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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/212

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

PSM V81 D212 Dispensary group at public school fairmon nc in 1911.png

Dispensary group at public school building, Fairmon, Robison County, N. C., July, 1911. Treated at the place on that day, 187.

the individual from doing his ordinary work, reducing, it is said, his efficiency to less than half. A good part of the inefficiency, laziness and lack of enterprise of the white people of the south is attributable to the infection. It is further a disease which is both curable and preventable, and it is in such a case that medicine and hygiene have their great opportunity.

Some 75,000 persons were treated at the initiative of the commission, and much was accomplished by spreading knowledge as to the means of preventing soil pollution. Indirectly the commission has had the effect of awakening interest in health conditions throughout the south, so that state boards of health have become more active, and superintendents of health giving their whole time to the work have been appointed in various counties. The commission has also undertaken to obtain information in regard to the hookworm disease in foreign countries. In Europe, except in Italy, the infection is practically confined to miners, and is found in only a few well-defined localities, but in many tropical and sub-tropical countries the infection is extremely prevalent. It is said that 90 per cent, of the working population of Porto Rico are infected; on many plantations in Ceylon the infection rises as high as 90 per cent.; of the three hundred million of people in India 60 to 80 out of every hundred harbor the parasite, and conditions are nearly as bad in the southern two thirds of the Chinese Empire.

 

SYNTHETIC RUBBER

Professor W. H. Perkin, of the University of Manchester, who is the son of Sir William Perkin, the discoverer of aniline dyes, presented a paper before the Society of Chemical Industry last month describing the methods by which synthetic rubber had been produced, and stating that the process is such that rubber can 1 e made as economically as it can be obtained under natural conditions, probably, at a cost of about twenty-five cents a pound. The scientific research was undertaken under the auspices of Mr. Alfred Strange, the work being done largely by Dr. F. E. Matthews, of London, and Professor Fernbach, of the Pasteur Institute. It has been known for some time that caoutchouc, the