Studies from the Zoological Department, University of Birmingham


    THIS volume consists of reprints of sixteen papers from various journals, the outcome of work done in the years 1905–9 by the staff and students of the zoological department of the University of Birmingham. It is appropriate that the first paper in the volume should be one by the late head of the department—Prof. T. W. Bridge—and that it should deal with a subject which he had made peculiarly his own, namely, the air-bladder of fishes. The main purpose of this interesting paper is to consider this remarkable organ, not from the points of view of morphology and function, though these aspects are not neglected, but as the source of isinglass. The author pointed out that, although there are 7000 or 8000 species of fishes with air-bladders, few are utilised for the supply of isinglass, and he suggested that the air-bladders of some of our larger British food-fishes, such as the cod, hake, gurnard, &c., might be of value for this purpose. Isinglass is apparently the only product of the animal body which can be used as a clarifying agent in brewing operations, and its mode of action does not seem to be at all clearly understoodrbut it is believed that it depends on the fibrous nature of the substance. The fibres swell out in the liquid, particles become entangled in their meshes, and are carried, with the settling of the isinglass, to the bottom of the barrel.

    Studies from the Zoological Department, University of Birmingham.

    Vol. ii. Edited by Prof. F. W. Gamble, F.R.S. (1910.)

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    Studies from the Zoological Department, University of Birmingham . Nature 83, 394–395 (1910).

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