Love of men, 
And might beguile one in profession 
From furthering the welfare of Thy creatures. 
O strengthen me. 
Grant energy unto both body and the soul 
That I might e’er unhindered ready be 
To mitigate the woes, 
Sustain and help 
The rich and poor, the good and bad, enemy and friend, 
O let me e’er behold in the afflicted and suffering, 
Only the human being.” 

Treatise on Personal Hygiene and Dietetics 

The Tadbir al-sihha or Maimonides’ work on personal hygiene 
and dietetics previously mentioned is of interest from many view- 
points. Therein, with bitter sarcasm and much irony he deplores 
the low and degraded state of the medical profession during his time 
and the apparent success of various charlatans and bragging healers. 
He stresses the necessity and importance of a detailed and thorough 
professional training for medical practitioners and also the need of 
careful personal attention to one’s patients. Details are given concern- 
ing the relation between the patient and his physician and vice versa. 
Of interest is his statement that slight indispositions may, whenever 
possible, be treated without any special help of physician or drugs; but 
a catarrh he warns must not be taken too lightly. Though Galen and 
Hippocrates are frequently quoted in this work, he gives his own 
views on personal hygiene and dietetics which are of interest. Here 
follow excerpts from the first chapter which deals with the promo- 
tion of health in general. I am indebted to Dr. Solomon L. Skoss, 
professor of Arabic at Dropsie College in Philadelphia for the fol- 
lowing translation from the Arabic original of the excerpts in this 
treatise, which original was edited with a German translation by 


Am Jour. Phat The Medical Works of Maimonides 21 
Rabbiner Dr. H. Kroner and published in “Janus”, Vol. XX VII- 
XXIX (reprint Leiden, 1925). 

The author states: “The purpose of this chapter is to set down 
certain rules which are easy to observe, yet very useful for the pres- 
ervation of health. They are generally followed by the best physi- 
cians. In them one recognizes the principle of Hippocrates: “Con- 
tinuation of good liealth depends on being careful of over-eating and 
of sluggishness.’ His whole theory of health is thus condensed into 
two brief rules: ‘A man should not eat too much, nor should he give 
up exercise.’ It is so, for over-eating, i. e., eating to the point of 
aversion, results in over-stuffing the stomach and stretching it; and 
when an organ is unduly stretched out, its joints become loose and 
it gets rather weak. The stomach, therefore, is unable to digest this 
mass of food properly; and the consequence is general sluggishness, 
laxity of movement, and over-loading with food, especially when 
followed by excessive drinking which necessarily brings about to 
oversatiation. It may result either in a serious digestive disturbance 
which may be fatal or in a lighter disturbance causing indigestion 
and other diseases, all depending on the kind of food and suscepti- 
bility of the organs to various diseases. When food is poorly di- 
gested in the stomach, the second digestion in the liver, as well as 
the third digestion in the organs (1) is likewise bad, and this in turn 
helps to develop various kinds of disorders. Hence the statement 
of Galen: ‘Whoever wishes to keep healthy shall endeavor to avoid 
poor digestion and not move around too much after meals.” 

“In view of the great injury of over-satiation all physicians 
warn against it, insisting that a person should restrain himself from 
eating when he has not yet fully satisfied his appetite, thus avoiding 
the overloading and stretching out of the stomach. All physicians 
agree that partaking of a small quantity of food of inferior quality 
is less injurious than consuming an excessive quantity of food of 
superior quality. In the former case, though the appetite is not en- 
tirely satisfied, the food is thoroughly digested and the entire body 
gets the benefit of whatever nourishment it contains, thus strength- 
ening the eliminating forces to throw off the bad portions of this 
food with little or no injury to the partaker. However when an 
excessive quantity of food is consumed, be it even carefully pre- 
pared bread and the choice of meat, it could not be thoroughly di- 
gested, as we have mentioned above. 

(1) The author probably means by that the assimilation of food in the body. 

The Medical Works of Maimonides 

“With the view of avoiding over-eating, the physicians advise 
against partaking of many kinds of foods at one meal; but my belief 
is that one should limit the meal to one kind of food only, so that 
the food consumed will not be in too big a quantity. 

“In warm weather it is advisable to consume less food, for di- 
gestion is rather poor during the summer on account of the loosening 
of the innate heat ; but when the temperature grows colder one should 
increase the consumption of food, for digestion is strengthened in 
winter, the natural heat being preserved on account of closed up 
pores, and the appetite growing stronger.” 

“If a person took as good care of himself as he does of his do- 
mestic animal, he would avoid many diseases. No one throws food 
to his animal without measure, but he feeds it in accordance with its 
needs; yet he himself consumes food without any measure or con- 
trol. One should also take into consideration the moving around 
of domestic animals and the exercise they get lest they become stiff 
and perish. He, however, does not do that with himself and neglects 
exercising his body which is the greatest support of good health and 
a ward against many diseases. 

“We have mentioned the saying of Hippocrates: ‘Continuation 
of good health depends on being careful of sluggishness.’ Indeed, 
there is not a thing that could take the place of exercise; for with 
exercise the natural heat gets inflamed and all waste matter is thrown 
off, whereas inertness extinguishes the fire of the natural heat, and 
the superfluities of the body are not thrown off, ‘but not every move- 
ment of the body is considered by physicians as exercise.’ Only a 
vigorous or quick movement, or both combined, could be termed 
exercise. It is with the vigorous movement resulting in change of 
breathing that the person begins to breathe deeply. A movement 
stronger than that brings about a fatigue, i. e., a very strong exer- 
cise causes fatigue, which not everyone is able to stand, and there is 
no particular necessity in that, the most beneficial for the preserva- 
tion of health being the brief exercise. 

“One should exercise on an empty stomach only, and after the 
excrements are thrown off (urine and bowels). Likewise, exercise 
should be avoided in excessive heat and excessive cold; the best time 
for it is early in the morning, after one gets up from his sleep and 
throws off the excrements. To the general principles for the pres- 
ervation of good health, promulgated by Galen, belongs the follow- 
ing: ‘Just as movement before eating is altogether beneficial, so is 


Avy Jour. F harm.t The Medical Works of Maimonides 23 
movement after eating quite injurious.’ By this is meant the avoid- 
ance of heavy exercise after eating, as well as coitus and bath, which 
are very harmful, especially to those who naturally have thin and 
narrow veins. Yet it is advisable to move around lightly after 
meals from one end of the room to the other until the food is well 
settled in the stomach and rests there until digested. Sleep helps 
digestion, especially with those who are in the habit of sleeping in 
the daytime. 

“One of the principles of health preservation is that one should 
avoid eating soon after he has already eaten, but rather wait until 
he gets really hungry, the stomach empty and the saliva accumulating 
in his mouth. When one is truly hungry, then is the time for a bene- 
ficial meal. Neither should one drink unless he is really thirsty. As 
soon as hunger or thirst is felt one should wait a while for there is 
a false feeling of hunger, as well as of thirst, due to a bad moisture 
that irritates the opening of the stomach. If this feeling subsides 
no partaking of food is then necessary. If, on the other hand, it 
increases, one should forthwith satisfy his hunger or thirst. Drink- 
ing right after the meal is injurious and interferes with digestion, 
unless one is used to it. It is neither advisable to drink during the 
meal, nor after it, as long as the food is in the stomach, anything 
but pure cold water, with no admixture to it. 

“Another principle for the preservation of health is that one 
should not administer a clyster for the purpose of removing the res- 
idue in the stomach, unless there is special need in its removal, in 
which case one must proceed with it forthwith. It is then advis- 
able to eat, take a bath, have coition, sleep and exercise before one 
is examined and the residue is removed from the stomach. One 
should also be examined after he has done one of the five things 
enumerated here. 

“An important rule is to examine the quality of food. One 
could write a very long chapter on this subject in which a knowledge 
of the nature of the various kinds of foods would be essential. 
Physicians have written many long treatises on this subject on 
account of its very great need. However, for our present purposes 
we Shall limit ourselves to foods most frequently found and com- 
monly used, and describe their benefits. 

“Superior foods which should be preferred by all who take care 
of their health are: well prepared wheat bread, meats of one- or two- 
year-old sheep, chickens, health cocks, partridges, pigeons, and also 

24 The Medical Works of Maimonides { Am, Jour. Phatm. 

yolks of hens’ eggs. By well prepared bread is meant that it should 
be of fully ripened wheat after the superfluous moisture was dried 
in it, and it must not be too old as to be on the verge of deterioration 
or begin to sprout. The bread should also have bran, i. e., the husks 
must not be removed through a sieve; it must be well leavened, well 
salted, thoroughly kneaded, and baked in an oven. This is called 
by physicians well prepared bread, and it makes the best food. 

“Tt should be noted that whatever is prepared of wheat besides 
this bread cannot be considered as good food at all. Indeed, among 
such preparations are very injurious foods, as unleavened bread, and 
cooked dough, as vermicelli, noodles (called by the Persians Tutmaj), 
and cooked floor as “’harira” (2) and “asida”’, (3) roasted (or 
fried) dough, such as sweet pancakes and bread moistened with 
olive oil or any other oil. All these are very bad foods for every- 
body. Likewise bread baked of white flour or fine flour, and meat 
and wheat pounded together cannot be recommended as good foods. 
Ii they are nourishing, when well digested, these foods require a 
strong stomach, and only then are they quite beneficial. 

“As for the kinds of meat that we have mentioned above, not 
all of them have the same nature, neither could all be as equally rec- 
ommended. The best kind of meat of cattle is that of sheep grazing 
in the mountains, one or two years old and moderately fat. The 
best part of the animal is the outside meat and the part adhering to 
the bones, that found in the abdomen being inferior in quality. Sim- 
ilarly all fats are bad, as they satiate, cause indigestion, diminish the 
appetite, and form a pituitary secretion. Also the head of animals 
contains more unassimilable matter than any other organ. On the 
other hand the shanks contain less of this matter and their use as 
food is not so bad. Lambs are again rich in refuse matter and there 
is not much good in them, while suckling kids are good to eat and 
easy to digest. Meat of fowl is generally lighter than that of cattle 
and is much easier to digest. The best fowl meat is that which is 
mentioned above. 

“Fresh milk is a good food for those in whose stomach it will 
not sour nor ferment, nor form flatulence in the region below the 
loins. Galen recommends that one should add to the milk a little 
honey and a pinch of salt so as to avoid its curdling in the stomach. 

(2) A soup of flour and milk. 
(3) A gruel prepared of flour with butter and honey. 


Ant Jour Piss ¢ ~The Medical Works of M aimonides 2 
The best kind of milk is the tenderest, such as milk of goats, or of 
she camels which is also good. Whatever is prepared from milk 
or is mixed with it is very unhealthy, such as curdled milk, sweet 
and sour milk mixed together and whey. Likewise all that is cooked 
of milk and in milk is unwholesome as food. Cheese is a poor and 
heavy food, except the fresh white cheese which is sweet of taste 
and contains little fat. Galen praises it as a nourishing food. Other 
kinds of cheese are objectionable, especially the old cheese contain- 
ing much fat. Fresh and melted butter is not a bad food for any- 

“Bees’ honey is beneficial for old people, but disliked by the 
young, especially of feverish nature, for it changes into yellow bile. 
Fish is mostly a poor food, especially for those who have a moist 
nature (phlegmatics) and old people, above all the fish that have 
large bodies, salted, as well as those frequenting slimy water, and 
fat, viscous fish. On the other hand, fish small of body and white 
of meat, which have acquired a sea taste, and those found in flowing 
water as e. g. the kind called mullet or sardines—are not unwhole- 
some as food, yet should not be used too much. 

“Tt is known among all physicians that the best of food is what 
is generally known as forbidden by the Moslem religion. It com- 
bines all the nourishing qualities of food, forming a good, rich, and 
light food which facilitates and helps digestion and rids the body of 
waste matter by discharging urine and perspiration. It has other 
superior qualities and many virtues enumerated by physicians. How- 
ever, it is quite useless to talk about a food, the use of which is not 
permissible; we shall therefore refrain from mentioning the ways 
and manner of using it with regard to the preservation of one’s 
health (4). 

“Vegetables which generally are not wholesome as food are 
garlic, onions, leek (related to the onion), radishes, cabbage, and 
egg-plant; and people who take care of their health should avoid 
them. Cantaloup is easily digestible when eaten the first thing in 
the morning on an empty stomach, having no flow of bad secretion 
and not containing any bad mixture. It has then a slight cooling 
effect on the body, throws off the urine and cleans the veins of im- 
purities, it being thus a wholesome food. I have mentioned it here, 
for it is used much by people. 

(4) The author evidently refers in this paragraph to grape wine and various 
kinds of beer, the use of which is prohibited by the Moslem religion. 

26 The Medical Works of Maimonides { Any Jour. 

“In regard to fresh fruit it is well to know that whatever grows 
on trees cannot be generally recommended as food. Yet some fruit 
is not as bad as others: so carobs, fruit of the lotus tree, and the 
medlar are quite wholesome, whereas figs and grapes are not nearly 
so bad, in fact almost wholesome, as Galen speaks of figs and grapes 
as the chiefs to all fruit. They are indeed the least injurious, yet one 
should not overtax the blood which is required for digesting all fruit 
(i. e. one should not eat too much of this fruit). My statement that 
whatever grows on trees cannot be recommended as food must not 
be misunderstood in view of the fact that fruit juices as well as sirups 
and confections prepared from fruits are beneficial as medicine in 
various diseases, for the virtue of foods as food is different from 
their virtue as remedies for diseases; this is quite evident to —— 
versed in the medical art. 

“There is a statement of Galen in which he offers a solemn 
advice to people that they should not eat any fruit. He says that 
every year he used to suffer from fever, then, following his father’s 
advice completely to abstain from eating fruit, and since then up 
to the time he wrote his treatise, he suffered from fever only one 
day. The fact that many people eat these fruits yet do not suffer 
from fever is no proof to the contrary, for change in habits and va- 
riety in dispositions bring about different rules. If the Hindu e. g. 
ate well prepared bread and mutton meat he would surely become ill, 
and on the other hand if one of us limited his diet to rice and fish 
as the Hindus do he would likewise become ill. However, the pur- 
pose of this treatise is not to cite the causes thereof, but its aim is 
that we know that generally speaking fruits are not wholesome and 
should be eaten in moderate quantity. They must not be mixed in 
any form with other foods. Fruits that act as laxatives, such as 
plums, grapes and figs are to be consumed before the meal which is 
to be taken only after the former is emptied from the stomach, 
whereas those that act as astringents as quinces and pears, should 
be taken after meals in moderate quantities, as much as to have their 
fragrance in the stomach. Just as figs and grapes are the best of 
fruits so are peaches and apricots the worst among them. The lat- 
ter two cannot be digested at all, an appreciable quantity of waste 
matter remaining in the veins mixed with the blood, where it even- 
tually boils, thus causing the inception of putrid fever. 

“Dried fruits, such as raisins, dried figs, kernels of pistachio 
nuts, kernels of dry almonds, are not unwholesome; however they 


Am. Jour. Pham The Medical Works of Maimonides 27 
are recommended as beneficial after meals, especially raisins and 
pistachio nuts which are very good for the liver ; and ‘A healthy liver 
is our life’, as Galen said. In a similar manner it is good to take a 
little of sweet dessert after the meal in order to enable the tomach 
to envelope the food and digest it properly.” 

The previously mentioned excerpts from the first chapter appear 
here as such for the first time (I believe) in the English tongue 
translated from the original Arabic. They give the thoughts con- 
cerning personal hygiene and dietetics prevalent among the leading 
medical practitioners in the Arabic speaking countries during the 
twelfth century. 

Maimonides’ Triology 
Brief comments here should be made of the three of his greatest 
works, a triology. Though they are included among his Rabbinical 
and philosophical writings, information concerning medical subjects 
are to be found therein. His first great work was the Siraj (or 
Light or Maor (Hebrew)) or his Commentary on the Mishnah. 
“A physician,” he says in this Commentary on the Mishnah, “should 

begin with simple treatment trying to cure by diet before he admin- 
isters drugs.” It is of interest to note that in his “Responsa” he 
applies this principle to spiritual ills as well. The following opinion 
voiced almost 800 years ago by Maimonides can be aptly applied to- 
day : “Like unto a murderer,” he wrote, “is the physician who refuses 
to tender his assistance in time of necessity, or who practices without 
due study of the ailment which he is treating.” 

The Mishnah Torah or Double of the Torah (Repetition of the 
Law; Deuteronomy) or Strong Hand (YaD ha-Hazaqah) (Sefer 
ha-yad), (written in new Hebrew not Hebrew-Aramic) is the first 
complete digest, classification and codification of all the Mosaic and 
Rabbinical laws. It is enriched with much of his own philosophical 
and scientific thought and contains material derived by industrious 
work and compilation not only from the Torah and from both Tal- 
muds, but also from the Geonim, the whole consisting of 1000 chap- 
ters being classified in fourteen books or sections. In this work, 
one finds the whole of Jewish jurisprudence, religious, civil and 
criminal, astronomical knowledge and medical information, coupled 
with a considerable amount of general data and philosophical thought. 
It is difficult to appreciate the significance of this masterful and 
gigantic work. Regarded by many as the greatest work in Jewish 


28 The Medical Works of Maimonides Jour. Pig 
literature after the Bible, it has obtained a semi-canonical status in 

The most famous work written by Moses Maimonides and 
which crowned his reputation was the Dalalat al-Ha ’irin, or Guide 
for the Perplexed, or Moreh nebukim (Hebrew), (or Doctor per- 
plexorum), completed in 1187-1190. Written in Arabic, the orig- 
inal text was given in Hebrew characters. Translations in French, 
Hebrew, Latin, Italian, German, Spanish and in English are avail- 
able. A better translation of Dalalat is guidance and “A guidance 
for the perplexed” is what Maimonides intended this work ‘to be. 
This treatise appeared in the form of letters addressed to his disciple 
Joseph ibn ‘Aknin and was sent to him chapter by chapter as he com- 
pleted them. It was not intended for the multitude or the masses 
but it was written from a philosopher to the philosophically inclined 
(to the select). He attempted to bring mental peace and spiritual 
comfort to the “perplexed” and the result was his “Guide”. His 
purpose of this work was to reconcile faith with reason, to recon- 
cile Aristotelian philosophy and thought with Jewish theology and 
the doctrines of Judaism. This was something new, something orig- 
inal, something never attempted before by any Jewish thinker. To 
some extent he championed science against the fundamentalism of 
the Bible, though he was at all times honest and consistent in the 
belief of the truth of the Aristotelian system and convinced of the 
truth of the Mosaic doctrine and of the Divine origin of the Torah. 
Though much can be said pro and con for this and other of his works, 
at least Maimonides must be credited with the fact that he pointed 
out that philosophy and science did not begin nor did it end in the 
Scriptures and Talmud. 


oe i Preparation of Tetrahydronaphthalene Peroxide 29 


By Wm. Nussle, Jr., G. W. Perkins and G. Toennies 
(Contribution from the Organic Chemistry Laboratory of the Philadelphia 

College of Pharmacy and Science and the Lankenau Hospital Research 


N connection with studies by one of us on the oxidation of cystine 

in non-aqueous media (1) it was thought desirable to compare 
the activity of tetrahydronaphthalene peroxide with that of other 
peroxides. Bamberger and co-workers prepared a number of tetra- 
hydronaphthalene derivatives by reducing the corresponding naph- 
thalene compounds with sodium in amyl alcohol solution. These 
hydrogenated derivatives are of two types, e. g., aromatic and alicyclic. 
In certain cases they noted that on standing the derivatives would 
darken in color (2). Bamberger and Kitschelt observed that tetra- 
hydronaphthalene for which we will use the shorter name tetralin, 
when allowed to remain in contact with air for some time, underwent 
a slow change in color and exhibited chemical activity not found in 
freshly distilled tetralin. Hartman and Seiberth (3) found that tet- 
ralin and air at room temperature and higher (70 degrees-80 degrees) 
gave a peroxide with a melting point 53 degrees-54 degrees, and that 
the formation of the peroxide could be catalyzed by metals such as 
zinc turnings. Hock and Susemihl (4) and Piatti (5) have also ob- 
served the phenomena of oxygen absorption by tetralin. Several 
patents describe the preparation of tetralin peroxide both with and 
without catalysts (6). Moureu, Dufraisse and Chaux (7) in an 
investigation of autoxidation and knocking in motor fuels found that 
tetralin exposed to the air at room temperature gave a positive test 
for peroxide with potassium iodide solution. 

We have investigated the method as used by Hock and Susemihl 
and find that certain factors are important for the successful oxida- 
tion of the tetralin to a peroxide. The general method employed by 
them was to aspirate air through a liter of tetralin at about 75 de- 
grees C. for fifty to sixty hours. The unoxidized tetralin was then 
distilled off at 1-2 mm. pressure, the peroxide crystallized by chilling 

*A portion of this paper is abstracted from a thesis presented by Wm. 
Nussle, Jr., in May, 1934, to the Faculty of the Philadelphia College of Phar- 

macy and Science in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of 
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. 


30 Preparation of Tetrahydronaphthalene Peroxide { Any Jour. 

the residue, with final recrystallization from petroleum ether. The 
peroxide has a melting point of 56 degrees C. They report a num- 
ber of properties of the peroxide. We have varied the time of the 
aspiration and also the method of aspiration. The time factor seems 
to be of considerable importance, also an efficient condensing system 
is necessary to condense the tetralin from the moving current of air 
and return it to the reaction flask. A maximum oxidation time of 
45-5 hours is the optimum time for good yields. The following table 
records some data observed on a series of runs, 

Initial volume Final volume Density of Primary yield 

of tetralin Aspiration of oxidized  tetralin at of crude 
(d27 0.9664) time tetralin end of run peroxide 
500cc. 45 Hours 420cc. d?° 1.020 70 gm. 

1000 cc. 66.5 “ 800cc.  d?3 1.026 (a) viscous liquid 

1o0ooce. 49 giocc. (a) (b) viscous 

500 cc. 44.5 (c) 485 cc. d27 1.012 70 gm. 
1000 cc. eos * 840 cc. d27.5 1.005 132 gm. 

Notes: In the first four runs the air was distributed through the tetralin by 
means of a T-tube. In the last run the air was distributed by means of a small 
size alundun thimble. The first four runs were heated on a water bath and the 
last run heated in a deep tank both kept at 75° C. + 2°. 

(a) No peroxide could be crystallized from the viscous residue even though 
seeded with peroxide crystals and allowed to stand in the refrigerator for a week. 

(b) The oxidation was interrupted at 44 hours and density found to be d?2 
0.994. At the end of 48 hours the density was found to be d?? 0.9980. 

(c) The color of the oxidized tetralin was orange-yellow when matched 
with Mulliken’s Color Chart. 

The fifth run was interrupted from time to time in order to make 
density measurements and also compare the change in color using a 
Lovibond Tintometer, at the same time the total volume was re- 

Lovibond average 
Oxidation Volume of color tints 
time elapsed tetralin Density Yellow Red 

1,000 cc. 

990 cc. d24 

980 cc. 

950 cc. d27 

930 cc. 

870 cc. 

860 cc. 

840 cc. 

The apparatus set-up and general procedure followed for obtain- 
ing the peroxide was as follows: 

Am. Jour ¢ Preparation of Tetrahydronaphthalene Peroxide 31 

1000 cc. of tetralin were placed in a 2-liter flask to which was 
fitted a three-holed cork holding a long Allihn condenser, a thermom- 
eter and an inlet tube for air at the bottom of which was fitted an 
alundun thimble. The thermometer and the alundun thimble were 
both immersed in the tetralin. The top of the condenser was corked 
and fitted with tubing, and by means of glass stopcocks and a by-pass 
for air it was possible to operate a laboratory motor-blower contin- 
uously without heating and only aspirate from 10 to 12 liters of air 
per hour through the tetralin. The air before entering the inlet tube 
of the reaction flask was drawn through sodium hydroxide, sulfuric 
acid and calcium chloride. The tetralin was kept at 75 degrees C. 
approximately (from 73 degrees to 77 degrees C.) by carefully 
“cracking” the valve of the steam coil. At the end of approximately 
45 hours oxidation time, the tetralin was transferred to an all glass 
vacuum distilling apparatus with ground joints. The unoxidized 
tetralin was distilled off at as low a pressure as possible so that the 
peroxide would not be decomposed by heat. The tetralin distills at 
47.2 degrees to 51.2 degrees C. at I to 1.5 mm. pressure. At 4 mm. 
pressure the tetralin distills at 62.0 degrees C. The liquid remain- 
ing in the distilling apparatus was placed in a Frigidaire Cabinet at 
—I5 degrees to —20 degrees C. overnight and the crystals of perox- 
ide which crystallize out were filtered through a sintered glass filter. 

In order to obtain a product melting sharply at 56 degrees C. 
it is necessary to recrystallize several times. The best solvent for 
the recrystallization was found to be a mixture of ethyl acetate and 
petroleum ether. 70 grams of the crude peroxide were dissolved in 
22 cc. of ethyl acetate to which was added 70 cc. of petroleum ether, 
this solution was then allowed to stand overnight at —10 degrees C. 
and 40.5 grams of peroxide crystallized out. Two additionai recrys- 
tallizations were made using the same ratio of solvents and peroxide. 
The final yield of pure peroxide melting at 56 degrees C. was 23 
grams (from 70 grams of crude peroxide). 


To obtain satisfactory yields of tetrahydronaphthalene peroxide 
by the oxidation of tetrohydronaphthalene (tetralin), the oxidation 
should not be continued as long as that reported by Hock and Suse- 
mihl but should be stopped at about 45 hours time when the density 
of the tetralin has increased to approximately 1.000 at 22.5 degrees 

32. Preparation of Tetrahydronaphthalene Peroxide Jour. Plarm. 

C. It was not found possible to isolate the tetralin peroxide from 
the oxidized tetralin when longer oxidation times were used. 

The best solvent for the recrystallization of tetralin peroxide 
was found to be a mixture of 22 cc. of ethyl acetate and 70 cc. of 
petroleum ether for each 70 grams of the peroxide. Tetralin perox- 
ide recrystallized three times from this solvent mixture melted at 
56 degrees C. 


(1) G. Toennies and T. F. Lavine, J. Biol. Chem. 105, 115-121 (1934). 

(2) E. Bamberger and M. Kitschelt, Ber. 23, 876-884 (1890). E. Bamber- 
ger and Muller, Ber. 21, 847-860 (1888). 

(3) M. Hartman and M. Seiberth, Helv. Chim. Acta, 15, 1390-1392 (1932). 

(4) H. Hock and W. Susemihl, Ber. 66, 61-68 (1933). H. Hock and W. 
Susemihl, Brennstoff-Chem. 14, 106-107 (1933). 

(5) L. Piatti, Angew. Chem. 46, 638-639 (1933). 

(6) German Patent 520,290, April 21, 1925. British Patent 396,351, August 
3, 1933. Swiss Patent 162,998, September 16, 1933. French Patent 754,790, No- 
vember 14, 1933. 

(7) C. Moureu, C. Dufraisse and R. Chaux, Ann. office nat. comb. liquides, 

2, 233-252 (1927). 

Report on Hypophosphites. Henry R. Bond. J. Assoc. Official 
Agr. Chem. 17, 437 (1934). The assay method of the N. F. V for 
the hypophosphites of calcium, manganese, potassium and manganese 
produced inconsistent results in regulatory work. Determinations 
based upon the oxidation of hypophosphites to phosphates with sub- 
sequent precipitation of the phosphate were found to be satisfactory. 
Methods based upon the reduction, by the hypophosphite, of mercuric 
chloride to mercurous chloride were as yet unsatisfactory but showed 

A collaborative study of the determination of calcium and 
hypophosphite in syrup of calcium hypophosphite N. F. indicates 
that excellent results are obtained if the hypophosphite is oxidized 
with nitric acid, precipitated with ammonium molybdate reagent and 
subsequently converted to MgoP2O7. Calcium is determined by 
precipitation as the oxalate and subsequent conversion to CaSO,. 
Tentative methods of assay are given. 


Am. Jour. Pharm} — Volatile Oil of Achillea Millefolium Linné 33 

January, 1935 


By R. L. McMurray* 
Constants of the Volatile Oil 
CROP of Achillea Millefolium Linné grown at the Pharma- 

A ceutical Experiment Station at the University of Wisconsin 
during the summer of 1929 was steam distilled to obtain the volatile 
oil. About 235 cc. of oil were obtained: the weight of the crop 
was not available, and therefore the percentage yield for the volatile 
oil was not calculated. The following constants were obtained at 
25 degrees C.: 

Specific gravity 

Refractive index 

Specific Rotation a(D) 

The specific rotation was determined on the following dilutions 
in 95 per cent. alcohol. Determinations were made on 9.3853, 4.1634 
and 3.3701 grams of volatile oil respectively per 100 grams of solu- 
tion and using a 50 mm. tube. H., Haensel (1) states he used abso- 
lute alcohol. Dilution of the volatile oil is absolutely necessary be- 

cause of the intense blue color. 

H. Haensel (1) states that a solution of one part of oil to 200 
parts of absolute alcohol, when measured in a 50 mm. tube, rotates 
the plane of polarized light 1.65 (degrees) to the left. A duplicate 
of Haensel’s method was made, using a 100 mm. tube, but the value 
that he reported was not obtained. Instead an average reading of 
0.053 degrees, equivalent to a(D) —11.76 was noted. Considering 
the extreme dilution this reading is in agreement with the readings 
obtained by using larger percentages of the volatile oil. Further, 
the rotating power obtained by A. B. Aubert (2) (—14.2 degrees) 
is in agreement with present results. Therefore, it may be concluded 
that the optical rotation value reported by H. Haensel is in error. 

Early History of the Volatile Oil 

The earliest recorded production of the volatile oil from Achillea 
Millefolium Linné yet found is that by F. Hoffman (3) in 1719. 
He states that a blue volatile oil was obtained by distillation. K. 
Neumanns (4) in 1752, also refers to a blue volatile oil. W. Lewis, 
(5) in 1753, likewise, refers to a blue volatile oil. 

L. F. Bley (6) has been given credit (7) for first producing 
this volatile oil in 1828. On the contrary he was not the first, as 

*School of Pharmacy, State College of Washington, Pullman. 

34 Volatile Oil of Achillea Millefolium Linné a 
at least one of these workers referred to above undoubtedly obtained 
the volatile oil of Achillea Millefolium Linné more than a century 
before the publication of Bley’s work. 


(1) Haensel, H.: Bericht, 4 (1901), p 
(2) Aubert, "A. B.: Journal of the p on Chemical Society, 24 (1902), 

(3) Hoffman, F.: De Millefolio, germanice Schaaf-Garben (1719). 
(4) Neumanns, K.: Chymiae Medicae Dogmatico-Experimentalis, v. 2, pt. 3, 

pp. 366-374 (1752). 

(5) Lewis, W.: New Dispensatory, p. 161 (1753). 

(6) Bley, L. F. Trommsdorff’s neues Journal der Pharmacie, s. 2, v. 16, 
pt. I, pp. 245-274; s. 2, v. 16, pt. 2, pp. 94-120; s. 2, v. 17, pt. I, pp. 46-60; s. 2, 
v. 17, pt. 2, pp. 58-80 (1828). 

(7) Gildemeister, E., and Hoffmann, F. (translated by Edward Kremers) : 
The Volatile Oils, 2d ed., v. 3, p. 618 (1922). 

Determination of Citric Acid as Pentabromoacetone and Its 
Application to Wine. O. Reichard. Z. Unt. Lebensm. 68, 138, (1934). 
Through Analyst, 59, 759 (1934). The conditions for the quanti- 
tative conversion of citric acid in aqueous solution into pentabromo- 
acetone have been established. The treatment with potassium bro- 
mide, sulphuric acid and potassium permanganate must be carried 
out at a temperature not higher than 5 degrees C., and bromine must 
be present in such quantity that the ratio bromide: citric acid is not 
less than 2, and the ratio potassium bromide: citric acid not below 
3. The amount of potassium permanganate present must produce 
a persistent violet color or a separation of manganese dioxide. After 
being washed with water, the collected pentabromoacetone is dried 
for 2 hours in a desiccator over sulphuric acid. It may be identified 
by the melting-point (71 degrees to 72 degrees C. for the crude, and 
73 degrees C. for the purified product), the crystalline form, the 
color reactions with resorcinol and phloroglucinol, and, after decom- 
position by alkali, by the iso-nitrile reaction. 

In the amounts occurring in wines, glycerol and such organic 
acids as malic, lactic, tartaric and acetic acids do not interfere with 
the determination, provided that the above conditions are fulfilled ; 
preliminary separation of the citric acid is usually unnecessary. The 
presence of more than 5 grams of sugar per liter renders direct 
bromination of the citric acid impracticable. In this case either the 
sugar is first fermented away or the citric acid is precipitated as 
barium salt, which is washed wth 50 per cent. (by vol.) alcohol 
and subsequently brominated. Details are given of the procedure 
to be followed in the various cases. 


Am. Jour. Pigs Scientific and Technical Abstracts 35 


Compiled by Arthur Osol, Ph. D. 

The Absorption and Storage of Vitamin A in the Rat. C. A. 
Baumann, Blanche M. Riising and H. Steenbock. J. Biol. Chem. 107, 
705 (1934). The apparent importance of vitamin A reserves for the 
well being of the animal has led the authors to make a detailed study 
of the absorption and storage of the vitamin, the rat being used as 
the experimental animal. Vitamin A determinations were made on 
the unsaponifiable extracts by means of the Carr-Price technique 
(Biochem, J., 20, 497, 1926) using a solution of SbCls in CHCl, 
saturated at o degrees, as reagent. The results were calculated ac- 
cording to the method of Moore (Biochem. J., 24, 692, 1930). Anal- 
yses for vitamin A when added as halibut liver oil to rat tissues or 
extracts of rat tissues gave values ranging from 95 to 104 per cent. 
of the amount added. The method therefore appeared sufficiently 
accurate. Occasionally the colorimetric results were verified by means 
of spectrophotometric determinations. The following summary is 

(1) As measured by the SbCl3 test, 95 per cent. of the total 
vitamin A of the rat was found stored in the liver. The remainder 
was located in lung and in kidney tissue. On the authors’ regular stock 
ration only traces of vitamin A were found in rats under three weeks 
of age; thereafter the increase in the stores was rapid and regular. 

(2) The vitamin A content of new born rats was increased 
slightly by raising the vitamin A intake of the mothers during preg- 
nancy ; raising it during lactation increased the vitamin stores of the 
nursing young markedly. 

(3) The minimum daily dose of vitamin A necessary to pro- 
duce storage in the liver was between 25 and so blue units. How- 
ever, when storage had been attained, the reserves were depleted at 
the rate of 7 to 18 blue units daily, depending upon the amount 

(4) When vitamin A was fed in the form of halibut liver oil, 
the amount stored in the liver was found to parallel the amount ad- 
ministered, but only 10 to 20 per cent. of the vitamin could be ac- 
counted for. When equal amounts of vitamin A were fed to normal 
and to vitamin A-depleted rats, the liver storage was greatest in the 
normal animals. When equal amounts of vitamin A were fed to ani- 

36 Scientific and Technical Abstracts { Amy, Jour. 
mals in various stages of depletion, the amount stored was inversely 
proportional to the state of depletion. 

(5) Whereas the growth and survival of rats on a vitamin A- 
deficient diet paraileled both their previous vitamin intake and their 
vitamin A stores, the period of growth was longer than could be pre- 
dicted on the basis of liver stores alone. Prolonged growth in the 
absence of stored or dietary vitamin A was observed. 

(6) Absorption and storage of vitamin A to a large extent took 
place within six hours after the ingestion of the vitamin. Vitamin 
losses, due to destruction in the digestive tract, were large. Fecal 
elimination of* vitamin A was small. 

New Color Reaction of Ammonia. L. Lapin and W. Hein. Z. 
anal, Chem., 98, 236 (1934). Through Analyst, 50, 773 (1934). 
The reaction is based on the appearance of a blue color when a solu- 
tion containing ammonium salt is shaken with hypobromite and 
thymol. The reagents are: a 25 per cent. solution of thymol in 
alcohol, and sodium hypobromite freshly prepared from 1 volume of 
2 N sodium hydroxide solution, and 2 volumes of saturated bromine 
water. The liquid to be tested (5 cc.) is first mixed in a wide test- 
tube with 1 cc. of thymol solution, then with 12 to 15 cc. of hypo- 
bromite solution, and, after one to two minutes, with 5 cc. of ether 
or xylene. The liquid is cautiously mixed by inverting the tube sev- 
eral times, when the colored compound dissolves in the solvent. The 
sensitiveness is 0.01 milligram of ammonia per 100 cc., i. e. one-fifth 
of that of Nessler’s reaction. The only interfering metals are lead 
and platinum, which cause a brownish tint in the ethereal layer; the 
interference of lead is counteracted by addition of sulphate. Sul- 
phide ion requires an excess of hypobromite. Hydroxylamine and 
hydrazine. salts, as well as hydrogen peroxide, weaken the intensity 
of the color. Organic compounds do not interfere, with the excep- 
tion of aniline, which imparts a yellowish-pink tint to the ether. 

Rapid Determination of Nitrogen by a Kjeldahl-Nessler Proc- 
ess. W. H. Kitto. Analyst, 59, 733 (1934). The following method 
is proposed: A quantity of 0.5 gram of a solid substance (such as 
wheat flour, bread, barley), or 2 cc. of a liquid (such as milk, or 
diluted condensed milk) is introduced into a 100 cc. Kjeldahl flask, 
together with two small glass beads, and 12.5 cc. of Chiles’s mixture 
(J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 50, 217, 1928) to which powdered sodium 

a Scientific and Technical Abstracts 37 
selenate is added in the proportion of 1.15 grams per 100 cc. The 
flask is heated gently, with shaking, for the first five minutes, and 
the heating then continued in the usual way. If ¢ is the time taken 
to clear (which is usually about 20 minutes), heat for a total period 
of 1.75 t. Cool, and wash into a 250 cc. flask, and adjust to the mark. 
Take 10 cc. of this diluted solution, add phenolphthalein, and titrate 
with N sodium hydroxide solution. Let the amount of alkali re- 
quired be s cc. Now transfer 40 cc. from the 250 cc. flask, to a 
100 cc. flask, add (4s—1) cc. of N sodium hydroxide solution, to 
produce a slightly acid reaction, and adjust to the mark. Take 20 
cc. of this mixture and nesslerize, using 4 cc. of Nessler’s reagent 
and diluting to 100 cc. If the depth of color is moderate, nesslerize 
two other quantities of 10 cc. and 30 cc. respectively, using 2 cci 
and 4 cc. of Nessler’s reagent respectively and making up to 100 cc. 
If with 20 cc. the color obtained is deep, take two smaller quanti- 
ties, and if it is unduly pale, take two larger ones for nesslerization, 
using 2 cc. of Nessler’s reagent for the lower and 4 cc. for the higher 
concentrations. ‘The ammonia-contents of the nesslerized solutions 
are then determined in the 4 cm. trough of a Hellige comparator by 
comparison with previously standardized discs. The results by this 
method were in satisfactory agreement with those obtained by the 
standard Kjeldahl procedure. 

Report on Bromide-Bromate Volumetric Solutions. H. Wales. 
J. Assoc. Official Agr. Chem. 17, 448 (1934). Question had been 
raised concerning the necessity of using a large excess of bromide in 
the standard bromide-bromate solution as is now specified by the 
U. S. P. and A. O. A. C. methods, and also as to the need for more 
than one such solution, particular comment being made concerning 
the solution specified for the titration of acetanilid. 

Three solutions were prepared. (1) 50 grams of KOH dissolved 
in water, saturated with bromine, boiled to expel excess of bromine 
and diluted to 1 liter. (2) 3 grams of KBrO3 and 50 grams of KBr 
dissolved in water to make 1 liter. (3) 3 grams of KBrOg and 12 
grams of KBr dissolved in water to make 1 liter. 

Analyses of acetanilid, phenol, thymol, salicylic acid and pro- 
caine hydrochloride yielded identical results with each of the three 
solutions, from which it is concluded that there is no justification 
in using the excess of bromide specified in the analysis of acetanilid 
by the A. O. A. C. method. It is recommended that a solution of 

38 Scientific and Technical Abstracts } Avy. Jour. 
14 grams of KBrO3 and 55 grams of KBr in sufficient water to 
make 1 liter be used instead of the solution now recommended (A. O. 
A. C. page 439, 5a) and that this solution may be standardized against 
acetanilid or 0.1 sodium thiosulphate, after addition of K1 and 

It is further recommended that the quantity of KBr used in 
preparing the standard bromide-bromate solution for the determi- 
nation of total salicylates (page 446, 25 c) be reduced from 50 
grams to I2 grams. 

An alternate method for the determination of acetanilid, which 
depends upon the addition of an excess of the bromide-bromate solu- 
tion and back titration with o.1 N sodium thiosulphate, is also 

Report on Nitrites in Tablets. Frank C. Sinton. J. Assoc. 
Official Agr. Chem. 17, 462 (1934). For the assay of nitrites in tab- 
lets, when no interfering material is present, it has been found pos- 
sible to adapt either the U. S. P. permanganate method for the 
determination of sodium nitrite, or the gasometric determination of 
spirit of ethyl nitrite. If the tablets contain organic matter and 
sodium bicarbonate, the former interferes with the permanganate 
titration and the latter with the gasometric method. Therefore the 
work reported is confined to methods suitable for such a mixture. 

The following method is recommended. Count and weigh a 
representative number of tablets and powder at least 25, mixing thor- 
oughly. Transfer to a 100 cc. volumetric flask a sample equivalent 
to about 0.5 gram of sodium nitrite, make up to volume with dis- 
tilled water, shake thoroughly, and when solution has been assured, 
filter. Reject the first 10 cc. of solution, then transfer to a 50 cc. 
aliquot to a 200 cc. volumetric flask. Add 5 cc. of nitric acid (conc), 
10 cc. of a saturated potassium chlorate solution, and 20 cc. of a 0.1 
N silver nitrate solution. Make up to volume with water, shake 
thoroughly, and when the silver chloride has settled, filter, rejecting 
the first 20 cc. Titrate a 100 cc. aliquot of the filtrate with o.1 N 
potassium thiocyanate solution. 

I cc. of AgNO3z = 0.020703 gram of NaNOg. Make a deter- 
mination of chloride if any is present in the tablet, and deduct from 
the total. Good results were obtained with sodium nitrite C. P. as a 
control and with tablets containing sodium nitrite, sodium bicarbo- 
nate, F. E. Crataegus Ox., and nitroglycerin. 

Am. Jour. Pharm. } Solid Extracts 

January, 1935 

By Ivor Griffith, Sc. D., Ph. M. 

The average life expectancy in the United States today is said 
to be somewhere around fifty-seven years. This does not compare 
favorably with the alleged record of Methusaleh, whose only excuse 
for a voice in a verse was that he lived for over nine hundred years 
of a kind, did nothing, and then died. 

More than likely, modern man does more real living in one year, 
than Methusaleh did in his thousand. 

But when the Greeks were ascendant the span of life was only 
half that of the present—if we believe the conclusions of archeolo- 
gists, who from Greek epitaphs and writings, tinctured with some 
useless arithmetic, claim that in Ancient Greece the average person 
could expect to live only twenty-nine years. 

Still it must be admitted, on the bewhiskered, bald-headed evi- 
dence, calcium-kept in statuary, that some of those Greek philoso- 
phers certainly fooled their statisticians. 

“Solid beer” has been known for centuries and was the standby 
of the vagabond tribes of the Orient on their long and weary treks. 

The early Arabs, according to ancient texts, knew the “solid 
beer” under the name of “saviq”; their predecessors the Babylonians, 
gave it the more bubbly title of “hubur bulug gar.” It was not sold 
by liquid measure, but in lumps by weight, and was carried wrapped 
up in packages on camel-back. When the caravan made camp, some 
of the lumps were soaked in water, which quickly fermented into a 
refreshing drink of low alcoholic content. 

The little bacterium (not yeast) that made the babbling Baby- 
lonians call this bubbling imbibition “hubur bulug gar”—is now being 
bred and brewed by beer bugologists. 

The use of the Zanzibar clove as a mask for alcoholic halitosis 
is being revived. Few know the intriguing, world involving story of 
the humble clove, once more costly, weight for weight, than pure 
gold—but now reduced to bar-room tenantry. And to prove that there 
is nothing new under the sun—we are told that, during one of the 
Chinese dynasties of the third century B. C., it was customary for 
officers of the court to chew a clove in the mouth before addressing 
the sovereign, in order that the breath might hide its warm offensive- 
ness! To which the Listerine copy writer might react with halitotic 
fervor, “Better one lone drop of ours—than ten cloves in old Cathay!” 

40 Solid Extracts bee 

According to the Department of Agriculture, colonial dames did 
all their domestic dyeing with the common plants of field and fen. 
Furthermore, it states that satisfactory and pleasing shades may even 
now be made from very ordinary and available plant materials such 
as apple bark and juniper berries—onion skins and coreopsis flowers. 

And so another manifestation of the back to Nature movement! 
But more than likely the urban housewife will continue to tint with 
Rit and Tintex bought, for a song, around the corner. 

If the Department wants to do something really unique why not 
recommend the skin of the radish, the flesh of the pomegranate, or 
the juice of the red cabbage, whose colors change with sour and 
caustic mood—and thus afford a change of tone with every change 
of temper. 

Beer is a food, claims the Journal of the American Medical 
Association, and only a half of its calories come from its alcohol con- 
tent. The rest come from dextrin and protein-like extractives con- 
tained in its water phase. 

Beer + is food material “whose fattening properties may be very 
highly considered” according to one authority cited in the Journal 

Remarkable! Particularly in view of the fact that the beer drink- 
ers of Europe have clinically and anatomically proven this to us for 
many a long decade. 

But—in view of the fact that the brewer’s big horses are here 
again—S cience—so-called—should sit at the side of the driver! 

+Substitute the word beans, bread, beef-steak, or what-have-you! 

The man at the steering wheel knows the hazards of sleet-storm 
driving—and particularly the “low visibility” of ice-encrusted wind- 
shields. There are many devices available to avoid this fearful dis- 
traction to driving. Heating gadgets, soap sticks, glycerin pastes— 
and even the warm anti-freeze fluid from the radiator has been known 
to help a bit in emergency. But the recent recommendation of a 
Jersey gasoliner was to half-split a succulent onion in the raw, and to 
rub the juice therefrom over the glass. 

Accordingly, so was it done—and the rural remedy worked like 
a miracle—fully justifying the ruminating rustic’s wisecrack that 
“an onion always makes ice water.” 


Solid Extracts 41 

W ohler, pioneer of the great synthetic trail, detoured chemistry 
trom its foolish path of mud, when he discovered how, from an inor- 
ganic source, to prepare the organic substance urea. Urea had been 
existent—and readily made by man and beast—a million years before 
W ohler—but never before had any man known how thus to compete 
with Nature herself as a synthesist. But while Wohler is mostly 
remembered for this “epoch-making discovery’—the Aluminum Com- 
pany of America will remember him better as the discoverer of the 
element aluminum, in 1827. For fifty years or so, thereafter, it was 
a rare and expensive metal. Nearly five hundred dollars a pound was 
its early price and even as late as 1884, the aluminum cap or apex of 
the Washington Monument is said to have cost as much as if it had 
been made of solid silver. 

Today this democratic element fills the kitchen closet with its 
cookpot ware and makes the crudest commoner an 1830 millionaire. 

By rearranging the molecular structure of morphine, scientists 
have long hoped to produce a compound which might have all or 
more of the pain killing qualities of that alkaloid with none of its 
bad habits. Recently an American research chemist has perfected a 
substance which he calls dihydrodesoxymorphine D, and which is 
said to be ten times as effective in pain relief as morphine—although 
its addiction qualities have not yet been studied. Dr. Small, the dis- 
- coverer, has patented the product and has donated his patent rights 
to the Secretary of the Treasury, a procedure altogether more humane 
than that pursued with the German salvarsan, which capitalized to the 
utmost its specific value in the treatment of syphilis, dread scourge 
of the centuries. 

Test tuberculin has always been a relatively impure extract of 
the wicked wax-encrusted rod, responsible for the feared disease. For 
sixty years scientists have endeavored to secure in pure form, the 
essence of this test material, but it remained for Dr. Florence Seibert 
of Philadelphia finally to find a method to prepare it. 

Crystalline and concentrated is the new product and of imme- 
diate application in the diagnostic tests, on man and animal. Fur- 
thermore it may prove in some manner or another, useful in the 
treatment of the great white plague which year after year at the on- 
slaught of science reluctantly yields its hideous hold on life, in man 
and animal. 

{ Am. Jour. Pharm. 

Book Review January, 1935 


CrinicaL Laporatory Metuops. By Pauline S. Dimmitt, Ph. G. 
Pub. by F. A. Davis Co., Philada. Illustr. with 36 engravings 
inc. 7 colored plates, cloth-bound, 156 pages, inc. index. Price 

This is a bold little volume, seeking to compress into its scant 
bulk all the territory commonly covered by the more ponderous lab- 
oratory manuals, so called, because they require real manual labor 
to haul them around. 

And it does it well! 

It is quite obvious however, that the author has had the ex- 
pected difficulties of one who seeks to simplify by concentration and 
and to curtail by excision. For there are a few unfortunate omis- 
sions which must unnecessarily send the student seeking elsewhere— 
and there are chapters, such as the one outlining the complement fixa- 
tion tests where the boiling down has left a dizzy extract. 

The illustrations are tiresome and confusing. Most of them 
are old friends, for we have met them over and over again in sim- 
ilar text books. There is much to be said against borrowed and 
stereotyped cuts, and more to be said in favor of original illustra- 
tions. For instance, the casts depicted on page 11 are entirely out 
of proportion with the epithelial cells shown above, and the sperma- 
tozoa pictured on page 14 seem tadpoley in contrast to the other 
residue constituents. 

But these are only minor defects in a really splendid little vol- 
ume, that is up-to-date in its contents, terse without being inaccurate, 
and obviously the work of an efficient clinical chemist and teacher. 

It is commended to student and laboratory practitioner as’ well.