Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/384

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��Popular Science Monthly

��acid makes conditions unfavorable for putrefaction. Hence the putrefaction bac- teria ultimately perish.

How Bacteria Develop by the Million

Bacteria themselves, we must remember, do not know the importance of the position they occupy in the economy of life. All they care for is a warm place and a square meal for themselves and their young. And the young multiply rather fast. An average bacterium will divide in two in fifteen minutes; in half an hour there will be four, and in an hour as many as sixteen will be clamoring for food. The number of off- spring at the end of a few days, if not checked, runs into billions. Add to this the fact that there are countless varieties of bacteria, because of the many different functions they have to perform and that these are present wherever there is plant or animal life, and we can appreciate how infinitely large are their numbers.

But of all the bacteria which surround us, only those few can do us harm which grow in the body tissues and enjoy a meal at the body's expense. Some of these will, from time to time, work their way into the tissues through a cut surface. In ninety- nine per cent of cases, these will not disturb our bodies in the slightest degree. The body fluids take care of them so quietly and effectively that we are not aware that harmful bacteria have paid us a visit.

Should, however, unusually large num- bers of bacteria enter our bodies, and what is more important should our resis- tance be at a level, due perhap to overwork o worry, they are likely to cause considerable disturbance. But many years of con- tac t with bacteria have ad- justed our bodies so that they can over- come these or- ganisms with comparative ease, even after

��numbers of them have "gained entrance. The entrance of these enemies causes the body to mobilize at once its defensive forces. Blood, lymph and white blood cells are sent to the spot where the bacteria entered, and because of this accumulation of fluids, that part is inflamed. The body often builds a wall around the infected area to prevent the bacteria from spreading to the surrounding tissues. The white cells now proceed to digest the bacteria. In the course of this process, they digest also the tissue which the bacteria fed upon and thus rendered useless to the body. The infected area — bacteria and all — now begins to soften. Pus, which is the product of this digestion, consisting mainly of digested tissue, dead bacteria and also dead white cells which gave their lives in this encount- er, is formed. In a short while, the infected area is clean and healed. Thus the harm- ful bacteria are invariably routed from normal bodies.

���From their hospital beds the young men conduct a magazine agency with branches in two cities and do their own advertising

��Conducting a Thriving Business from Hospital Beds

TWO young men, H. K. De Prez, of Shelbyville, Ind., and E. L. Smith, of Montreal, met over the telephone in Mercy Hospital, in Chicago. Both had been athletes and had received injuries in sports. A friendship began and the young men arranged to occupy the same room in the hospital for the sake of companionship. As their health improved games of chess failed to fill up their days and the natural craving for something worth while do became irre- sistible. As a re- sult the firm of De Prez and Smith, M agaz i n e Agency, was formed. Typewriters were installed at their bed- sides and a profitable business was started.

They sell Popular Sci- ence Monthly and other mag- azines.

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