ID# 319:
"The relation of hereditary eye defects to genetics and eugenics," by Lucien Howe, JAMA
Pages: (1|2|3|4|5|6)
American Philosophical Society, ERO, MSC77,SerX,Box3: Harry H. Laughlin

&quote;The relation of hereditary eye defects to genetics and eugenics,&quote; by Lucien Howe, JAMA

Volume 79 Number 26 Meningococcus Cultures - Cohen 1999 It is always possible for a theory to have exceptions, but where a theory such as Mendel's theory is applied to the inheritance of ocular conditions - and that is all I am speaking of; I am not talking about that theory as a whole - and many of you have so many exceptions, as the history of all the cases shows, I must say that I do not see that the mendelian theory can be applied, and that we can assume from that what the results will be as in the offspring. The only thing I can see is to collect as many cases as possible of the results of such a marriage, and from the number of children calculate what percentage is likely to become involved. If the mendelian theory were true as far as man is concerned, then as Dr. Howe suggests, instead of sterilizing the person, it would seem to me the thing to do is to allow a person who is affected to marry and then find out from his offspring which marry the ones who propagate the diseased condition, and sterilize them or prevent them from marrying and allow the other strains to continue to marry and have children. Dr. F.G. Steuben, Lima, Ohio: It was Dr. Wiley who made the statement, that as a people, we have been giving too much attention to the breeding and raising of hogs, rather than to that of our children; but he thought that mankind should come next. Not to underestimate the other papers I regard this as one of the most important subjects, and believe it is the duty of every normal individual to contribute what he can for the betterment of the race. It is said, every child has the right to be well born, and I think it devolves on the profession and the press to enlighten the masses, the laity, believing that they will be ready to take that counsel and heed that advice. Dr. Lucien Howe, Buffalo: I do not know of any brief statement more conclusive than the family histories of the pupils of the School for the Blind at Batavia, N.Y., as given by Dr. Lewis. They show the desirability of some action for the prevention of hereditary blindness. As for the objections to the mendelian theory raised by Dr. Loch, that is for the geneticists to decide. The fact is, however, that opportunities do occur for the breeding among human beings of eye conditions. For example, when one of a Northern race, from Ireland or Scandinavia, marries and Italian, we can observe the eye colors of the hybrids, and if first cousins of such crossings marry, the results can be followed in the second generation. In a similar manner opportunities are afforded occasionally for tracing serious eye defects. As far as we know, these abnormal conditions follow the mendelian law as do other conditions which we call normal. Through the kindness of Professor Morgan and Dr. Bridges of Columbia University, I have been furnished with stock colonies of an insect now a classic subject for experiment. The specimens with deformed eyes and the eyeless variety I have bred through a considerable number of generations. Live specimens are presented in bottles for examination. Finally, I ought to say that I did not make personally the bibliography or the new charts from the old family histories. The work was simply supervised in my office, by my wife and my secretary, and by the secretary of the editor of the bibliography in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. [rule] Follow-Up Medical Inspection. - There is a strange lack of logic in the way we take care of our industrial children as compared with our schoolchildren. Medical inspection of schoolchildren has attained a place of considerable prominence in our child welfare problems, and we have almost come to regard as beyond the pale the school district so benighted that it pays no attention to the health of its schoolchildren... All sorts of safeguards have been thrown around employed children in the shape of age limits below which they may not be employed, regulation of hours, elimination from obviously dangerous occupations, such as mining - all of which have their part in preventing injury to the health of undeveloped children. But the physical safeguards considered indispensable up to the moment the child begins work are not heard of after the doors of industry are closed behind him. - Florence L. Taylor, Child Labor Bulletin, February, 1918. Clinical Notes, Suggestions, and New Instruments Cultivation of the Meningococcus under partial oxygen tension A Possible Explanation for the Poor Success of the Usual Cultural Methods M. B. Cohen, M.D. (West Salem, Ohio) First Lieutenant, M.R.C., U.S. Army Camp Lee, Petersburg, VA. A method by which meningococcus cultures may be easily obtained in sufficient quantity for rapid agglutination has long been sought. Almost every bacteriologist has some special mediums on which he relies. In many camps, primary isoloation is attempted on some solid medium, such as rabbit's blood agar or sheep serum agar; in others, various liquid mediums are used. [diagram] [caption]Fig. 1. - Apparatus for incubating under partial oxygen tension: A, rubber tube; B, tube with B. subtilis culture; C, tube with spinal fluid culture.[end caption] At this hospital it had been customary to make primary isolations from spinal fluid on solid mediums. When large amounts of fluid containing many organisms were planted, this method usually yielded a few colonies which had to be nursed along through several subcultures before rich growth was obtained. Only too often the culture was lost. Finally an enriched broth was used. A mass culture was made by pouring from 8 to 10 cc of spinal fluid into 100 cc of human serum glucose infusion broth. Usually within twenty-four hours a good broth was obtained; but when transplants were made from this broth to solid mediums, growth was meager or entirely absent. Frequent transplants had to be made to insure good growth, and many cultures were lost. It occurred to me that the explanation of this phenomenon was to be found in the fact, to which attention had previously been called* that the meningococcus is a micro-serophil, and [diagram] [caption]Fig. 2.-Adaptation of the menigococcus to changes in oxygen tension: Upstrokes, aerobic dcultures; downstrokes, partial tension cultures; + -, doubtful growth; ++++, very rich growth.[end caption] that only a few individuals are sufficiently facultative to grow under aerobic conditions. To test this idea, the following method was adopted: Each specimen of spinal fluid was divided into two parts. One portion was poured into a bottle of glucose infusion broth; the other was centrifuged, and a loopful of the sediment was planted on each of two human serum glucose infusion agar. One plant was incubated aerobically; the other was placed under partial oxygen tension by connecting the plant to a freshly inoculated agar slant of B. subtilis by means of rubber tubing (Fig. 1). Confluent growth over the whole surface of the slant was usually obtained in the partial tension cultures , while only one or two scattered colonies could be found on the aerobic well; most of the growth was found near the bottom of the 100 cc. Bottle that was used. Aerobic and partial tension [rule] [footnotes]*From the laboratory of the base hospital, Camp Lee, Va. 1. Asnis, E.J.: Personal communication to the author. 2. 2. Cohen, M.B., and Markle, Louis: A Method Which Greatly Facilitates the Culture of the Meningococcus, The Journal A.M.A., Oct. 28, 1916, p. 1302.

Copyright 1999-2004: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; American Philosophical Society; Truman State University; Rockefeller Archive Center/Rockefeller University; University of Albany, State University of New York; National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument; University College, London; International Center of Photography; Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem; and Special Collections, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
The images and text in this Archive are solely for educational and scholarly uses. The materials may be used in digital or print form in reports, research, and other projects that are not offered for sale. Materials in this archive may not be used in digital or print form by organizations or commercial concerns, except with express permission.