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tained his infusions, Professor Tyndall vanquished his germs in less time than has hitherto been required to sterilise them. Professor Tyndall says that for all known germs there exists a period of incubation. If, during this period and well within it, the infusion be boiled for even the fraction of a minute, the softened germs which are then approaching their term of final development will be destroyed. Repeating the process of heating every ten or twelve hours, each successive heating will destroy the germs then softened and ready for destruction, until, after a sufficient number of heatings, the last living germ will disappear. A temperature far below the boiling point suffices to sterilise. The scum of bacteria which occasionally formed on the surface of some of the liquids, appeared to have the power of completely intercepting the atmospheric oxygen, and depriving the germs underneath of the gas necessary to their development. The dependence of bacteria on air was afterwards experimented upon by Dr. Tyndall, and the ordinary air pump and the Springel pump were used, and he believes that if the air were completely removed, the infusions might be sterilised without boiling. Dr. Tyndall says the germs are certainly killed by the absence of oxygen. Dr. Tyndall took with him to the Alps some of the infusions of turnip, beef, &c., sealed, and opened some of them on the edge of a precipice, and others in a hay-loft. The result was that twenty-one out of twenty-three flasks opened in the hay-loft were filled with organisms, while all the flasks opened on the precipice edge remained clear as distilled water.

A conference was held by the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, and though no great results were arrived at, the result was not unsatisfactory. In the course of the discussion, the evidence of man's work in palæolithic times was criticised severely. Nothing was adduced to show that man was pre-glacial. At the anniversary of the Linnæan Society it was announced that British and German investigators had made important advances in the study of protoplasmic bodies. Very high power (-inch) object-glasses were used to obtain some of the most interesting results; but the subject is too special for a detailed notice.

For some years the Santa Barbara Islands and the coast of California, opposite, have furnished large quantities of cania, and tons of stone implements to Professor Schumacher. Many of the implements are of most beautiful workmanship, and throw much light on the colonization of the continent.

Dr. Bastian, one of Professors Tyndall's and Pasteur's adversaries, accepted a challenge on the spontaneous generation question to perform some experiments, and intended to carry them out before MM. Dumas, MilneEdwards, and Boussingault, who were appointed by the Academy of Sciences at Paris, to go into this controversy with M. Pasteur. After a good deal of very unsatisfactory correspondence, however, no experiments were performed, and no conclusion arrived at.

Rubies and other precious stones were produced artificially by MM. Feil & Fremy, by a new process which was described by them in a paper read before the Paris Academy of Sciences. Some of the stones produced are so inexpensive that they may be applied to ordinary decorative purposes. The stones were obtained by calcining alumina, minium, bichromate of potash, &c., in a furnace.

M. Cloez produced substances analogous with petroleum by the action of acid on spiegeleisen. Considering the vast importance of oxygen in the globe, of the solid part of which it forms about one-third, and of the liquid

part eight-ninths, it has been regarded as singular and significant that the spectrum of this gas has not been hitherto recognised in that of the sun.

Professor H. Draper, M.D., read a paper before the American Philosophical Society, in which he announces the discovery of oxygen and probably of nitrogen in the solar spectrum. Dr. Draper used a beam reflected from the flat mirror of a heliostat in his experiments, and not a beam from a limited area of the sun through a slit in the spectroscope. This discovery, like that of the liquefaction of oxygen by MM. Cailletet & Pictet, owes much to machinery, the only difference being that Professor Draper used a petroleum motor or engine, while the other gentlemen had steam at their disposal, and by this worked the Gramme machine for producing the electric current. This machine had a double set of brushes, and was wound with wire of such a size as to give a current of sufficient intensity for any purpose. Dr. Draper obtained one thousand 10-inch sparks per minute with the 18-inch coil, and by this means he photographed the spectra of oxygen and other gases in Plücker's tubes. These tubes were a source of great trouble to Dr. Draper, as they were often ruined by the great heat of the sparks, and the contents of the tubes required to be verified with great care. Professor Draper says that oxygen gives bright bands in the solar spectrum, and not dark absorption bands like the metals, and that the theory of the solar spectrum must be changed, so that it must no longer be regarded as a continuous spectrum with certain rays absorbed by layers of ignited metallic vapours, but as having bright lines and bands superposed on the background of the continuous spectrum. Professor Draper remarks that the bright lines of oxygen in the spectrum of the solar disc have hitherto not been perceived, probably from the fact that in eye observation bright lines on a less bright ground do not make the same impression on the mind that dark lines do.

Dr. White spent some time in making a critical study of the Mesozoic and Cainozoic strata of the Rocky Mountain region, and the results confirm the idea of Dr. Hayden that the entire series of deposits are consecutive, from the Dakota group below to the Bridger group above, alternations of fresh and salt water deposits containing animal remains to correspond.

Professor Marsh announces the discovery of two species of fossil bisons in the lower Pliocene of Nebraska. In a very interesting lecture, delivered at Nashville, at the meeting of the American Association, Professor Marsh gave an account of the extinct animals of North America; he traced the pig, which, he says, "with an obstinacy never lost," has held on in spite of catastrophes and evolution. He drew special attention to the Tillodontia, which are comparatively abundant in the middle and lower Eocene. In the type of the order, the skull resembles that of the bears, the molar teeth are of the ungulate types, while the incisors are very similar to those of rodents. Professor Marsh observes that there is considerable evidence that man existed in the American Pliocene age.

The Geology of the English Lake Country had much light thrown upon it by a memoir of the E. Survey, by J. C. Ward, F.G.S., a welcome return to the old fashion of explaining the sheets of the survey in a copious manner.

The following remarks of Professor Pengelley may be of interest. He stated at the British Association that he partially revived the theory of the late Professor Jukes; he believed the upper Old Red Sandstone to be the equivalent of the lower Devonian, each containing Phylolepis concentricus,

which is not found in any other horizon. Mr. Pengelley called attention to the metamorphism which had taken place near Prawle Point, in Devon, and he supported the idea of Dr. Hull and Professor Jukes that a submerged boss of granite may have wrought this change-the granitoid pebbles on the coast point to this.

Mr. Woodward supplemented these remarks by arguments, palæontological and otherwise.

The boring at Messrs. Meux's brewery, Tottenham Court Road, passed through a great thickness of chalk, and through an insignificant representative of the beds which underlie it, and thence into Upper Devonian strata. There was no oolite, and a striking confirmation was afforded of the theoretical structure of the South of England, as propounded many years since. Geologists generally have maintained that a band of rocks of palæozoic age extend from Westphalia, under the South-east of England. The importance of determining the course of such paleozoic rocks was, that along the whole of its exposed part, the coal-bearing strata of Westphalia, Belgium, and Northern France depended on it. From Valenciennes westwards the coal measures are not exposed at the surface, but are reached through the chalk formation; but from the underground workings at Douay, Béthune, &c., the relation of the several members of the series is exposed, as is the case also where they are again seen at the surface in the Boulonnais. For the present it has not been discovered in what direction the Devonian beds found at Tottenham are dipping (they are probably trending east and west). However, the fact is ascertained that London overlies the edge of a great coalfield, and the probability is that the coal-field lies to the north. 635 feet of chalk gone through were horizontal; the 35 feet of Devonian dipped uniformly at an angle of 30°, and so far agreed with those of France.

The

Mr. Whitaker wishes to have a more extended and systematic boring under the rocks of the Southern counties, and Mr. Lebour suggests that it is quite possible that the Devonian above-mentioned may overlie the coal measures, as inversion is by no means rare in Belgium.

Professor Dewalque, of Belgium, concludes from a visit to England that the metamorphic character is more prevalent there than in Belgium, especially in the middle and upper divisions. He regards this series as perfectly continuous from Barnstaple to Linton. He saw nowhere any indication of a fault, or a repetition of the series. The sandstones of Baggy Point and Marwood perfectly agree lithologically and paleontologically with certain portions of the "Psammites du Chondres" of Belgium. Professor Dewalque says that the Ilfracombe limestone represents the "stringocephalus " limestone (Calcaire de Givet); hence it is easy to compare these beds with those of the Continent. He remarks that the Devonian limestone is much more abundant on the Continent than in England, and the limestone of the Carboniferous beds also. The professor saw but little of Hereford, and the cornstones are alone mentioned by him, but he concludes that the Old Red sandstone of the United Kingdom is a marine deposit.

Mr. Champernowne, of Dartington, after a very careful study of the Devonian rocks in the south of Devonshire, concludes that the great Devon limestones are the highest of the Devonian series. He believes them to be succeeded by the Upper Carboniferous, and that these beds are perfectly conformable.

The law deduced by Baer from observation on Russian rivers regarding

the influence of the earth's rotation on the form of river banks and beds has received confirmation by various observers since.

Mr. Finger, of Vienna, has enlarged upon this problem, and not only enquired into the case of rivers flowing and winds moving in a meridian direction, but that of any river running in a course parallel to the spheroidal surface of the earth. Mr. Finger finds that the lateral pressure to the right is not greatest for a motion along the meridian, even when the azimuth of the direction does not vary.

The fossils collected by Capt. Fielden and Mr. Hart, and by Lieut. Egerton and Dr. Moss in the Arctic regions, have been reported on during the year 1877; some of past tertiary age were found at a height of 600 feet above the sea. There were eighteen species of mollusca, one of actinozöon, one of foraminifera, and one of marine plants-being altogether twenty-one species which now live in the Arctic seas. Nearer home, the so-called raised beaches at Plymouth Hoe have been examined by Mr. Collins, containing bones of rhinoceros, elephants, and other animals; there being continual excavations going on in this part of Plymouth, fresh sections are often obtained. Mr. Collins came to the conclusion that these gravels had been formed within the last few thousand years, and were of the same age as the cave deposits. Professor E. S. Morse, of Salem, Mass., fixed his head-quarters at Inoskimi, seventeen miles short of Yokohama, in Japan. Professor Morse recently ascended one of the highest Japanese mountains, about one hundred miles from the coast, and he found that it contained a peculiar fauna. proposes to establish a summer school of natural history, and to translate his text-books into Japanese.

He

A very curious account comes to us this year of the falling of a mountain in Tarentaise, Savoy, from M. Bérard. He says, "A mountain fell in portions during twenty days, doing great damage, and filling the valley below with blocks of stone periods of repose lasting about a minute took place, and then the movement recommenced." M. Bérard attributes the phenomenon to some geological force other than gravitation.

An important addition was made to the knowledge of Russian geology by the publication of "A Geological Sketch of the Povyenetz District, Government Olonetz, and its Mines"-a large volume, the result of seven years' work, illustrated with maps and chromolithographs. Fine palæonto

logical specimens from the Permian formation were obtained at a depth of 242 mètres from the surface near Memel. The twenty-five species obtained embraced eleven molluscs, five entomostraca, two bryozoa, &c., but onethird of these are found in corresponding English formations: quasi Devonian forms came up among the Permian.

The instability of the crust of the earth was demonstrated many times during the year. In one page of "Nature," we find recorded a new volcanic outbreak adjoining the River Tana, confirming the theory that the shores of the Gulf of Bothnia have been upraised by volcanic action; an extensive movement of subsidence in Calabria, chasms opening, and houses disappearing in them; and a destructive earthquake in Peru, shocks being also felt in Perthshire, and at Löfta in Sweden.

The course of science does not always run smooth, as was exemplified by the treatment received by Herr Nicolai Lograf, a member of the Moscow Society of Naturalists, who made an excursion to the Peninsula of Karim, in the Samoyede district. It appears that the suspicions of the natives were

Fear

aroused by his taking measurements of their heads, extremities, &c. ing for their reindeer, their property (and possibly for the heads in question), they packed up their goods, and those of the traveller, and carried him together with them into the interior. The collections he had made suffered at the hands and stomachs of the Samoyedes, as they destroyed his insects, and drank the preserving alcohol. Two fishermen, who had heard of his adventures, rescued him from the Karim, Tundra Coast.

Jenissei.-The expedition under the leadership of Dr. Hjalmar Shéel, of Upsala, travelled by Nischni Novogorod, Perm, Tjumez, Tomsk, and Krasnojarsk, arriving at the last place on June 8. The Jenissei has a length of about 1,660 English miles below Krasnojarsk; the high banks are in places clothed with Pinus obovata, and cembra, and larch. The Russian population was found to be very sparse and uncivilised in the Jenissei Valley. They live mostly on fish, numerous varieties of which were studied by the expedition. Altogether, about 150 species of birds were observed, of which only about thirty or forty were extra-Scandinavian. Many new mosses were discovered, and many botanical curiosities secured.

The year 1877 saw the veil of mystery lifted that had hung over the western side of equatorial Africa. The exploration of the interior had hitherto been confined to the series of Lakes Victoria and Albert Nyanza, Tanganika, &c., and Livingstone, striking across from Lake Tanganika, had discovered the Lualaba, concerning which we had occasion to speak last year in connection with that explorer and Cameron. After this, he had devoted his attention to the head waters of the river and the lake Bemba, being of opinion that the Lualaba was the Nile itself. The grand old explorer laid down his life which he had so often risked in the course of these explorations, and an expedition under Mr. Stanley, fitted out at the expense of the New York Herald and Daily Telegraph newspapers, went in search of him. His remains were sent back to England, and Stanley determined to follow up the course of the Lualaba, and open up the mysterious countries it waters. Its course, says Stanley, was debated by the fishermen and traders of the country with as much energy as by the members of the Geographical Society of London. The Arab traders of Nyangwe tried to dissuade the hardy traveller by stories of the most fearful and wonderful nature; of dwarfs, cannibals, and gorillas; but, says Stanley, "I had a few young men who knew what we could do in the way of fighting." The scientific men who had read Livingstone's and other travellers' accounts of Africa were of opinion that the quantity of water in the Lualaba, and its situation and course, made it impossible for it to be the Nile, and Schweinfurth's discoveries made it appear that it must be the Congo. Stanley's account of the 1,800 miles of river, between Nyangwe and the mouth of the river, is as follows:-The Livingstone (as he calls the river), from the moment it leaves Lake Bemba, skirts, at about a distance of 200 miles, the mountains which shut in Lake Tanganika on the west, and clings to that extraordinary region for some time. By a series of powerful affluents it drains the entire western versant of the lake regions as far as 4° N. latitude. At the equator the river turns north-west, and sinks into a lower bed, having reached the great plains which extend between the maritime mountain region and the lake mountain region. Here the Livingstone is joined by the Aruwini (the Welle of Schweinfurth), which, Stanley says, will be a river of immense importance in African navigation. Here the river spreads over an enormous channel, and

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