Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922, March 12, 1916, NEWS SECTION, Image 14
Tee Omaha Sunday Bee Magazine Paqe ALL 71 OVLYUl m How Science SOLVED the MIDDLE OF EUMATISM By William Brady, M. D. IT is with a feeling of sadness that we witness the encroachment of the new upon the old we old timers. It makes us realize In a Terr intimate war how nearly senile we are getting to be. ' Borne of us strife' earnestly to keep up with the times; we go in for all the fads and fashions of the day; we Tenture to trip the tango or the turkey in the whirl of youth ; we wear gay, "classy" clothes and cultlrate the company of the younger set and all and , all hut in dWers ways and la spite of all dlssem blaneea the grim conviction Is forced home to Us ' that we are not keeping pace with the march. . ' Almost dally we make some little slip that be trays us. If in bo other respect, then in gossiping about our health. One's health is always a proper topic of conversation; It Is more available than the weather itself because after all it is hard to say any. thing original about the state of the weather. But even the ills of flesh are changing with the process of the suns. , If you want to be up to the minute you may have neuritis, myositis, cynovitls, bursitis or arthritis, but you must not have "rheumatism" any more. "Rheumatism" is now nothing but a vulgar almanac complaint the kind of trouble Uncle Ebeneser thinks he has when he motors to town, after prolonged re search, to buy a one-dollar bottle of earsaparilly, to purify his blood, for seventy-nine cents at the dry. goods store. "Rheumatism" is a blanket title tor those aches, pains and lamenesses which accumulate over .Winter and cry out for relief at plowing time la the Spring. It is what alls you when you have to be your own. diagnostician. , !'!,'.'." . ' .The beauty of "rheumatism" Js its impenetrable atmosphere of mystery. Nobody knows what he la talking about when be talks about "rheumatism"- Great Importance of the Discovery That a GERM Causes this PAINFUL DISEASE nobody but the almanac publisher and the proprietary medicine manufacturer, and neither of these fellow will ever telL Since no one knows what It is it be comes obvious that no victim of the complaint can be quite sure, until he tries a few bottles, that any old remedy offered won't help him a bit. Wherefore It follows as comfortably as you could wish that any person having a Job lot of drugs, foods or appliances he can't dispose of legitimately, will find a ready market by advertising the goods in the medi cal and lay press as a good thing for rheumatic con ditions. And since we are all so eager to rush Into print there will be no lack of warm testimonials to keep the business going. Under the Influence of a pleasantly medicated bracer one will say or do almost anything to accommodate a friend. Nevertheless rheumatism, as a near-diagnosis, an almanac complaint, a fulcrum for the promulgation of nostrums, is passing. Masquerades are no longer fash ionable in medicine. The "rheumatlz" Is not long for this world.' Even now it exhibits signs of approach ' Ing dissolution, it is suffering from exposure and feeble circulation, and if our prognosis is not utterly at fault rheumatism will be as obsolete in another generation as the scrofula of our forefathers is to-day the title, we mean and as uncommon as smallpox the con ditions confused under the title, we now mean. True, current medical literature still summons rheumatism to fill a vast void occasionally; and so it does a "cold" whatever that may mean. For doctors, like ordinasr folk, are fond of phrases. - A century ago rheumatism covered a great many niore mistakes than it does at present. To our be . nfghted forefathers pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis, tonsllltls and even common coryza were all "the rheum." The word rheumatism is derived from a Greek root meaning -"catarrh, a flow." It is scarcely fifty years since tuberculosis of Joints was differentiated from t rheumatism, and within . our generation some half dozen other specific diseases have been spilt off from the group called rheumatism. Such refinements of . diagnosis as neuritis, myositis, bursitis, synovitis and arthritis representing intelligent efforts to determine what Is really the matter with the patient are still so new that comparatively few lay readers have any Idea what they mean. Of late years, Indeed, the old hen rheumatism has covered with its motherly wings only a dwindling, nondescript brood of orphaned Jolftt.. troubles which failed to find a home anywhere else. Over In England, where one would think they ought to know rheumatism if anybody knows it, unromantlc tun. . . i iirlilriHnrli m-ll ll'llnl'VI 'II If l.r ''r- n .rtg" I i.nnii , .r TT-r Hands and Uw.r LimKs of a Sufferer from Acute Rheumatoid Arthritis. It Was from Joint Affected as ThU Man' Are That Profesnor Rosenow Took the Genoa Which, , When Injected Into the Veina of Dogs and Rabbita, Produced Similar Joint Trouble. These Experiments Helped Establish the Fact That Rheumatism la Caused by a Germ ml Nitt Kw UfV.t Y,i F ik. fl:--. : urv-.i v ' 3 " .. - - " -- -..uaaiw iu nnicn ion practitioners forty years ago began to wonder It the weather, bad as It was, could be the sole cause of such a protean disease.. One tim orous scientist even expressed a theory that microbes had some thing to do with it much to the amusement of .his compeers. , Alfred Mantle; consulting physi cian to the Royal Halifax Infirm ary, wrote a thesis entitled "Rheu matism Considered from the Bac terial Point of View", away back In 1877, before bacteriology had cut Its milk teeth. Mantle's Idea was "severely frowned upon by the emi nent examiners of the university as the wild dream of an inexpe rienced young upetartr-because in those days every fool knew that rheumatism,' pneumonia, consump tion and the like Were mere, conse quences of exposure to the obdu rate weather which prevailed in ow We Came To Be SO AFRAID OF SNAKESf THE great majority, of snakes ' found in this country are entirely harmless, being without venom or fangs. . Yet almost everybody, when un expectedly brought into close prox imity to any kind of a snake, large or small, venomous or non-venomous, or even to anything resembling -t a snake, Is suddenly seized with a panto of tear and the Impulse to flee as it the very eight ot it were deadly. The fear of snakes is really a deep-seated animal Instinct which has survived long after the condi tions that gave it origin. Its per sistence, 'science sow believes, is evidence that . the human . race originated in India or some other part of tropical Asia where all sorts ef venomous serpents have always been abundant. . Man's Instinctive horror ot ser pents probably originated during the countlesa generations when he .was slowly climbing up from his animal ancestry. Being without fire and without clothing or shel ter, 'ha was peculiarly defenseless against the deadly serpents which constituted the greatest danger and the greatest menace to the survival of the race that he had to en ' counter. ! The !idea that India; was the cradle in which the white race c quired tha dread of serpents that persists to the present day has a number of things to support it One is the fact that India has always been Infested by venomous snakes. Notwithstanding the efforts of the British authorities to suppress the evil over 20,000 persons died last year as a result of the attacks of serpents. In prehistoric times con ditions In this respect were prob ably much worse. Our serpent fear is very similar to a form of fear displayed by horses. Everybody who has ever had anything to do with horses knows what an Insane and uncon trollable fright they exhibit at sight ot some unfamiliar wayside object. Why do horses behave In this wayT Because the sight of such an object represents, to them, Just as the sight of a snake does to men a danger which at some tar distant time was tha great peril that threatened their development as a race. This danger took the form ot lions, tigers and other ferocious beasts ot prey that lay concealed In the Jungles waiting for a favor able opportunity to spring upon passing horses and devour them. The horse had no means ot de fense against this danger except ' alertness In eluding the- spring of his enemy and fleetness of foot In escaping pursuit. 'The Individual horses that developed these pro tective qualities most highly sur vived, while , those that failed to reach the necessary standard ot efficiency fell victims to their enemies. We now see, thousands of years after the domestication of the horse, that he suddenly falls into a senseless panic and flees at ' break-neck's speed from an Jmag . inary danger behind. So terror stricken does he often become over ' tha imagined danger behind that he becomes heedless of real dangers . ahead and rushes on to a broken neck. There seems to be little doubt that the instinctive fear of Imag inary dangers in the horse, and the same kind of fear ot serpents in manhad a similar origin In the early experiences of both. i . . V those parts. . Tft'at painful and serious condition called acute In flammatory, or acute articular rheumatism, or rheuma tic fever, or acute multiple arthritis, has been looked upon- as probably of infectious origin for the past de cade. But so-called chronic rheumatism, Including all the Joint troubles not identified specifically, has re mained a matter of guest-work and controversy within the medical profession and a veritable hodgepodge of the imagination without the profession. Chronic rheu matism, In short, has been and still is in too many In stances a fair target for all the conventional and un conventional modes of treatment human Ingenuity has been able to devise. And in the rare Instances when recovery has followed any particular brand of treat ment no one has been able to furnish a satisfactory explanation as to how the recovery has been brought about. The one best bet and the worst Is the fake nos trum maker's battle cry, that the treatment "drives out the uric acid," an explanation which would be eminent ly satisfactory but for the fact that scientific tests prove that neither an Increase nor a diminution of the amount of uric acid in the body occurs with Joint dis ease or with recovery therefrom. " .." f inca Alfred Mantle's time scores of, original In, vestigators have added their testimony to tha "bug" theory ot rheumatism. British. French, German and America clinicians and bacteriologists have centring uted, point after point, a scientific working knowledge of the nature of rheumatism, building up a sound hypo thesis upon Mantle's idea. Within the past two years this constructive-hypothesis has attained -maturity. Certain epochal discoveries by American bacteriolog ists and physicians have supplied the answer for the age old riddle: What Is rheumatism? Thanks to Mantle's childish dreams, and the work; of those who followed in his footsteps, medical art to-day is restor ing despairing invalids to health, curing the Incur able chronic rheumatism. On April 11, 1914, the rheumatism-weather tradi tion definitely expired. On that day a thousand-word preliminary note entitled "Etiology of Arthrtlii DeJ formans," by E. C. Rosenow. M. D.. a Chicago bacteri ologist, appeared in the Journal of the American MedW cal Association, In which Rosenow described re searches which establish the specificity ,of at least one species of bacteria, the Streptococcus vlridans. In the causation of the kind of rheumatism doctors call arthritis deformans or rheumatoid arthritis. This particular germ Rosenow found In tha lymph nodes in the region of affected Joints in a large num ber of cases, and by injecting cultures ot It into tha veins of dogs and rabbits he was able to produce specific Joint lesions, which, he observes, "would parallel the condition found In the patient from whom1 the strain (of germs) was Isolated." . . I This specificity noted by Rosenow ia tha Strepto coccus vlridans is of the utmost importance. The lm' presslon has long prevailed that most of these cases of Joint trouble were of bacterial origin, rather than the result of dletetio or climatic conditions, bat phy sicians have been either timid or indifferent about putting the theory to tha test In actual practice. ( That ta, If a possible port of entry or septic focus for the propagation of the suspected germs has been recognized In a given case,, such for Instance as a chronic pyorrhoea (Rlggs disease of tha gums), or a chronic pelvic inflammatory focus, no very radical effort to remove or clean up the focus has been made, because the physician has lacked confidence In tha efficacy of radical measures, or, perhaps, the patient has preferred to ignore the seemingly unimportant focus in his anxiety to have the rheumatism relieved. Rosenow's work, then, convinces the physician be yond peradventure of the need for Just such radical procedures In the treatment of chronio Joint disease. It furnishes the clearest scientific proof that certain bacteria have a particular affinity for certain tissues, like the synovial lining of a Joint or the fascia near a Joint or the muscles over a Joint And this affinity, as Rosenow shows, is quite constant for a given strata of germs. (To be concluded next Sunday.) ". ; Such a QUEER EGG! N': this Is not a ten-pin or a water bottle or a dumbell or an' old Egyptian vase or any of the 'i things it looks like. It is an egg laid a few days ago by a full-blooded (Plymouth Rock wb.6 enjoys the distinction of being one of the greatest, egg-, producers In the State of Ohio.'1 '-', v'l .! r As the photograph ' shows, this egg Is certainly the queer est that ever came from a. hen. It Is nearly as large and weigh as much as three ordi nary hen's eggs and the shell . Is unusually thick and firm. This Is the first freak egg this particular hen has laid. She has, however, . always been remarkable for the num. , ber and size ot her egg. . i -.te;.v TT I l.' L. L' 1 j the Other Day by ' , aa Ohio Han. Why It Is That SAVAGES ARE NEVER NEAR-SIGHTED IT is a curious fact that savages are never near-sighted. Their sight is clearer and more dls , tlnct than that of the strongest eye of any civilized man. To under stand why this must be so It is necessary td first make plain Just what near-sightedness is. Near-sightedness is due to un due length ot the eye, which causes, the parallel rays of light to unite not on the retina, but In front of it Now, while nature has achieved the seemingly impossible in fash ioning the eye, which consists of crystalline, clear living tissue, H ia not Inert, In spite ot the wonder ful clarity of the substances that compose it , It it were an inert mass, then It would be able to focus only per fectly parallel rays of light, that Is to ssy, rays striking It after travelling a long distance, and this would . mean only distant objects could be visualized. Consequently the muscles of the eye must make an effort in order to visualize near by objects. In the normal eye, this effort, unless unduly prolonged, is part of the day's work, and has no bad after effects. But if near-sighted persons continue to make this ef fort, forcing the muscles ot the eye to perform an uncalled far amount of work, instead of correcting the . defect by wearing concave glasses, which will focus the light right upon the retina, instead of in front ot it, they will ruin their eyes past redemption. . The eyes of a child of ten can gather in rays ot light coming from very close range rays which are as near-by as six and seven-tenths inches. But after the tenth year this power rapidly declinea, . The decline of this power is undoubtedly due In part to the work required ot the child in school. After the tenth year the human being in civilized countries SURPRISING THINGS That LIGHT DOES TO PLANTS Thia Photograph Sttewa How the Stalks . Ler Curve Towards light Coming from the Direction lnU cated by the Arrow. Tkis Photef rapb Skowa Haw Ceranium'e Stalk Bekaea When Split Up to the Apec and Ecpoeed to Light Coming from the tiw Indicated by the Arrow. IN the whole realm ot science nothing is more wonderful or of greater importance to mankind than the behavior of plants under the influence ot light. ' . In growing plants carbon dioxide and water are transformed Into starch and su gar. This transformation can take place only through the action ot light upon the substance, known as chlorophyll, but ex actly how it Is effected we do not know. Ot the light that tails upon a green leaf a part ia reflected from Its surface, a part is .transmitted, and another part is absorbed. That which Is reflected and transmitted gives to the leaf its green color; that which Is absorbed, consisting of red, blue and vio let rays, is the source of the energy by means ot which the leaf la enabled to carry on its work. Wa have only to look at any of the plants around us to see how successfully they con trive to arrange their leaves to obtain the maximum advantage from the light that falls upon them. A plant organ responds to the directive influence ot light by a cur: vatura which places it either in a direct line with the rays of light, as in grass seed lings, or at right angles to the light as In ordinary foliage leaves. When the leaf stalk or blade reaches the position of msxlmum advantage, the move- . ment toward the light ceases and it then remains fixed, save for some alight rotating motions, until either the direction, of the light changes or its intensity Is decreased. We do not yet know by what means the plant is able to adjust tts position to the rays of light, nor Just how it perceives that it ia or is not in tha most advantageous position. Recent experiments seem to prove that the perception ot light i3 located not In the blade ot the leaf, but In the stalk. When $ stalks are exposed to the light and the blades kept in the dark, the stalks all curve distinctly toward the light But when the blades are exposed and the stalks kept in the derk, the latter show no definite curva ture toward the light Other experiments show that it is the upper part of the stalk which perceives the light and which has the power ot lriduclng a motor response in the lower half. Not only is the stalk capable of perceiv ing light, but it can distinguish between the different kinds ot light Although the plant absorbs rays of light both at the red end and at the blue end of the spectrum It responds mainly to those at the blue end. Copyright. m, by tha Star Company. r , :im- ,. .j.,... : ,i ;- - : ; ;;;, , ,. I Is forced to spend .a. great part ot the time in poring over books either to read or write. The child is admonished not to allow his attention to stray, but to apply himself diligently . to the work in hand, when he should be taught Instead, that, while reading or writing, he must glance up every few seconds and look at a distant object as a tree to be seen through' the window, or the chimney of a ' far-off house. In keeping his eyes riveted on the book right in front' of him, the child is doing the worst possible harm to bis eyes, for such continual application to a near-by -object changes the form of the eye, and produces that elongation which results in near-sightedness. The reason why the savage is -never near-sighted is that he Uvea an outdoor lite, knows nothing of. books and pictures. What manual labor he performs is performed in the open air, and the manifold dan gers which surround him, the beasts 'of the Jungle or hostile tribes, make constant vigilance and an alert scanning ot the horizon necessary.' ' There is no better remedy for keeping tha eyesight in good trim than to look up every few seconds from one's - work, focussing the eyes on a distant object. A mo ment devoted every now and then to this corrective exercise will be of the greatest benefit to the eyes. So Important is this care of the eyes considered that in many large ' manufacturing establishments where close, confining work Is done, theh foremen ere expected to see to - It that employes lift their eyes from their machines for a second or two every now and then. . If such a practice were followed in our schools there would be far fewer near-sighted persons. , la This Case Only the Upper Portion of the Plant's Stalk la Exposed to the Light, and Yet the Unexposed Part Curvea Under the Light's Influence : in the Curioua Manner Shown in the Photograph. r v : On the Left, Three Leaves Placed Upside Down with Their Stnlka Vertical. On the Right, the Same Stalks aa They Appear Whoa Exposed to Light Coming from the Direction Indicated by the Arrow. Orsat Britain Righta Raeti SCIENCE NOW KNOWS- New Use for Hopvines. ANE of the latest results of the efforts of Germany's sclenti&tl to aid " the Fatherland Is the discovery that hopvines make an excellent ma . terlal for paper, Jute and charcoal. Paper Made from Grass. A SPECIES of wire grass which is common on the Pacific Coast has been " found to have just the degree of toughness which makes It an excel- lent substitute for wood pulp In the manufacture of paper. ' Why Tires Get Hot. IT is a mistake to think that automobile tires are hot after a long, fast run because of their friction on the road. The heat in really due to friction inside the tires themselves, due to the fact that the various layers of which they are composed do not act uniformly as the tires are deflected by the road. Winding Watches by Electricity. i a New York watch repairing establishment, where more than ssven. 'hundred matches have to be wouni every day, an electrical apparatus has been '.ustalled to do the winding. It does the work more efficiently than human hands can, and takes the place of several men formerly r juired for tMs work.