Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

liam Ramsay, the noted English chemist, hydrogen sulphide, carbonic acid gas, has not yet verified the suspicion that indol, skatol, and even carbolic acid. neon and helium are also present, but it Prof. Elie Metchnikoff maintains that is not at all improbable that these new, these latter three poisonous products, ubiquitous elements are also bound up ever present in the intestines, are the within the protein molecule. Simple pro- cause of senility and tissue degeneration. teids are never absent from the living Professor Metchnikoff has isolated a organism. The muscles, glands, blood germ from the intestines of dogs which, serum, lymph, nerves, and tissues gen- implanted in beef broth, grows a byerally, except the tears and perspiration, product that will neutralize the poisonous have proteins as their principal constitu- action of skatol, indol, and phenol (carents. Without proteins and enzymes, bolic acid). This dog bacillus of Metchlife could not exist.

nikoff is now made into tablets and Enzymes, or "ferments”, as they are prescribed by the doctors as a preventive also called, are a special chemical con- of old age. stituent of the stomach, of the blood, of Now this much has been known for a the muscles of the intestines, in each case generation, namely, the degradation of a with a specific name, such as pepsin. complex mass of meat and milk to the They do harmlessly the work inside the lowly ammonia, carbonic acid, and water. tissues that heat, acids, or alkalies do in But just as it is easier to pull down step the test tube. Enzymes effect changes by step the Cathedral at Rheims and in the tissues without injury to the living recognize each gargoyle, capital, and cells. They are the products of the cells entablature; just as it is simpler to pick and yet they have an independent in- out the motives, rhythm, tempo, nuances, dividuality all their own. Without them- and movements of the "Symphony Pathetselves changing, increasing, or decreasing, ique” of Beethoven, than to build a they induce great changes in the material cathedral or compose a masterpiece, even acted upon. Thus a microscopic speck more difficult has it proved to be, until of pepsin can alter tons of meat without to-day, to devise a chemical method of undergoing any manifest metamorphosis. rounding out a perfect food molecule.

The distinctive peculiarity of enzymes The importance of doing this can be is thus described by the London phar- the better realized when it is recalled that macologist, Prof. W. D. Halliburton. no animal is capable of making his own “We may roughly compare an enzyme,” food. Vegetable life alone is fitted to he writes, “to an ill-disposed person who bring forth from nature's store a protein comes into a room full of good-natured ready made. people, and who succeeds in setting them M an must have his proteid food ready all by the ears. He has produced a made for him. Animals as well as thinkchange in them without undergoing any ing beings must eat herbs, meats, eggs, change himself, by his mere presence. berries, and fish. These are filled with He is, moreover, able to repeat the process the proteins that make us live, grow, and over and over again in fresh roomfuls multiply. But suppose some catastrophe, indefinitely.”

some pandemic blight, should annihilate In the presence of water, many varieties all the plant life on earth! Imagine for of enzymes are decomposed, first into a moment the horrors of some animal proteids of lower molecular composition parasite, or vegetable disease, that would and weight, then into near-proteids called kill off all the plants of the universe! peptones and albumoses, again into acids, Such a conception or dream has been the and finally into compounds called chromo- nightmare of scientists for centuries, for gens, soaps, and salts.

it would mean starvation unto death for When proteids are broken up by the every living person on earth as well as for enzymes excreted from bacteria — par- very lower animal. ticularly the putrefying microbes — they T he first forward step in creating form ammonium salts of fatty acids, laboratory foods was made by the great Louis Pasteur, discoverer of bacteria as Professor Abderhalden, who is still the cause of disease. He mixed certain a young man, has at last furnished positive simple substances, such as table salt, proof that man has it within his power saltpeter, and phosphates, and was startled to stand alone so far as food is concerned. to find that vegetable organisms would True enough, the extensive commercialgrow and multiply from these salty ization of only one variety of protein elements. Following his lead, the plant will not be much of a success, but it is physiologists of Europe and America plainly evident that if one specific protein were soon able by this method to build can be made it is a mere question of small amounts of vegetable proteins in technique to make others. their test tubes and flasks.

Professor Abderhalden's method was Twenty years ago, a French chemist, simple. First he fed laboratory animalsGrimaux by name, was impelled to seek rats, mice, prairie dogs, and cats — with a means of anticipating man's eternal organic acids (such as vinegar, asparagus dependence upon plant life. When his acid, and amido-acids), glycerine, olive oil, task was finished, the result was a syn- cotton oil, and butter fats. thetic combination of amido or ammonia- The animals contriv d to grow, wax fat, like acids, bodies that were links in the and have litters of young. This was the complex protein foods. Various other initial demonstration, the first on record, chemical Vulcans forged intervening links, that small animals could live and multiply one of the most important of which was without compound organic foods such beaten out by two German pharmacolo-as proteins. gists, Lilienfeld and Wolkowicz by name. The second step was to subtract from With the amido-acids of Grimaux they the animals' food first the olive, the cotton, made a soft, wax-like body that was and the butter oils, then the various acids, easily mistaken for gelatin. It remained, and finally the glycerine. He soon dishowever, for one of the younger physio- covered that the animals could not live logical chemists of the twentieth century without the amido-acids, but could live to conclude the efforts to produce a pro- without any of the other food. tein by combining chemical elements. The third and last step in this marvel

No recent discovery has so excited the ous discovery was taken by Professor scientific and commercial world as that Abderhalden when he repeated the exof Prof. Emil Abderhalden, one of the periments in building up, from water, salt, greatest living physiological chemists. His ammonia, and acetic acid, those same laboratory at Halle is now the cynosure amido-acids that nourish and that inof the scientific world's eyes.

crease the weight of living beings.

THE MARCH OF THE CITIES

ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK, AWAKENED AFTER 150 YEARS

IVE years ago St. John, New A few of its citizens, nevertheless, Brunswick, was probably the started a movement the success of which most conservative city in all has surprised even the most optimistic the British western posses- of their number, and stands as a lesson to

sions. When the suggestion other backward-looking cities. was made that St. John should join the To-day, St. John is one of the biggest procession of American cities that were little cities in the world. Immigrants, building for greater and more rapid prog- believing themselves bound for the inress, the reply was: “That will not do terior of Canada — Manitoba or the here. We are too conservative.” And Saskatchewan country — are almost literalmost all St. John believed that.

ally kidnapped from the ships that touci.

at St. John. Convincing agents meet the home builders. The pressure for lands ships and prove to many of the visitors for dairying and grain growing is so great that the best place for them to make their that the Provincial Government has been homes is “right here in New Brunswick.” compelled to take steps to open 200 miles

Entire colonies of Danish dairymen are of rich fruit and agricultural country that being brought to New Brunswick to start until now has remained practically a an industry heretofore practically ne- wilderness. Nine million dollars has been glected. These colonists are under the appropriated by the Government, to be guidance of experts who have made dairy- paid under contract, for 200 miles of railing a business, a trade, and a profession. road to be completed by November, 1915.

For 150 years St. John had remained That the railroads may have an adecontent in its conservatism. Such growth quate supply of fuel and not remain deas it had came to it so slowly that it was pendent upon foreign coal, $1,500,000 has unnoticed. Real estate values were un- been appropriated for the opening of changed decade after decade. But with mines in the Minto coal fields. Still the new life all this has been changed. another $1,500,000 has been appropriated Suburbs are springing up, values are multi- for the development of electrical energy plying, and great fortunes are being spent on the Restigouche, the Nepisiguit, and in improvements and business enterprises. the Miramichi rivers for transmission to

In the eastern harbor of St. John St. John. At least $7,300,000 is now being $11,500,000 is being spent for the con- invested in factory buildings and plants. struction of piers and dry docks. This To care for transients who are visiting sum is to be doubled within the next five St. John in constantly increasing numyears, and at the end of that time St. bers, $1,000,000 is being invested in a new John will have one of the greatest and hotel, and $450,000 in a new drill hall, safest harbors in the western world. theatre, and bank building.

During the present year $3,500,000 will For the first time, steamships leaving be spent for dredging, wharf construction, St. John for the East are carrying great and terminal facilities in the western harbor cargoes of New Brunswick grown fruits of St. John. Another $2,500,000 is being and New Brunswick dairy products and spent for warehouses and railroad terminal poultry. This indicates that this new facilities.

growth is logical and is likely to be perAlmost as though it had been accom- manent. plished over night, St. John has added St. John still speaks of itself as the City 20,000 to its 40,000 population of five of Loyalists, but many who use that term years ago, and the increase is continuing couple it with the assertion that St. John at a more rapid rate every month. The to-day is the most thoroughly American country back of it is filling with prosperous of American cities.

FORWARD TO THE LAND

A WOMAN'S SUCCESS ON THE LAND

the fences had he land, the on time at :

ERE is the story of a woman half cash and the balance on time at 8 who gained $25,000 in profits per cent. The land, the houses, and from the soil in six years from the fences had suffered from the "absentee an investment of $5,000: landlord” policy of their former owners.

Early in 1905, Mrs. Ida E. Mrs. Mathis spent $1,200 in repairs. Mathis bought and took charge of 740 She planted 10,000 fruit trees on part acres of red clay land in Calhoun County, of the cleared land, at a cost of $600; Alabama. The farm cost $8.50 an acre, and rented the rest of the tillable part of the farm for one third or one fourth of pressure of population upon the availthe crops instead of for cash, as had been able supply of land, has been typical the former owners' method. This per- of every region of the country as it has centage plan stimulated the renters to reached its turn to be the frontier of such efforts that Mrs. Mathis's share rose cheap land. at once to $1,200 a year instead of $500, But these fluctuations cease when the which the owners had formerly got. land is all brought under profitable cultiFor the first two years the renters used vation. Thus in Pennsylvania the inthe land between the young trees of the crease in value from 1900 to 1910 was only orchard, paying enough rent for it to 14 per cent. For this reason the time is cover the additional expense of hoeing. rapidly approaching when the sole profit The fourth year (1908) the first crop from the soil will come from skilful from 2,500 peach trees brought a clear cultivation and economical marketing. profit of $1,300, despite losses caused Hence the eagerness with which farmers by rain.

are studying scientific agriculture, coIn 1908, Mrs. Mathis sold one third of operative selling, and community land the farm — mostly timber land — for $20 credit systems, to help make the profits an acre. She brought part of the rest of that soon can no longer be made merely the farm into cultivation and succeeded from land speculation. in keeping her rent returns up to this experience points to a way to make $1,200 a year. In the spring of 1911, money. But only a part of it points to she sold the remaining two thirds at the way of sound and permanent develop$40 an acre.

ment of the country. The land that is From rent, crops, and sale of the land, sold this year for twice what it brought Mrs. Mathis received altogether consider- last year — such a transaction adds nothing ably more than $30,000. Her original to the wealth of the Nation. It chiefly investment was less than $5,000 and her measures the rate of diminishing opportotal investment was about $8,000. Her tunity of the land-hungry. net profit was about $25,000 or, distributed over the six years, about $4,000 a The World's Work is especially interyear. Mrs. Mathis is now successfully ested in helping to serve the broader managing a new investment in farm lands development of American agriculture that in another part of Alabama.

will follow the national understanding of Her experience illustrates the possibili- the general principles which underlie these ties for success upon the soil that open to constructive devices to facilitate permawomen who possess sound judgment, nent improvements in farming. One of agricultural skill, executive capacity, and its editors is devoting a large share of his capital. But it illustrates, also, and even time to an exhaustive study of land credits, more aptly, the way in which many large for in the ability to command ready farm successes in the United States have money for productive farm uses lies the been made, viz.: by selling the farm - hope of stability and independence in a after it has been tilled so profitably that life on the land. The World's Work other people desire it — and taking as will devote much space to this subject. profit the increase in value over its original All of its readers who are anxious to cost. According to the last census, the help this great movement for the upaverage value per acre of all farm lands in building of the basic industry of the the United States increased 108 per cent. Nation can render a genuine service between 1900 and 1910. Individual states by placing at his disposal such facts as showed such astonishing increases as Texas, the rates of interest on farm loans in 209 per cent; Oregon, 213 per cent.; Okla- their neighborhoods and especially such homa, 246 per cent.; South Dakota, 249 incidents from real life as the story of per cent.; Montana and Idaho, 276 per men or communities that have solved, cent.; and Arizona, 475 per cent. Such even in part, the problem of coöperaincrease in values, brought about by the tive credit among farmers.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT FARM LANDS

81.- Q. An article in the December village home with a small garden and some World's Work states that land can be bought chickens ought partly to supply these needs in northern Arkansas for $12 an acre and up- and satisfy your mild desire for country life. ward. From whom can I get information W e have entire faith in the profits and pleasabout such land?

ures that farming can supply, and undoubtedly A. The Commissioner of Immigration, Little people in your circumstances have taken it up Rock, Ark.: F. S. White, St. Louis and San and succeeded; but everyone cannot be a farFrancisco Railroad. Springfield. Mo.: L. D. mer. You can do your part of the world's Bell, Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad, work in your present capacity better than Eureka Springs. Ark., and William Nicholson, many others. Why not stick to it, make the Kansas City Southern Railway, Kansas most of your opportunities, and be glad? City, Mo.

84.-Q. What are the possibilities of apple 82. —Q. I want a blunt, impartial opinion raising and sheep raising in the Berkshire Hills of some land I have purchased in Harris County, of Massachusetts? Texas. I am told the climate and soils are A. Natural conditions are good and ultigood and if so I want to settle there.

mately these types of farming, as well as A. Our chief criticism is of your inexcusable general stock raising, should prove profitable. and unwise purchase of land that you had not At present, however, the development of large seen. No outsider's opinion can take the place estates by wealthy persons has caused abof a personal inspection. Harris County is normally high prices; many of these “amaabout on the dividing line between the wooded teur farmers” dispose of their surplus products country of southeast, and the prairie country of at prices which cannot be expected to pay, southwest, Texas. Although it is uniformly thus spoiling the market for practical farmers. level, the soil conditions and natural vegetation The havoc wrought by uncontrolled dogs is a vary greatly. Vegetables, rice, cotton, corn, serious obstacle to sheep raising; and, in small fruits, figs, Satsuma oranges, hogs, and upland orchards, the injury done by deer cattle are raised in various parts of the county, occasionally assumes threatening proportions. but we cannot say for which your particular land If these difficulties can be avoided or surmay be best fitted. Drainage is often needed mounted, the problem becomes merely one of on the heavier soils. Rainfall is abundant and scientific, business-like farming. the season of probable frosts lasts only about three months. The average value of farm land 85.-Q. I have an opportunity to buy is $32.97 an acre and, with the further develop- 400 acres in Leon County, Texas, west of the ment of agriculture, is likely to go higher. Trinity River. What of climatic and agri

cultural conditions there? 83. -Q. I am a successful instructor in A. Thirty-nine inches of rain annually, engineering, getting $1,700 a year with good long, warm summers, mild winters with only prospects for the future. I enjoy the work and occasional cold spells and north winds, and am satisfied except that I am not entirely well fertile, level soils (sometimes requiring drainage) and would prefer outdoor work. We own 160 all contribute to the successful raising of a acres of rough timbered land in Arkansas and, variety of crops, of which cotton, corn, hay, if I gave up my work, could move to it with and peanuts are at present the most important. about $5,000 capital. I know a little about Marketing is not so easy. as much of the agriculture, but my wife was raised on a farm country is inconveniently distant from railand we both like country life. We would not roads. On this account and because of its expect to farm on a large scale — just to make soil-building value, stock should be kept. The a living. Do you think we ought to try it? value of farm land is increasing, although it is

A. Frankly, no. You are happy, satisfied, still only $7.84 an acre. About half the land and making good headway in an honorable of the county is utilized by its 2,863 farms, of occupation for which you have been educated which 52 per cent. are rented. The wisdom of and trained. Your health problem is pre- your prospective purchase depends upon the sumably one of habit, calling for more exercise exact location of the land and also upon the and a better arrangement of your time. A price you must pay.

« PředchozíPokračovat »