On the optical deportment of the atmosphere. Offprints.
Tyndall, John

On the optical deportment of the atmosphere. Offprints.

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Publisher Information: London: 1876.

Precursor of Fleming's work on Penicillin

Tyndall, John (1820-93). The optical deportment of the atmosphere in relation to the phenomena of putrefaction and infection. Offprint from Phil. Trans. 166 (1876). [2] [27]-74pp. Text illustrations. [With] Further researches on the deportment and vital persistence of putrefactive and infective organisms from a physical point of view. Offprint from ibid. 167 (1877). [2] 149-206pp. Text illustrations. Together 2 offprints, 4to. London: Trubner & Co., 1876-77. 295 x 235 mm. Original printed wrappers, very slightly chipped. Light marginal browing, but fine. Boxed.

First Separate Editions. Garrison-Morton 1932 (first paper). Tyndall approached bacteriology by way of physics: during his researches on radiant heat, he had been greatly impressed by the difficulty of removing the particles that were floating in the atmosphere. He later began to focus his attention on these atmospheric particles, publishing these two important memoirs in the Philosophical Transactions; they were later collected, along with other relevant papers and lectures, in his Essays on the Floating-Matter of the Air (1881). The first of these memoirs described his experiments with a hermetically sealed chamber in which the atmospheric dust had been allowed to settle; sterilized infusions protected within this chamber remained uninfected for months, while similar infusions exposed to air all showed bacterial growth.

Tyndall pursued these researches further in his second memoir, demonstrating that only a small amount of atmospheric dust was required for contamination, and testing the limits of heat resistance of the infecting bacteria. As bacteria pass through a thermoresistant latent stage as well as an active one, Tyndall devised a method of discontinuous boiling ("Tyndallization") to render infusions completely sterile. Tyndall's researches, along with those of Pasteur, dealt the final blow to the doctrine of spontaneous generation.

Tyndall also performed pioneering research leading to antibiotics by observing the bactericidal effect of molds-in particular the selective bacteria-inhibiting effect of Penicillium and the resistance of Ps. pyocyanea to it. His results are discussed in the first offprint listed above. Bulloch, pp. 109-117.

Edition: 1st edition

Book Id: 11227

Price: $1,500.00

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