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Societies and Academies

Nature volume 96, pages 667669 (10 February 1916) | Download Citation




Royal Society, February 3.-Sir J. J. Thomson, president, in the chair.-Prof. W. Bateson and C. Peilew: Note on an orderly dissimilarity in inheritance from different parts of a plant. In a recent paper the authors gave evidence as to the genetics of the wild-looking "rogues" which appear as the offspring of high-class types of peas. Among other peculiarities, it was shown that Ft plants resulting from crosses between rogues and types were in their juvenile condition intermediate, showing influence of the type parent, but on maturing they become rogues and have exclusively rogue offspring. The authors interpreted this to mean that the type-elements are left behind in the basal parts of the plant. In the variety Gradus certain intermediates (offspring of types) were observed to give mixtures of types and rogues. In such intermediate plants the characters often change with age, the lower parts being more type-like, the upper more rogue-like. Preliminary sowings of seed from these intermediates indicate that when their offspring consists of types and rogues, the types come predominantly from the lower opods and the rogues from the upper pods. The three sets of facts are therefore consistent in indicating that there is an orderly segregation in the body of the plant, the type-elements being predominantly in the lower parts.-H. M. Woodcock: Observations on Coprozoic flagellates, together with a suggestion as to the significance of the kineto-nucleus in the Binu-cleata. The paper deals with the first results of a comprehensive study of the coprozoic flagellates of goats and sheep. The coprozoic fauna comprises those forms which pass through the alimentary tract in a resting, encysted state, and undergo all the active phases of their life-cycle in the (moist) dung.-S. B. Schryver: Investigations dealing with the phenomena of clot formations. Part III.-Further investigations of the cholate gel. It is shown,that there is a marked similarity between certain vital activities of cells and the behaviour of cholate gel. (i) The erosive action of certain organic substances on the cholate gel runs parallel with their narcotic and cytolytic actions. (2) Gel formation by calcium chloride is inhibited by sodium, magnesium, and other chlorides. The same substances can also cause gel erosion, but the erosive action can be antagonised by the addition of relatively small amounts of calcium salts. (3) To explain the parallelism between certain biological actions of organic substances and the antagonistic action of inorganic salts, on one hand, and the action of these substances on the cholate gel, on the other, it is suggested that the cell membrane or cytoplasm is constituted by a heterogeneous system of lipoids, proteins, etc., held together in a magma containing a gel-forming substance with physical properties similar to those of the cholates. On such a hypothesis, the biological action of certain substances can be explained in a manner more satisfactory than is possible by the assumption of the "lipoid" theory of Hans Meyer and Overton.-J. M. O'Connor: The mechanism of chemical temperature regulation. Anassthetised cats or rabbits, when not shivering, consume oxygen in proportion to their body temperature. When shivering, more oxygen is consumed than would otherwise be consumed at that body temperature. The onset of shivering is dependent on the brain temperature being below a point more or less fixed in a given animal. The amount of " extra oxygen" consumed during shivering is proportional to the extent to which the average skin temperature is below this point. This point towards which the animals regulate chemically varies in different animals between 30° and 39° C.

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