with European countries the duties of organized medical research. There are institutions, such as Mr. Rockefeller has now founded, in Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg and elsewhere, and last year Lord Iveagh established a similar laboratory in London. It is somewhat remarkable that great sums should have been spent annually on research in astronomy, geology and in other directions, whereas the advancement of medical science and its applications should have been left chiefly to individual effort. The first duty of the practising physician is to his patient, and the teacher in a medical school is doubly burdened, as he usually practises medicine, and at the same time instructs large classes. It is not surprising that the four hundred medical journals published in the United States are mostly somewhat dreary and barren, but, rather, that so much has been accomplished without state or private endowment.
THE CAUSES OF YELLOW FEVER AND OF CANCER.
What can be accomplished by properly directed medical research is proved by two advances of extraordinary importance made recently by American students. These are the discovery of the probable causes of yellow fever and of cancer. In the present number of this journal, Surgeon-General Sternberg describes the experiments made under his direction by a board of army surgeons in Havana. In heroic self-sacrifice and triumphant achievement these experiments have surely an absorbing interest, surpassing any fiction. Although the yellow fever parasite has not been seen, its existence seems as certain as that of the malaria parasite. We now know that yellow fever is not directly contagious, but is transmitted by a special kind of mosquito, and, probably, only in this way. If we exterminate certain kinds of mosquitoes, or prevent them from biting those diseased, or from biting those who are well, two of the most dreadful diseases—yellow fever and malaria—will be exterminated. The cost in money and life of the Spanish-American War has been more than repaid to society by the services of the medical army officers.
Science is often said to be cosmopolitan, but men of science owe allegiance to their country, and there is every reason to rejoice that it is also to an American that we owe the discovery of the probable cause of cancer. Dr. Harvey R. Gaylord, working in New York State Pathological Laboratory at Buffalo, has been able to cultivate the organisms that cause cancer, and to produce cancer by injecting them into healthy animals. These organisms are not bacteria or yeast cells, but protozoa. There has long been a difference of opinion as to whether cancer is due to alterations in nutrition, or to a parasite. Now that the latter has been proved, cancer must be regarded as a preventable disease, and it remains to discover the method of its propagation. It must, of course, be remembered that Dr. Gaylord's discovery, like all others, rests on a long line of careful researches carried on in many countries. There are innumerable names connected with the development of the germ theory of disease, but the forerunners of Gaylord, who especially deserve mention in connection with cancer, are Scheuerlin, Kubasoff, Russell, Sanfelice and Plimmer.
THE BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION.
The resignation of Professor J. W. Gregory from the scientific staff of the British Antarctic Expedition is unfortunate, both because he possessed peculiar qualifications for his post, and because it has brought to light dissensions among those interested in the success of the expedition. The question at issue between the Royal Geographical Society, on the one hand, and the Royal Society, or some of its members, on the