SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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COLLOIDAL BEHAVIOUR
117
is connected with acid formation), and the electro-positive particles rush to those parts and supply the material for whatever physiological need there may be."
The effects of different forms of radiant energy on colloids and protoplasm are being extensively studied, and the results are very startling. The different forms of radiant energy differ in wave-length, frequency., - that is to say, generally in structure, - and, as such, may produce structural effects on colloids and organisms, which effects may appear on the gross macroscopic level in many different forms.
Electrical currents, for instance, retard reversibly the growth of roots, may activate some eggs into larval stages without fertilization., which makes it possible to understand why, in some cases, a mere puncturing of the egg may disturb the equilibrium and produce the effects of fertilization.10
The X-, or Rontgen-rays have been shown to accelerate 150 times the process of mutation. Muller, in his experiments with several thousand cultures of the fruit fly, has established the above ratio of induced mutations, which become hereditary.11 'Cosmic rays' in the form of radiation from the earth, in tunnels, for instance, show similar results, except that mutation occurs only twice as often as under the usual laboratory conditions. Under the influence of X-rays, mice change their colour of hair; gray mice become white, and white ones darker. Sometimes further additional bodily changes appear; as, for instance, one or no kidneys, abnormal eyes or legs, occur more often than under ordinary conditions. Some animals lose their power of reproduction, although the body is not obviously changed. Plants respond also to the X-ray treatment. They grow faster, flower more, and produce new forms more readily. In humans the effect of X-ray irradiation has often proven disastrous to the health of experimenters. There are even data that the irradiation of pregnant mothers may result in deformation of the head and limbs of the unborn child and, in one-third of the cases, f eeble-mindedness of the children has resulted.12
Ultra-violet rays also show a marked effect. In some instances, they slow down or stop the streaming of protoplasm, because of increased viscosity or coagulation; plants grow slowly or rapidly; certain valuable ingredients in plants are increased; certain animals, as, for instance, small Crustacea or bacteria are killed; eggs of Nereis (a kind of sea worm), which usually have 28 chromosomes, after irradiation have 70; certain bone malformations in children are cured; the toxin in the blood serum of pernicious anaemia patients is destroyed, .1S In this respect, we should notice again that ultra-violet irradiation produces curative effects