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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/584

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574
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

nucleus contained in it. On the contractile theory, the radiations which form the body of the spindle, either by actual traction of the supposed fibrillse or by their pressure on the nucleus which they surround, might impel during karyokinesis the dividing chromosome elements toward the poles of the spindle, to form there the daughter nuclei. On the dynamical theory, the chemical and physical energy in the centrosome might influence the cell plasm and the nucleus and attract the chromosome elements of the nucleus to the poles of the spindle. The radiated appearance would therefore be consequent and attendant on the physico-chemical activity of the centrosome. One or other of these theories may also be applied to the interpretation of the significance of the polar radiations.

 

CELL PLASM.

In the cells of plants, in addition to the cell wall, the cell body and the cell juice require to be examined. The material of the cell body, or the cell contents, was named by von Mohl (1846) protoplasm, and consisted of a colorless tenacious substance which partly lined the cell wall (primordial utricle) and partly traversed the interior of the cell as delicate threads inclosing spaces (vacuoles) in which the cell juice was contained. In the protoplasm the nucleus was embedded. Nägeli, about the same time, had also recognized the difference between the protoplasm and the other contents of vegetable cells, and had noticed its nitrogenous composition.

Though the analogy with a closed bladder or vesicle could no longer be sustained in the animal tissues, the name 'cell' continued to be retained for descriptive purposes, and the body of the cell was spoken of as a more or less soft substance inclosing a nucleus (Leydig). In 1861 Max Schultze adopted for the substance forming the body of the animal cell the term 'protoplasm.' He defined a cell to be a particle of protoplasm in the substance of which a nucleus was situated. He regarded the protoplasm, as indeed had previously been pointed out by the botanist Unger, as essentially the same as the contractile sarcode which constitutes the body and pseudopodia of the Amoeba and other Ehizopoda. As the term 'protoplasm,' as well as that of 'bioplasm" employed by Lionel Beale in a somewhat similar though not precisely identical sense, involves certain theoretical views of the origin and function of the body of the cell, it would be better to apply to it the more purely descriptive term 'cytoplasm' or 'cell plasm.'

Schultze defined protoplasm as a homogeneous, glassy, tenacious material, of a jelly-like or somewhat firmer consistency, in which numerous minute granules were embedded. He regarded it as the part of the cell especially endowed with vital energy, whilst the exact function of the nucleus could not be defined. Based upon this conception