CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY, AND MATERIA MEDICA.

91 contiguous portion of the vagina; the tumour bled being touched, and was much more solid in some parts than in others. By the speculum, the tumour...

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91

contiguous portion of the vagina; the tumour bled being touched, and was much more solid in some parts than in others. By the speculum, the tumour was readily brought into view, and after wiping off its surface, a layer of coagulated blood with which it was covered, it appeared of a dull, dirtywhitish or light-drab colour; its surface uneven, and studded with a number of small tubercles, like the head of a cauliflower. This A PERIODICAL PUBLISHED IN A LUNATIC ASYLUM. patient had been previously operated on in November, 1842, when What a strange contrast does the following statement present the tumour then existing was removed by ligature, in doing to the state of things formerly existing in similar establish- which, portions of it were broken off. A ligature was applied, and this being daily tightened, the mentsI tumour was entirely removed, together with a portion of the It is in the Vermont Asylum that the literary spirit has been cervix uteri. On the twelfth day, the patient had perfectly carried even to the cacoethes scribendi ; for, not content with the recovered, and is now quite free from disease. Dr. Montgoenjoyment of being merely readers, they actually publish a small mery recommends, in all instances, after the operation, the applinewspaper, called the Asylum Journal." As they thus receive cation of some powerful caustic to the surface from which the in exchange more than two hundred newspapers, besides many tumour has been removed. other periodicals, the superintendent is enabled to furnish every Dr. Collins relates the following case in the New York Journal patient with a newspaper from his own immediate neighbourYledicine, illustrative of of at the same time that has of his own one hood, every politician THE EFFECTS OF ELECTRO- MAGNETISM IX RESTORING SUPpolitical views, and every sectarian one adapted to his own reliPRESSED MENSTRUATION. gious sentiments."-Idem. [We are glad to hear of the very successful results of a similar undertaking in the Crichton Asylum, " A female, aged thirty-five, unmarried, rather delicate constiDumfries.] tution ; her menses were stopped by taking cold, some seven

any purpose. For more than three months, all the food that this patient received into the stomach was supplied through a gumelastic tube. The extension of disease to the air-passages may be looked upon as incidental, and had it not ensued, there is no reason to doubt that the patient’s life might have been preserved." - New York Journal of Medicine.

as

from the

readily

on

&mid ot;.

"

"

months before I first saw her. I tried all the usual remedies prescribed in such cases, but I did not succeed in bringing about the desired effect. I had been using the electro-magnetic machine in some other cases with the happiest effects; and I therefore was induced to use it in this case, in which it succeeded most perfectly. I applied the buttons connected with the machine over the region of the womb, holding one on the lumbar region of the spine, and the other in front over the pubic region ; using the negative and positive wires alternately to the spine and abdomen. I continued the remedy five days, from five to ten minutes each day, when her menses were fully re-established. I have used it in rheumatism with good effect."

THE RELATIVE FREQUENCY OF LEAD COLIC IN DIFFERENT TRADES.

The is

following table, taken from the work of M. deserving of attention :-

Des

Planches,

406 Manufacturers of white lead minium 63 " 12 mine orange " " Painters of buildings....................................... 305 ...........................

(red lead)

..................

........................

Carriage painters Ornamental painters Painters on porcelain

..........................................

.......................................

....................................

Gilders on wood............................................. Painters and varnishers of metals .....................

Paper-stainers

.............................................

Grinders of colours

.......................................

Manufacturers of German cards "

glazed cards

"

........................

........................

Belt-makers ................................................

Perfumers

...................................................

Manufacturers of common earthen pottery ......... a finer species of pottery (Faience).. " " Refiners .....................................................

Plumbers ................................................... ’Platers (in tin Manufacturers of the powderoftin (used in polishing) Workers in tin Jewellers, goldsmiths, and manufacturers of toys... Casters in copper bronze "

and lead)

.................................

.............................................

..........................................

..........................................

47

33 3 1 2 2 68 13 6 2 2 54

CHEMISTRY, PHARMACY,

AND

MATERIA MEDICA. ,

THE GASTRIC

FLUID,

ITS NATURE AND PROPERTIES.

M. BLONDLOT has

recently published in Paris a treatise on digestion, detailing very numerous experiments made upon a dog, in which a fistulous opening into the stomach was maintained for upwards of two years. The gastricjuice was obtained in very large quantities. Submitted to distillation, the fluid passing over did not exhibit the slightest acid re-action, whilst the residue in the retort was alwaysstrongly acid. It is therefore certain that the acid of the gastric fluid is neither hydrochloric nor acetic acid, since both these are volatile. The gastric fluid of other animals gave the same result on being distilled. When chalk

7 25 14 8 4 4 4 2 1 52 12 11 35 3 2 4 3 3

or any other carbonate of lime is added, no effervescence ensues, which further proves the acid not to be the lactic. M. Blondlot concludes, that the acid re-action of healthy gastric juice is owing to the presence of superphosphate and biphosphate of lime. He Lapidaries adds, 1st, that there is no other acid which can remain acid, and Cutters and polishers of crystals fail to decompose carbonate of lime. 2nd. That sulphuric acid, Labourers in glass manufactories added to gastric juice, precipitates an abundance of sulphate of "manufactories of the acetate of lead... " lime, and oxalic acid precipitates oxalate of lime. 3rd. Potass, " nitrate of lead... " soda, ammonia, and lime water, produce abundant precipitates of chromate of lead " " neutral phosphate of lime. 4th. The calcined ash of gastric juice is not deliquescent, dissolves without effervescence in Total........................... 1213 hydrochloric acid, forming chloride of calcium, it therefore contains neutral phosphate of lime, the excess of acid being drawn LARGE CAULIFLOWER EXCRESCENCE SUCCESSFULLY REMOVED, off in the calcination. TOGETHER WITH THE PORTION OF CERVIX UTERI FROM WHICH M. Blondlot also made many experiments, to determine IT GREW. whether, during digestion in the healthy stomach, lactic acid is In the Dublin Journal, Dr. Montgomery relates a case, of which formed by the transformation of sugar, starch, or other substance, the following is an outline:and his conclusion is, that it is never found. He could never find A female, forty-five years of age, had had nine children, the even a trace of it, although he analyzed the fluid expressed from youngest of whom was then nearly four years old; this child she the contents of the stomach, after remaining on the stomach had nursed for two years and three months, and had been com- various periods. He conceives that the acid of the gastric juice prevents the lactic acid fermentation, just as other acids are plaining of her present symptoms since she weaned it. Her aspect was of that peculiar sallow hue resembling dirty known to do under other circumstances. In confirmation of this, parchment, which we so constantly find accompanying malig- M. Blondlot relates many experiments upon birds and ruminatnant diseases; she had constant profuse watery discharge, and ing animals, which shew that the formation of lactic acid in these occasionally copious haemorrhage, so that her dress was com- creatures takes place only in those parts of the alimentary canals where no acid is present-namely, in the crop of birds, the first pletely saturated, and exhaled a very offensive odour. On examination, Dr. Montgomery found the vagina nearlyfilled’, and second stomach of ruminants, and the ccecum of man, and He first proves that the acid found in these other animals. with a rather firm, rough, lobulated tumour, around which could readily pass his finger; but he could not find the os uteri, i cavities is not secreted by their walls. Feeding sheep, goats, from the margin of which the tumour appeared to spring, as well i chickens, and pigeons, on food destitute of sugar, and examining

Type founders

.............................................

Printers Manufacturers of shot

......................................................

....................................

...................................................

........................

.....................

hei

92 When concentrated by evaporation, gastric juice is strongly acid, effervescing with chalk, and not losing its acid reaction in

the fluid found in the cavities mentioned, he found it invariably alkaline. On the other hand, the addition of sugar to the food

produced an acid fluid in the same

presence of an excess of the chalk. This proves the presence of acid. On saturating the acid with lime and oxide of zinc, and filtering the solution, the neutral filtrate contains both zinc and lime, therefore the phosphoric acid is not the only free acid in the juice. What is the acid combined with the zinc and lime in the filtered solution? It is one which, as we have seen, passes over towards the end of the distillation, and does not precipitate salts of silver. These characters belong to lactic acid. On distilling water slightly acidulated with lactic acid, and a small quantity of chloride of sodium added, it presents a complete analogy to gastric juice; first, pure water passes over, then an acid which does not precipitate salts of silver, and the last drops carry over hydrochloric acid. So that it is evident that the presence of hydrochloric acid in the last product of distillation of gastric juice is owing to the decomposition of the chlorides by lactic acid. Hydrochloric acid cannot exist in a free state in presence of an excess of a lactate, aphosphate, or an acetate. "We have observed," say the authors, " in the acid of the gastric juice all the characters of lactic acid, as pointed out by M. Pelouze; both give soluble salts of lime, barytes, zinc, and copper, a double salt of copper and lime, deeper in colour than the simple salt, a salt of lime soluble in alcohol, precipitated by ether." From the above facts, MM. Bernard and Barreswil conclude that the acid reaction of the gastric juice is not owing to biphosphate of lime, but arises from a free acid, which is not hydrochloric acid nor acetic acid. They have always found lactic acid with a minute proportion of phosphoric acid, the latter being a product of the reaction of the lactic acid on the phosphates present. According to their opinion, lactic acid is a constant production of the stomach. They do not mean to say that the digestive powers of the gastric juice are owing to lactic acid ; on the contrary, they think if an acid reaction be indispensable, other acids may supply its place, because among the various salts constantly introduced into the stomach with the food, some will have their acid replaced by the free lactic acid of the stomach, and the new acid liberated may supply the place of the normal acid.-Comptes Rendus, Dec. 9,1844.

cavities which proved to be the lactic. The contents of the ccecum are not more acid than those of the small intestines, except sugar has been taken in the food; but when sugar has been taken, it undergoes the lactic fermentation in the coscum. These experiments agree with those of Mr. Ross, published in THE LANCET for January 20 and February 10, 1844. Tiedemann and Gmelin found acid in the crop of a which had fed for several days on nothing but meat; but this, as M. Blondlot shews, probably had regurgitated from the stomach-an accident requiring precautions to prevent, after

phosphoric

pigeon,

death. M. Blondlot believes that the digestive property of gastric juice

depends, not on its obvious chemical constitution, but upon a peculiar organic principle. If exposed to a temperature of 104° to 122° F., or higher, it loses entirely and irrecoverably its diges-

to all appearance, and even as to its commade known by analysis, it remains unchanged. With the exclusion of the air, gastric juice may be kept for two years without loss of its activity; but with the free access of air, it putrifies in five or six days, although the chyme which it forms from nitrogenous organic substances may be preserved for two or three months without change. The precipitation of all the lime it contains does not affect its activity, nor are its chlorides indispensable, but whatever acts upon its organic constituents, heat,

tive powers, although

position,

as

strong alcohol, or strong acids, or which removes them, such as animal charcoal, chlorine, tannic acid, or acetate of lead, destroys

all its digestive properties. M. Blondlot also shews-A. That coagulated albumen resists the action of the gastric juice only from its compact form. When coagulated in very small particles, as white of egg beaten into a froth and poured into boiling water, it is digested as quickly as soft fibrine. B. That the action of the stomach in coagulating milk is not due to its digestive principle solely, but to its acid, which acts like lactic acid. c. The effect of the gastric fluid upon bones, whether entire or not, is to disintegrate the animal

matter slowly, beginning at the surface, and to reduce the earthy matter into a fine chalky powder, but without dissolving or decomposing it. The earthy matter not being dissolved, proves

that

no

hydrochloric

acid has acted upon

it,

I

but it all is dis-

charged with the fseces. The physiological results

firm those of i4L readers.

of M. Blondlot’s experiments conBeaumont, which arealready familiar to our

Since the work of M. Rlondlot was BERNARD and C.

published,

known accuracy will be a guarantee of the corof his conclusions, will undertake an investigation to determine the nature of the free acid of the gastric juice, and its normal constitution as to salts, &c. We beg to suggest this inquiry to Prof. Liebig, Dr. H. Will, or Prof. Wohler.

chemist, whose

rectness

ANOTHER CHEMICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE GASTRIC JUICE.

chemists, MM. C.

*** The question discussed in the above papers is, in a chemicophysiological point of view, most important. We trust that some

two other French

have made an i elaborate experimental investigation into the properties of the I gastric juice. They start with the assumption that this fluid owes its digestive properties to the union of two principles: 1st, an acid; 2nd, a peculiar organic matter destructible by heat. What is the nature of the acid? " The principal fact which has been adduced to prove that the acid reaction is owing to the presence of biphosphate of lime is, that it may be treated with carbonate of lime without effervescence. Our experiments shew that this arises from the dilution of the acid, which allows the carbonic acid to be dissolved as it is formed. When, therefore, the gastric juice is concentrated, it causes a considerable qffervescence with chalk. Moreover, gastric juice dissolves neutral phosphate of lime, whilst this salt is entirely insoluble in solution of the biphosphate." On distilling gastric juice, the first distillate exhibits no ’, acid reaction. If a mere trace of acetic acid or acetate of soda added, and afterwards distilled, it gives an acid reaction; the normal acid is not therefore acetic. This also appeared, at first sight, to prove it could not be hydrochloric acid; but on distilling water rendered slightly acid by hydrochloric acid, nothing passes over at first but pure water, the acid not distilling until the end of the operation. On distilling gastric juice a neutral limpid liquor passes over, which does not precipitate nitrate of silver, but when about four-fifths has distilled over, the distillate is perceptibly acid, yet, nevertheless, it does not render solution of nitrate of silver turbid; but at the end, and when only a few drops of the gastric juice remain in the retort, an acid liquid passes over which precipitates salts of silver; this was, doubtless, hydrochloric acid. Does this acid exist free in gastric juice, or has a chloride been decomposed in this operation? When the least trace of oxalic acid is added to gastric juice which we know contains lime, a turbidness is produced from the formation of an insoluble oxalate i, of lime: but if to water acidified with 2000ths of its amount of ’, hydrochloric acid, and containing chloride of lime, the same re- ’, agent be added, no turbidness ensues. This clearly proves that acid exists as a chloride in the gastric juice, and not

BARREswiL,



ON THE DETECTION OF PRUSSIC ACID IN CASES OF POISONING. BY 111. WITTING.

The method recommended by the author in suspected cases of is to mix the mass with one-sixth of its bulk of alcohol, and to distil off one-fourth. If it contain prussic acid, the distilled product generally evolves its peculiar smell. To this product a little caustic potash is added, and then a mixed acid solution of protochloride and perchloride of iron, when prussian blue is formed. If it be suspected that the poisoning was effected with cyanide of potassium, cyanide of zinc, &c., some hydrochloric acid should be added along with the alcohol previous to distillation. (Berzelius’s Jahresbericht, xxiv. p. 269.)-From the Chemical Gazette.

poisoning by prussic acid,

is

1

hydrochloric in a free state.

poses

DISCOVERY OF TWO NEW METALS.

Rose, of Berlin, announces that he has discovered metals, in the Tantalite of Bavaria, to which he pro-

Professor H.

two

new

to

assign the names Pelopium and Niobium.