Saturday, August 9, 2008

Some Help We Get From Microbes


Ordinary digestion is performed in the stomach and the intestine by means of soluble ferments secreted by the organic cells, which attack alimentary substances, dissociate them and render them assimilable, and this is perceived to be a function very similar to that of microbes. The digestive passages, however, contain immense quantities of microbes continually brought in with the food, multiplying infinitely and performing exceedingly complex offices.

Even if we take up only a few of these offices, we are compelled of necessity to assume that they intervene in digestive operations, either as aids to the organic diastases or as themselves effective agents. M. Duclaux, insisting on this point, has remarked that some celluloses are capable of being attacked only by microbes, no organic juice having sufficient strength to affect them. M. Pasteur does not believe in the possibility of digestion in a medium completely deprived of microbes. — Popular Science Monthly.

Something Simple

Patent Office Clerk — Your machine is so complicated that some part or other will be sure to infringe on some other invention and make trouble with no end of court costs.
Poor Inventor — I can't afford such expenses.
"Hadn't you better try something simpler at first. What is that in your other hand?"
"This? A bit of wire I picked up in the street. A button is off, and I m going to use it to fasten up my suspenders."
"Well, we'll give you a patent on that." — New York Weekly.

His Doctrine

"Uncle, how do you stand on the enforcement of the Monroe doctrine?"

"Ain't got no time to fool wid sich," answered the old man. "De good ole straight Baptis' doctrine am good enough fo' me an is been for nigh more'n thutty yeahs." — Cincinnati Tribune.

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