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to the funds needed for the field work of the bureau, larger funds than are now. available are required for carrying on the office work, for it is necessary to have highly trained men to prepare and care for the data used in making up these charts.
Lack of money prevents the bureau from obtaining a sufficient number of such men, and many of those at present in the service are leaving for better salaried positions elsewhere. There have been large numbers of resignations from the commissioned personnel and other scientific arms of the bureau, in fact, from all classes of the service, and it is expected that these conditions will continue until something is done to meet the situation. The superintendent points out that the condition is so serious that it threatens to jeopardize public welfare, for, he says:
The commissioned officers are the lowest paid men of their training in the federal service. Their salaries, compared to those paid in the army and the navy for similar qualifications, are 30 to 50 per cent. less. Much of their work is more hazardous, requires special training, and takes them into all our country's possessions as the pioneer workers or navigators surveyors who "blaze the trail" on land and sea. And no army or navy officer has greater qualifications, nor do they sacrifice more than the officer of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, yet the latter works for much the lowest salary, gets no longevity pay, no emoluments, and after he has given his best years to the service of his country he must retire without pay.
Too few persons realize the sacrifices a man of ability is making at the present time by remaining in the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Before this country entered the war conditions had grown to a serious stage, but since the signing of the armistice steady disintegration has gone on, and the situation has reached a point where the quality of the Survey's employees is declining principally under the stress of present economic conditions. Unless proper relief is forthcoming at once, and the present salaries are materially advanced, this important branch of the federal government, which has so much to do with the protecting of human lives, will, in a measure at least, be stripped of its best brains.
THE ROYAL MEDALS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY As has been noted in SCIENCE these medals were awarded to Professor John Bretland
Farmer and Mr. James Haywood Jeans. In conferring them on November 30 Sir Joseph Thomson, the president of the society, said:
Professor Farmer's work is characterized by the fundamental importance of the problems worked upon; thus his memoirs on the meiotic phase (reduction division) in animals and plants are of as great value to zoologists as to botanists, and his conclusions and interpretations of the complex nuclear changes which precede the differentiation of the sexual cells have stood the test of criticism, and remain the clearest and most logical account of these very important phenomena. His papers, in collaboration with his pupil, Miss Digby, on the cytology of those ferns in which the normal alternation of generations is departed from has thrown new light on problems of the greatest biological interest, and especially on the nature of sexuality. In his cytological work on cancerous growths Professor Farmer has established the close similarity between the cells of malignant growths and those of normal reproductive tissue.
Mr. Jeans has successfully attacked some of the most difficult problems in mathematical physics and astronomy. In the kinetic theory of gases he has improved the theory of viscosity, and, using generalized coordinates, has given the best proof yet devised of the equipartition of energy and of Maxwell's law of the distribution of molecular velocities, assuming the validity of the laws of Newtonian dynamics. In dynamical astronomy he took up the difficult problem of the stability of the pearshaped form of rotating, incompressible, gravitating fluid at a point where Darwin, Poincaré and Liapounoff had left it, and obtained discordant results. By proceeding to a third order of approximation, for which very great mathematical skill was required, he showed that this form was unstable. He followed this up by the discussion of the similar problem when the fluid is compressible, and concluded that for a density greater than a critical value of about one quarter that of water the behavior is generally similar to that of an incompressible fluid. For lower densities the behavior resembles that of a perfectly compressible fluid, and with increasing rotation matter will take a lenticular shape and later be ejected from the edge.
MR. ROCKEFELLER'S GIFTS
THERE were announced on Christmas day two large gifts by Mr. John D. Rockefeller, $50,000,000 to the Rockefeller Foundation and $50,000,000 to the General Education Board, the money to be available for immediate use.
In transmitting the gift to the General Education Board Mr. Rockefeller forwarded this memorandum :
The attention of the American public has recently been drawn to the urgent and immediate necessity of providing more adequate salaries to members of the teaching profession. It is of the highest importance that those intrusted with the education of youth and the increase of knowledge should not be led to abandon their calling by reason of financial pressure or to cling to it amid discouragements due to financial limitations.
It is of equal importance to our future welfare and progress that able and aspiring young men and women should not for similar reasons be deterred from devoting their lives to teaching.
While this gift is made for the general corporate purposes of the board, I should cordially indorse a decision to use the principal, as well as the income, as promptly and largely as may seem wise for the purpose of cooperating with the higher institutions of learning in raising sums specifically devoted to the increase of teachers' salaries.
In reference to this gift, Dr. Wallace Buttrick, president of the General Education Board, makes the following statement:
The general public is well aware that the salaries of instructors in colleges and universities have not thus far, in general, been sufficiently increased to meet the increased cost of living. The General Education Board has since the close of the war received applications for aid from colleges and universities the sum total of which would practically exhaust the working capital of the board.
An emergency exists. It is urgently necessary to take steps to increase salaries in order that men in the teaching profession may be able and happy to remain there, in order that young men and young women who incline to teaching as a career may not be deterred from entering the teaching profession, and, finally, in order that it may not be necessary to raise tuition fees and thereby cut off from academic opportunity those who can not afford to pay increased tuition.
As Mr. Rockefeller's memorandum shows, he recognizes the urgency of the present situation, and has given this large sum to the General Education Board to be used in cooperation with the institutions for the purpose of promptly increasing the funds available for the payment of salaries. It has been the policy of the board to make contributions to endowments, conditioned upon the raising of
The board distributes the interest on the above funds currently and is empowered to distribute the principal in its discretion. Recently Mr. Rockefeller gave the board the sum of $20,000,000 for the improvement of medical education, the interest to be distributed currently and the principal to be distributed within fifty years.
In transmitting the gift to the Rockefeller Foundation Mr. Rockefeller specifically authorizes the trustees to utilize both principal and income for any of the corporate purposes of the foundation which, as stated in the charter, are "to promote the well-being of mankind throughout the world." "While imposing no restriction upon the discretion of the trustees Mr. Rockefeller in his letter of transmittal expresses special interest "in the work being done throughout the world in combating disease through improvement of medical education, public health administration and scientific research." Mr. Rockefeller also alludes to the recent gift of $20,000,000 to the General Education Board to promote general education in the United States, and then adds:
My attention has been called to the needs of some of the medical schools in Canada, but as the activities of the General Education Board are by its charter limited to the United States I understand that gift may not be used for Canadian schools. The Canadian people are our near neighbors. They are closely bound to us by ties of race, language and international friendship; and they have without stint sacrificed themselves, their youth and their resources to the end that democracy might be saved and extended. For these reasons if your board should see fit to use any part of this new gift in promoting medical education in Canada such action would meet with my cordial approval.
This last gift makes the total received by the foundation from Mr. Rockefeller $182,000,000, of which both income and principal were made available for appropriations. In 1917-18 $5,000,000 from the principal was appropriated for war work.
SCIENTIFIC NOTES AND NEWS DR. JACQUES LOEB, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, Dr. Robert Andrews Millikan, of the University of Chicago, Dr. Arthur Gordon Webster, of Clark University, and Dr. W. W. Campbell, of Lick Observatory, have been elected honorary members of the Royal Institution of Great Britain and Ireland.
DR. OTTO KLOTZ, director of the Dominion Observatory, Ottawa, has been appointed the representative of Canada on the "Committee on Magnetic Surveys, Charts and Secular Variation" of the International Geodetic and Geophysical Union, recently formed at Brussels.
DR. C. O. MAILLOUX, who was elected president of the International Electrotechnical Commission for the next period of two years at the plenary meeting in London on October 24, was the president of the American committee. He is the second American to hold that honor. Previous presidents have been Lord Kelvin, Dr. Elihu Thomson, Professor E. Budde and Maurice Leblanc. He is a past-president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and was the first editor of The Electrical World serving in that capacity in 1883.
DR. HERRICK E. WILSON, having resigned his position as assistant to Mr. Frank Springer, of the U. S. National Museum, will continue research work upon fossil crinoids at his home in Oberlin, Ohio.
THE American Institute of Baking, founded by the American Association of the Baking Industry, has begun work in Minneapolis under the direction of Dr. H. F. Barnard assisted by an advisory committee of the National Research Council and in cooperation with the Dunwoody Institute. Dr. Barnard
has been connected with the State Board of Health of Indiana for nearly nineteen years and was federal food administrator of that state during the war.
DR. PAUL G. WOOLLEY, who recently resigned from the chair of pathology at the University of Cincinnati, is reported to have accepted the direction of a laboratory for medical diagnosis at Detroit.
PROFESSOR A. E. GRANTHAM, for twelve years head of the department of agronomy in Delaware College and agronomist to the Delaware Agricultural Experiment Station, has resigned, his resignation to become effective on February 1, to become manager of the Agricultural Service Bureau of the VirginiaCarolina Chemical Company, with headquarters at Richmond, Va.
DR. L. W. STEPHENSON, of the Geological Survey, has been granted a six months' leave of absence in the early part of 1920, in order to do stratigraphic work for one of the oil companies in the Tampico oil field.
PROFESSOR J. C. MCLENNAN, F.R.S., has resigned as scientific adviser to the British Board of Admiralty, to return to his duties as professor of physics in the University of Toronto.
DR. WICKLIFFE ROSE, general director of the International Health Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Dr. Richard M. Pearce, recently appointed director of a new division of medical education, sailed on December 11 for Europe to secure information about public health administration and methods of medical education in England and on the Continent.
DR. THEODORE C. LYSTER, former colonel of the U. S. Army, is now in Mexico representing the yellow fever commission of the Rockefeller Foundation of which General Gorgas is the head.
DR. O. HOLTEDAHL is organizing a Norwegian exploring expedition to Novaya Zemlya, and expects to sail in June. A botanist, a zoologist and a meteorologist will accompany the expedition. Dr. Holtedahl will devote his time to geological and geophysical problems.
AT the dedication of the new pathological laboratory of the Philadelphia General Hospital the principal address was delivered by Dr. William H. Welch, of The Johns Hopkins University, who spoke of the important part played by morbid anatomy in the advancement of medicine. Drs. Arthur Dean Bevan, Chicago, and Louis B. Wilson, Rochester, Minn., also spoke.
Nature records the death on November 25 of Frederick Webb Headley, at the age of sixtythree years. Mr. Headley spent nearly forty years of his life as an assistant master at Haileybury College, where he succeeded in maintaining a body of active boy-naturalists in the college. He was the author of "The Structure and Life of Birds" and "Life and Evolution."
UNIVERSITY AND EDUCATIONAL
MR. JOHN MARKLE has agreed to provide the sum of five thousand dollars a year for five years beginning January 1, 1920, for the continuation of the mining engineering course at Lafayette College, which was suspended during the war.
Ir is planned to establish a school of engineering under the joint direction of the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh, the U. S. Bureau of Mines and the coal operators of the Pittsburgh District.
DELEGATES from French and Swiss universities met recently at Geneva and made arrangements for interchange of students and professors with credits for corresponding work.
DR. MEYER G. GABA, who was an instructor in mathematics at Cornell from 1915 to 1918, has been appointed associate professor of mathematics at the University of Nebraska.
DR. JAMES PLAYFAIR MCMURRICH, professor of anatomy in the University of Toronto, has been elected dean of the faculty of arts.
DR. T. HARVEY JOHNSTON has been appointed to the new professorship of biology at the Queensland University. Dr. Johnston was one
of the traveling commissioners sent abroad by the Queensland government to investigate the Prickly Pear problem.
Ar the University of Cambridge Dr. F. H. A. Marshall, fellow of Christ's College, has been appointed reader in agricultural physiology, and Mr. P. Lake, of St. John's College, reader in geography.
DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE THREAD MOULDS AND BACTERIA IN THE DEVONIAN
WHILE making a comprehensive survey of the comparative histology of the skeletal parts of ancient vertebrates, in conjunction with the study of paleopathology, my attention was attracted to the enlarged and distorted shapes of many lacunae in the carapace of Borthriolepis and Coccosteus. Closer examination under the oil immersion revealed the occurrence of thread moulds and bacteria in the almost disrupted lacunar spaces, and since these organisms have never before been noted in the osseous elements of such ancient vertebrates, a brief description will be given of them here. There is a great gap in our knowledge of ancient bacteria especially between the Pre-Cambrian bacteria described by Walcott and the Carboniferous forms described by Renault, so that we know nothing of the occurrence of bacteria especially in bony material during the early and middle Paleozoic.
The occurrence of thread moulds (Mycelites ossifragus) in the hard parts of invertebrates and vertebrates, from molluscs to man, has been noted for more than eighty years and the literature is very extensive. The canals made by the penetrating moulds, known as the canals of Roux or Wedl, have been noted by Kölliker in the hard parts of invertebrates, fossil and recent, by Triepel in recent human bones, by Shaffer in ancient human teeth, by Sonders in a Neolithic skull, by Roux in the skeletal parts of vertebrates, Carboniferous to recent. They have been recently seen in the bony parts of Devonian vertebrates, doubtless they have a very wide distribution and may be regarded as one of the most ancient types of organisms in existence There is nothing peculiar in
their occurrence in the ancient vertebrates except that their course of growth is modified by the histology of ancient bone. In the absence of definite lamellæ the mycelia often seek out a lacuna, enter it and growing out along the direction of the brief canaliculi, expand both the lacuna and canaliculi until the entire structure is disrupted and the canals meet other canals growing out from adjoining lacunæ. In modern human bone the mycelia very often follow the interlamellar spaces, but ancient bone has seldom any definite spaces of this kind and more often is to be regarded as an osteoid substance. That the appearances described for the enlarged lacunæ are not normal is easily checked by a study of normal lacunæ in the adjacent material. A single microscopic field will show both normal and invaded lacunæ. The canals, from 2-4 micra in diameter have an undulating course and offer easy channels of entrance to invading bacteria.
The presence of these thread moulds would seem to indicate that the piece of bone showing them was preserved in a moist sandy or muddy place close to the shore, thus agreeing with our previous conceptions of the preservation of fossil material. It is difficult to see how the moulds would find entrance if the material were embedded under sand or silt in deep water. The ancient Egyptian mummies, buried for thousands of years in the dry sand of Nubian deserts do not show such canals, nor do the Cretaceous vertebrates from Kansas show them. Seitz has figured them, though apparently did not recognize their nature, in the bones of Labyrinthodonts and dinosaurs, and I have seen evidences of them in sections from the vertebra of an American sauroped dinosaur.
The bacteria doubtless have entered the bone along the course of the Canals of Roux and may be detected at first by the beady, nodular appearance of the canal. Often the bacteria, in Bothriolepis, for instance, have invaded a canaliculus which the Mycelites did not find. The small clumps, or nodes, may clearly be regarded as colonies of bacteria and doubtless as a form of the Micrococcus, described by Renault in the canaliculi
of Permian fish bone. The beady appearance of an invaded canal of Roux or canaliculus recalls exactly the picture of the invaded dentinal tubules in cases of human dental caries. We are, of course, in this case, as in the case of other ancient phenomena, arguing from the known to the unknown. Here is an ancient situation which parallels a similar modern situation and the argument is sound because on it for over one hundred years we have built the science of paleontology.
These conditions can not be regarded as disease in any sense, but are rather to be regarded as the agents of decay in ancient times. They are the agents of decay and disruption at the present time and from present evidences the same agents of decay have been at work for many millions of years, at least since Devonian times. ROY L. MOODIE
DEPARTMENT OF ANATOMY,
VIBRATION RATE OF THE TAIL OF A
THROUGH the courtesy of Professor H. R. Dill, curator of the natural history museum, opportunity was offered to make a brief study of the rate of vibration of the tail of a diamond back rattlesnake, Crotalus Adamanteus. This specimen came from Texas on September 15, 1918, but had been in captivity for some time previously. Its age is not known, as that can not be accurately determined from the number of rattles, some of which are known to have been broken off, and two of the nine or ten remaining are in poor condition. A new rattle is formed with each moulting, a process which has occurred twice during the nine months that the animal has been in the laboratory; the second moulting occurred six months after the first. The snake is about five feet four inches in length and rather thin, since it refuses food. It accepts water, however, and in the latter part of March two sparrows were forcibly fed to it. It is exceedingly alert and vigorous, and frequently strikes at any object that is near its wire cage. It has learned some discretion, and does not risk the resultant bump against the wire unless