Books Received | Published:

(1) Bakterien, und ihre Bedeutung im praktischen Leben (2) Lebensfragen; die Vorgänge des Stoffwechsels

Nature volume 78, pages 7677 (28 May 1908) | Download Citation



(1)THIS is an excellent little book. In it Dr.Miehe expounds the story of the microorganisms so clearly that an ordinary, intelligent reader will easily and pleasantly acquire, so far as mere reading can supply it, a trustworthy knowledge of all the fundamental facts and theories of bacteriology. The author takes us from the De re rustica of M. Terentius Varro—who seems to have been in the matter of microbes much what Democritus was in respect to atoms—to the “denk würdigen Brief” of van Leeuwenhoek to the Royal Society in 1683, wherein the famous observer expresses his naive astonishment at certain frolicsome “animalcula” he had discovered in the human mouth; and our guide does not leave us until we have seen at least the outstanding features of the work of Jenner, Lister, Pasteur, Koch, Eberth, Winogradsky, and the many others whose labours have, each in its degree, helped to illuminate the dim but fascinating pathways which lead into the realms of the infinitely little. He shows us the microorganisms as helpers and as enemies, their modes of increase, and the methods of their destruction; their distribution on land and sea; and the problems of philosophy and of practical life to which the study of these “little fleas” leads.

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