volume. In order to bring that treatise up to the present state of knowledge on the subject, Dr. Sternberg has added chapters on "Technology," "Germicides and Antiseptics," "Bacteria in Infectious Diseases," and "Bacteria in Surgical Lesions." Under the first head he describes methods of obtaining both natural and artificial culture-fluids uncontaminated, and gives directions for arranging culture-vessels and for examining the bacteria. His list of antiseptics includes some sixty substances, and he gives, besides the results of his own extended and careful tests of their powers, some results obtained by other investigators.
The diseases which have been supposed to depend upon the action of some microorganism are also passed in review, and an abstract is given of what has been observed in regard to each. Dr. Sternberg reproduces from an earlier paper his statement of the a priori argument in favor of the existence of a yellow-fever germ, and then considers the experimental evidence which supports that view. "It must be admitted," he says, "that this is very unsatisfactory." His personal investigations are recorded in the "Preliminary Report of the Havana Yellow-Fever Commission, of the National Board of Health," from which he quotes at length. "Having reported," he continues, "my own failure to find the yellow-fever germ, I must now refer to the recent announcements of its discovery in Mexico by Dr. Carmona, and in Brazil by Dr. Freire." In regard to the latter he says: "The writer is not prepared to estimate the value of the evidence here offered, inasmuch as we are not informed whether the yellow-fever blood used in the first inoculation experiment was obtained post mortem or ante mortem. …
"Hineman, a very competent German physician practicing in Vera Cruz, has not been more successful than the writer in finding the Pernospera lutea of Carmona, or Cryptococcics xanthogenicus of Freire, in the blood of yellow-fever patients before death. He examined the blood of patients in the last stage of the disease, taking blood from the hand, thinning it with artificial serum, and bringing it at once under the microscope. He says: 'In nine cases so examined not the slightest deviation from normal blood could be found. … No organisms were found.'" The volume is illustrated with twelve heliotype plates and thirty woodcuts, and contains a bibliographical list.
Flowers and their Pedigrees. By Grant Allen, author of "Colin Clout's Calendar," "Vignettes from Nature," "The Evolutionist at Home," etc., etc. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 266. Price, $1.50.
This is a very choice book, the best of an excellent class. England has at present no writer at all comparable to Grant Allen in the power of popularizing biological subjects. He is a thorough and accomplished student in a broad range of modern subjects involving the phenomena of life and mind, and their interpretation by the principle of evolution. He is as far as possible from being a mere compiler of other men's opinions, but gives a stamp of originality to his work, throwing light upon the subjects he treats by new suggestions, ingenious explanations, and the presentation of his topics in fresh aspects and new relations. He is, moreover, a writer of remarkable perspicacity and attractiveness, pleasant, easy, humorous, and a perfect type of the high-grade popularizer of science.
If this is warm praise, the book before us justifies it. It is spoken of by the English press in terms of very unusual commendation, and we entirely agree with one of them, which declares the volume to be "as interesting as any novel from the first page to the last."
We can do the author no better justice, and convey to our readers no clearer idea of the import of the book, than to reproduce its explanatory introduction: