THE MICROZYMAS AND THAT WHICH IS STYLED BACTERIOLOGY; THE MICROZYMAS, LIVING BEINGS BELONGING TO AN UNSUSPECTED ORDER OF THEIR OWN; OVULAR AND VITELLIN MICROZYMAS; MICROZYMAS AND MOLECULAR GRANULATIONS; GEOLOGICAL MICROZYMAS; MICROZYMAS OF THE EARTH AND OF THE WATERS; MICROZYMAS AND BACTERIA; BIOLOGICAL CHARACTERS OF THE MICROZYMAS; MICROZYMAS AND THEIR PERENNITY; THE ORGANIZED END OF ALL ORGANIZATION; OVULAR AND VITELLIN MICROZYMAS; MICROZYMAS AND PATHOLOGY; MICROZYMAS AND COORDINATION; PHAGOCYTOSIS; MICROZYMAS AND ANTHRAX; MICROZYMAS AND DISEASE; MICROZYMAS AND MICROBES; MICROZYMAS AND THE INDIVIDUAL COEFFICIENT; MICROZYMAS, LIFE AND DEATH; MICROZYMAS AND HEALTH; MICROZYMAS AND RECEPTIVITY; MICROZYMAS, BLOOD AND PROTOPLASM; CONCLUSIONS.
To place beyond dispute the autonomy of the microzymas it is necessary to bring into prominence the facts and observations which prove that the existence of the microzymas as living beings has not been suspected by those naturalists who have studied the infusoria, nor yet by the anatomists who have studied the cellules and the tissues.
Demonstration that the microzymas, autonomous anatomical elements in living organisms, are living beings, morphologically determined, belonging to a category of their own, having no analogue.
Let us first get rid of the hypotheses that the microzymas are either the bacterium termo, or the Monas crepusculum, or the Micrococcus, or the spores of bacteria.
It is to be borne in mind that I gave the name of microzyma at first to the geological figured ferment of the chalk of Sens and of another calcareous earth; that I have discovered this ferment in other calcareous rocks, always of a spherical form, very brilliant, having the brownian movement and smaller than all the vibrioniens described by authors.' Ehrenberg described (in the chalk) the remains of fossil microscopic organisms called Polythalamies and Nautilites, but makes no mention either of Monas crepusculum nor of Bacterium punctum. In fact, none of the microzymas can be confounded with those described by Ehrenberg under those names. The microzymas are even smaller than the Bacterium termo, the smallest of the known infusoria, the first term of the animal kingdom, according to Felix Dujardin.
Nevertheless the microzymas had been seen in cloudy infusions of vegetable and animal matters, but they were taken for "the active molecules of Robert Brown"; that is to say, for molecules having the staggering or scintillating movement without change of place, called "brownian movement," and no further attention was paid to them.
In fact, the microzymas are neither the Bacterium punctum, nor the Monas crepusculum, nor even the Bacterium termo, which is much smaller than they. It will be sufficient to establish this fact by referring to the description of these monas, etc., given by F. Dujardin, in his "Historie Naturelle des Zoophytes," Infusoria, pp. 215 and 279.
On the other hand, if these bacteria, these monads, these micrococci, belong to determined species, it is contrary to the data of natural history to regard them as capable of being transformed into other genera and species of vibrioniens, as we see the microzymas produce them by evolution; the suggestion that the microzymas are the spores of schizomycetes is also untenable for the following reasons: A spore is a seminulum, or an egg, if according to the old view, the bacteria are animals, and search has been made for the eggs of bacteria; a grain, if according to the new creed the bacteria are vegetable; egg or grain, a spore cannot multiply itself as the microzyma does, and cannot therefore be the same thing.
Take the microzymas of the ovule in the Graafian vesicle in the fowl, and the microzymas of the vitellus of the mature egg. In the ovule there are ovular microzymas, in the vitellus, vitelline microzymas. At a given moment there are, say, a milligramme of microzymas in the ovule, and there are two or three grammes dried at 100° C. (I have isolated and weighed them) in the vitellus.1
They have then multiplied prodigiously during the development of the vitellus.2
So much then for the anatomical analysis for the egg of the fowl, and the chemical analysis shows that the elementary composition of the ovular microzymas is not the same as that of the vitellin, the former, as will be seen, being less carbonized; evidently their composition changed in the process of multiplication.3
Chemical analysis has further demonstrated that the vitellin microzymas of several species of birds differ from those of the fowl in their composition and especially in the properties of their respective zymases.4 This accords exactly with the microzymian theory, for it is evident that the microzymas are what they should be specifically, in order that, by incubation, the egg should produce the proper bird, its tissues, and all that pertains to its future being. And it has been demonstrated that during the development of the being, parallel with the anatomical development by the multiplication of the microzymas, there is a functional development of these, so that in each anatomical system they become that which they successively are in the embryo, in the foetus, in the adult, etc.
1. See the Memoir on The Albuminoid Mailers,
pp. 140 and following.
2. For the mode of multiplication of the microzymas see "Les Microzymas," pp. 490 and following.
3. The Memoir above mentioned, p. 162.
4. See J. Bechamp, "Normal and pathological albumins," pp. 77 and following.
If the hypothesis that the microzymas are the spores of bacteria were true, it would be necessary that there should first have existed in the circumambient atmosphere as many species of these spores as there are species of animal and vegetable ovules; next it would be necessary for these spores to penetrate as far as, and into the ovule, and should there multiply to fill up the vitellus of the egg of the fowl. I need go no further, for there are still otherwise enormous difficulties, when we take into consideration the microzymas of the developed being, which are so different from the embryonal and foetal microzymas! But it now lies with the opponents of the microzymian theory to demonstrate the existence of these spores and of their penetration as far as, and into, the ovules and their multiplication.
We have thus discarded the hypothesis opposed to that of autonomy. It is also discarded by the following consideration, which deserves being underscored.
Shortly before M. Pasteur's admission in 1886 of the presence of the microzymas in the altered blood of his experiment, he had, for the purpose of denying them, asserted that the microzymas were the molecular granulations "which we all know." This was to his confreres of the Academy.
Yes, histologists and anatomo-pathologists knew them and represented them by a "stippling" in their figures of special tissues. But their name even betrayed the opinion that they were neither organized nor living; in effect, the qualification of molecular was intended to indicate that it meant only small collections of some sort of matter; thus they were described as white, gray, minerals, fats, albuminoids, etc. They were even described as possessing the brownian movement; nevertheless, before the discovery of the microzymas, no one thought of connecting them either with the bacterium punctum or the monas crepusculum. They were connected with anatomical organisms as being the remains of tissues, of destroyed cellules, or as amorphous matter; no one dreamed of making them come from outside. No consideration of the anatomical-molecular-granulations had anything to do with the discovery of the microzymas, but, as I have shown above, purely chemical considerations.
No, the molecular granulations are not the microzymas. And from the time of our first note, Estor and I have stated that the microzymas exist only among the anatomical objects which in histology are called molecular granulations. But we held the microzymas to be autonomous anatomical elements; a more careful anatomical analysis enabled me to demonstrate that there exist naked microzymas and microzymas in the condition which I have termed microzymian molecular granulations.
Thus is disproved another gratuitous and erroneous assertion!
I return to the microzymas. I had described them from the commencement as being chemically and physiologically figured ferments, producers of zymases, which are called soluble ferments, and were placed in the same category as me figured ferments which are insoluble. Biologically, I distinguished them as being such as by evolution could become vibrionien, a fact which we have seen to be verified in every sense. But in the experiments on spontaneous alterations, or fermentations, wherein microzymas become bacteria, we have seen that these were destroyed and that vibrioniens more and more minute appeared in their place, so that at last there remained only of these bacteria the forms nearest to the microzymas; in the same manner consequently, that by their destruction the cellules set their microzymas free, the bacteria in their complete destruction reproduce microzymas similar to those of the chalk, and we will now see how that is.
In the experiments on the spontaneous alterations of natural animal matters, the substances, which in a chemical sense are termed organic, which result from transformations by fermentation under the influence of the microzymas, before and after their vibrionian evolution, with or without the setting free of gas, are never entirely destroyed; that is to say, they are not reduced to a mineral condition, carbonic acid, water, nitrogen, etc.; for such destruction oxygen is necessary under conditions which reproduce those realized in geological epochs.
When I had discovered the microzymas in the chalk and in other calcareous rock, and became convinced that they were not dependent on atmospheric germs, I asked myself if they were not the living remains of organized being which had disappeared in geologic times.1 This hypothesis was verified in the following manner:
A kitten was killed and buried between two beds of pure carbonate of lime, and left in a cylindrical glass vessel, covered with a small quantity of paper in such wise that the air had free access to it, but its dust was excluded. The experiment lasted seven years. Every part of the body, except some fragments of bone, had disappeared. The carbonate of lime was perfectly white, so complete had been the work of destruction. Under the microscope, nothing was to be seen in the upper layers of the carbonate except microscopic crystals of aragonite of this carbonate; but in the beds adjacent to the place, and underneath, where the kitten had been, and beneath, there were crowds of glittering motile microzymas, such as are to be seen in the chalk of Sens, etc.
And with this kind of artificial calcareous rock, containing the microzymas of an animal of the present day, I was able to repeat the experiments on fermentation which I had made with the chalk of Sens and with other calcareous rocks, both lacustrine and marine.2 Such was the first experimental verification of the hypothesis that the microzymas of the chalk and of calcareous rocks are the organized remains, still living, of the beings which lived in the geological ages of the earths to which those rocks belonged. Read the note of the Comptes Rendus which I have just cited and you will be convinced that this verification has also been its vindication.
1. C. R.. Vol. LXX p. 914 (1870).
2. Conference at the Congress of the French Association for the Advancement of Science. Nantes (1875).
I have said that the microzymas of the artificial chalk were the microzymas of an animal of the present epoch, but this needs some modification in terms to be quite accurate. They were the microzymas of the bacteria which the normal microzymas of the animal had first become by evolution. By fresh experiments I have learned that the microzymas of an entire body, or of the liver, of the heart, of the lungs, of the kidneys, under the conditions of my experiment become bacteria in the first phases of the phenomenon, these then disappear, becoming again microzymas, while the rest of the mailer already transformed is, under (heir influence, and with access of air, reduced to the mineral state, carbonic acid, water, nitrogen, etc.1 And I have demonstrated that whereas in the climate of Montpellier seven years were required to accomplish this, a much longer time would be needed in a colder climate, so that in a climate such as that of the Obi valley centuries were required.
It was then a legitimate conclusion that the microzymas of the calcareous rocks, of the clays, of the marls; in short, of all the rocks which contain them, are the organized and living remains of beings which had been living, of animals and plants of the geologic epochs; that these beings were histologically constituted as are the beings of our epoch, that their microzymas, during their destruction, had become bacteia by evolution, and that the microzymas, geological ferments, of these rocks, are those of these bacteria destroyed in their turn and reduced to their microzymas.
1. See "Les Microzymas," etc., pp. 624 and following. See also note: C. R., Vol. LXX, p. 914, "Les Microzymas," etc., p. 952.
These researches led to a result of very great importance; it was the demonstration that what was and still is called germs of the air are essentially nothing other than the microzymas of beings which have lived, but have disappeared or are being destroyed before our eyes. In fact, by precise experiments, I have proved that the microzymas of the air are ferments of the same order as those of the chalk, of the rocks, and of those of my experiments with artificial chalk; only, varying with the places, the circumambient a r may, along with these microzymas, contain conides of lichens, spores of mushrooms, bacteria and everything that the wind can disperse in it.1
1. See, for details. C. R, Vol. LXXIV. p. 629; Vol. LXIII, p. 451; and "Les microzymas." etc., pp. 122, 135. 940. 952.
There is then no panspermy such as that which Charles Bonnet had invented, nor that which Spallanzani and M. Pasteur (after me) had admitted. In short, there are no pre-existing germs. At each period, as in our days, and in each place there exist in the surrounding air only the microzymas of former beings which had disappeared and are disappearing with the things which the wind scatters in it.
But if we reflect that the species of microzymas are: first, as numerous as the species of eggs, of seeds, of spores of the various species of animals and plants; next, that there are in each animal and vegetable organism, already developed or in process of development, microzymas as specifically numerous as there are anatomical systems and organs, tissues and special cellules in these organisms, it is easy to conceive that the species of atmospheric microzymas are present in enormous numbers. One can also understand the very great number of changes which these microzymas may cause, when some one of these species fall into a fermentescible medium in which it can multiply, and either evolve in it/or build in it a cellule, or a mould.
If then, as I have demonstrated experimentally, there are besides microzymas, and as well in animals as in plants, among the micro-organisms of the circumambient air, spores, conides of fungi, of lichens, even actual cellules of ferments,1 it is easy to understand that if these micro-organisms fall into fermentescible media they will develop in it, each according to its nature, and that various productions, moulds, divers cellules, and at the same time vibrioniens, may appear in it.2
But in all the observations and in all the experiments relative to the spontaneous change of natural vegetable and animal matters, and in the fermentations of sugar or of fecula by aid of the tissues and humors of animals, when the influence of the micro-organisms of the air has been destroyed or suppressed,3 only microzymas and vibrioniens, and vibrios or bacteria, fruits of their evolution, are seen; this proves that the microzymas are autonomous anatomical elements existing in it of themselves.
1. "Sur L'origine des ferments du vin," by A.
Bechamp, C. R., Vol. LIX, p. 626 (1864).
2. See C. R., Vol. LXXIV. p. 115, and "Les Microzymas," etc.. p. 948.
3. Here a complementary explanation is necessary to explain more clearly the mode of action of creosote in the experiments in which it has been employed to annihilate the influence of germs of the air. And first of all, in speaking of germs, it no longer relates to this vague something, which when called upon by Ch. Robin to define, M. Pasteur called "origin of life," but figured ferments, upon which creosote exercises an influence clearly determined. I must therefore recall that I have several times insisted on the fuel that creosote is efficient in annihilating the influence of the germs of a limited volume of the surrounding air, unless the air be renewed. And it is so, because a limited volume of air contains only limited number of micro-organismic ferments. But creosote, while it does not prevent the ferments from acting, hinders their multiplication. In reality the ferments of a limited volume of air, which are capable of acting upon a fermentescible medium, do act upon it, but only in proportion to their quantity, in such wise that the result is so inappreciable that it is as though it were nothing; it is thus that the quantity of sugar, inverted, in the presence of creosote, by the microzymas of a small limited volume of air can be determined neither by reagents, nor by the polariscope. But if a slow current of several hundred litres of the same air is caused to act upon a creosoted solution of sugar the microzymas and other micro-organisms retained by the liquor render this at last cloudy, and. thus accumulated, there are among them some which effect the inversion, without developing moulds, while the microzymas undergo a greater or less vibrionian evolution. Such is the exact idea to be formed of the influence of the creosote, and of the role of the atmospheric ferments. When, owing to their presence, productions such as moulds are produced, it is because die special conditions of existence of these moulds, etc., have been realized. But microzymas in their function of anatomical elements only become vibrioniens from the substance of tissues and humors, ever, in spite of the presence of creosote, provided the volume of air be limited or completely absent.
These statements and considerations may be summed up in the following propositions:
(1). The microzymas of the animal organism proceed from the vitellin microzymas, which are autonomous anatomical elements in the vitellus.
(2). The number of anatomical species of microzymas is enormous.
(3). The essential biological characters of the microzymas are to be creators of cellules by synthesis and of vibrioniens by evolution.
(4). The physiological and chemical characters of microzymas are to produce the zymases and to be themselves ferments having a determined form.
These propositions are also true for plants beginning with the ovule; but from the fact that a microzyma may become a vibrionien by evolution, it necessarily follows that the species of microzymas being innumerable the species of vibrioniens are likewise innumerable.
It is further important to remember that an anatomical element microzyma is animal in an animal, vegetable in a vegetable. Hence arises this question: To what kingdom belongs the bacterium of such or such an animal microzyma? Of such or such a vegetable microzyma? We must remember that any microzyma, before it accomplishes the evolution which produces a bacterium, passes through the evolutionary phases of microzyma slightly changed in form, of microzyma successively associated in twos, in threes, in several grains, etc. But those forms have been described under the names of Monas, of Bacterium termo and punctum, of Coccus, of Diplococcus, of Torulo, of Streptococcus, of Micrococcus, of Mesococcus, of Microbe with a point, of Microbe with a double point, etc. Nor is that all; bacteria in spontaneously destroying themselves to become microzymas similar to those of the rock-chalk or of the artificial chalk of my experiments, have passed through new forms, of which the most constant is that which has also been described as the Bacterium termo.1
1. See, on this subject, Felix Dujardin, "Les Zoophites Infusoire," p. 232.
But what are such specifications worth, based only upon the shape, on the length and thickness, upon the color, the motility or immotility of the object specified? In the order of received ideas it would be too tedious to discuss them; it suffices for me to say that Felix Dujardin, who knew the germ theory and did not allude to it in his explanations, was of opinion that the phenomena observed in these changes were favorable to the doctrine of spontaneous generation; and consequently that outside of the microzymian theory it is all incomprehensible and arbitrary. A priori one cannot tell to what kingdom a bacterium belongs, for one can only distinguish a microzyma, and consequently a bacterium, by the origin and function of the microzyma. An example will make this clear: Take the parotid gland of a man, and that of a horse, the structure and functions of which seem to be the same and of which the microzymas of the cellules are morphologically identical; well, while the parotidian microzymas of man liquify and energetically saccharify the starch of fecula, those of the horse liquify that starch but do not saccharify it And we have established by other differences of the like kind that the microzymas of the different anatomical systems of a same organism may differ one from the other; and by still greater reason those of different organisms may differ.
Plants, like animals, being anatomically constituted living by their respective microzymas, the bacteria which these microzymas can become are evidently limited to the two kingdoms; and so perhaps the question whether a vibrionien is animal, as was thought, or plant, as is now asserted, is an idle one.
But if one chooses in spite of all this to insist that the bacteria are plants and that the microzymas are their spores, a new question would arise, of which of the species of schizomycetes which the same microzyma may become before becoming a perfect bacterium (Bacterium termo, Monas crepusculum, torula, Diplococcus, Streptococcus, Micrococcus, etc.)—is it first the spore, in the organism before evolution, and then in the chalk-rock, or in the artificial chalk, after the total destruction of the organism?
According to accepted notions the reply cannot be otherwise than uncertain! According to the microzymian theory here is the answer.
An anatomical element, microzyma, in a plant or in an animal, whose conditions of existence have just changed, can become a bacterium by evolution, and the intermediate evolutionary phases, like those of the tadpole, which becomes a frog, leaves the special nature of the microzyma still existing; there are not new species. The perfect bacterium depends on the nature of the microzyma, as the perfect batrachian depends on the particular nature of its tadpole.
Every bacterium resolves itself by spontaneous destruction into a microzyma, and the microzymas thus evolved are different from the anatomical microzyma which has become a bacterium, not morphologically, nor functionally so far as regards being a figured ferment, but by a collection of properties, which assure the perennity of the form and of the function in a condition of individual separateness.
But the chief difference consists in this: The anatomical element microzyma in the vitellus is the organized commencement of all animal organization, and in the ovule of the plant it is the commencement of all plant organization. On the other hand, the microzyma resulting from the destruction of a bacterium is the organized end of all organization.
AND HERE IS SOMETHING STUPENDOUS! The geological microzymas, as well as those of the artificial chalk in my experiment, are organized and living, not only because, without change of form, they are individually figured ferments, but also because under certain conditions, such as those of the fibrin in the experiment described in the first chapter, at the same time that they act as ferments they can again become bacteria by evolution. The microzymas not only possess the sort of perennity of which I spoke; they enjoy also the stupendous duration of the geological epochs from the time the microzymian rocks have been formed down to the present time. And this duration means for us, that the microzymas have been constituted physiologically imperishable. And this last statement must convince us that the microzymas are organized living beings, of a class apart, without analogue.
And it is thus, precisely because the microzymas are, essentially and by destination, autonomous anatomical elements in each anatomical system, becoming what they ought to become in each, by substantial and functional development, parallel with the development of such system in the development of the entire organism, that they are organized living beings of a class apart as above stated.
The following is the experimental proof that this new principle of anatomy and physiology is well founded.
The vitellin microzymas of the egg of the fowl do not pre-exist in the ovule; they are the result of a substantial development, and of the proliferation of the ovular microzymas.
To prove this, it will be sufficient to make the elementary analysis of the microzymas of the vitellus of the fowl's egg, and of those of the ovules remaining in the Graafian vesicle, while these ovules are only a few millimetres in diameter. The following are these analyses:
Vitellin Microzymas Ovular
Carbon 52.67% 50.63%
Hydrogen 7.17% 7.36%
Nitrogen 15.71% 15.67%
1. See"Memoire sur les matieres albuminoid." p. 161, and the correction in the note on p. 489.
The difference of two per cent, of carbon in the percentage composition answers to great differences in the nature of the proximate principles of these microzymas. I will add that the vitellin microzymas contain much more mineral matter than the ovular. It is thus evident that the microzymas of the ovule become vitellin microzymas by substantial development, while they multiply and the vitellus grows. In short, one may say that the ovular microzymas become vitellin microzymas by maturing.
It would take too long to dwell as long as might be desirable on this result and upon the whole of the chemical, physiological and anatomical phenomena which this ripening necessitates in order that the vitellin microzymas should become fitted to play their part, chemical, physiological and histogenic, during the embryonic development, etc. I must refer the student to what I have said elsewhere.1 What is most important to bear in mind is, that no matter how high one goes [in the scale of living beings] the microzymas are found in the ovule, and that these microzymas are not those which are to be found in the vitellus, but will become them.
1. See Les Microzymas," etc, pp. 487 and following.
All the special facts which I have made known, including the last, authorize me in erecting into a general principle the precise experimental idea; that the microzyma, the final term of the anatomical analysis, is in truth the simple anatomical element which satisfies the conception of Bichat and completely destroys that of living matter not morphologically defined.
The cellularists, it is but fair to recall, regarding the cellule as the simplest anatomical element, believed it proceeded necessarily from a former cellule, omnis cellula e cellula, holding it to be the vital unit, living per se, and regarded an entire organism as the sum of these units. But we now know that that was a deduction from incomplete and superficial observations, for the cellule, a transitory anatomical element, has the microzyma for its anatomical element. It is this which alone possesses all the characters of an anatomical element, living per se, and which must be regarded as the unit of life. It is what I have already stated in the following terms:
"The microzyma is at the beginning and at the end of every living organization. It is the fundamental anatomical element whereby the cellules, the tissues, the organs, the whole, of an organism are constituted living."
Let us devote a few words to develop this idea. Let us penetrate a little further into this notion of a fundamental anatomical element, which, as has been said, implies that the microzyma is the living atom of the organization as the physical atom is the element of the molecule of a simple body. This would be true if the microzyma were unchangeable in its simplicity. But in reality it is essentially mutable, as are all living bodies; and it is especially so, in order that it may fulfil its numerous functions. In fact, the microzymas, functionally different in the different anatomical systems of the same species, and different at all ages, beginning with the embryonal stage, have been primitively those of the vitellus, after having been those of the ovule. A microzyma then is not, properly speaking, an atom; but always anatomically simple, it becomes, by nutrition, that which it needs to become, so as to accommodate itself to each new condition of existence which the successive phases of the development of each anatomical system provide for it. It is thus that even in the embryo, in that which will be the ovary, a category of microzymas becomes again ovular microzymas to recommence the same cycle. I add that, taken as a whole and in its details, the THEORY HAS BEEN CONFIRMED, VERIFIED, CORROBORATED by a great number of other facts of general anatomy and of pathological anatomy and of physiology.1
1. See particularly the notes and publications
A. Bechamp: Facts useful for the history of the origin of the bacteria. Natural development of these little plants in the frozen parts of certain plants. C. R.. Vol. LXVTII. p. 466(1869).
A Estor: Note for use in the history of the microzymas contained in animal cellules. C. R.. Vol. LXVIII. p. 519. It relates to the microzymas in bacterian evolution in a cyst which had just been removed.
Bechamp and Estor: On the microzymas of pulmonary tubercle in the cretacious state. C. R., Vol. LXVII, p. 960 (1868). It relates to the discovery of microzymas in a condition of evolution within the tubercle, regarded as the remains of the destroyed epithelium of the pulmonary alveoli.
Bechamp and Estor: Facts useful for the history of the microzymas and bacteria. Physiological transformation of bacteria into microzymas and of microzymas into bacteria in the digestive tube of the same animal. C. R., Vol. LXXVI, p. 1143 (1873).
Bechamp: Facts useful for the history of the histological construction of the glairine of Molitg. C.R., Vol. LXXVI. p. 1485 (1873).
Bechamp: The diseases of the silk worm. C. R.. various notes from 1866 to 1374. They relate to the pebrine, a parasitic disease, and to the flacherie, a microzymian disease, not parasitic.
J. Grasset: On the histological phenomena of inflammation. Treatise regarding a new theory, based upon the consideration of the molecular granulations (microzymas). Gazette Med. de Paris, year 1873.
E. Baltus: Theory of the Microzyma, a theoretic and practical study of pyogenesis (the formation of pus). Theses of the Faculty of Montpellier, year. 1874, No. 41.
J. Bechamp: The microzymas and their functions at the different ages of the same being. Theses of the Faculty of Montpellier, 1875, No. 63.
A Bechamp: Microzymas and disease; in "Les Microzymas," etc., p. 744. (Chamalet, 60, Passage Choiseul.)
A Bechamp: Puerperal septicaemia, pleurisy, the albuminuria and the preface to Microzymas et Microbes. (Chainalct, 60, Passage Choiseul, Paris.)
A. Tripier: Electricity and Cholera. Genesis, prophylaxy and treatment. (Georges Carre, pub. 1884). In this memoir there will be found a comparison of the microbian system and the microzymian theory, highly original and at the same time the conception of what the eminent author terms the individual coefficient.
When by the attentive study of these facts one has become convinced that the microzymian theory is their pure and simple expression, it will be at once recognized that the cellule is already an organ in which, by nutrition, the conditions of the preservation of the microzymas with the constancy and regularity of their chemical and physiological functions are unceasingly realized. And it will thus be understood that the microzymian molecular granulations, whether of certain cellules, of the vitellus, or of the blood, also realize after their manner the conditions of this constancy and regularity. When these conditions are no longer realized they may undergo vibrionian evolution.
The most prominent fact in the history of the microzymas, that which has been the most disputed, precisely because of their capacity to undergo vibrionian evolution, is the fact of their anatomical autonomy. Now this faculty, which is only manifested when the normal conditions of existence of the microzymas, functioning as anatomical elements, are no longer fulfilled, is the best proof which could be given of the change which has happened in their condition, causing their irregular and changed functioning.
In fact, in their various anatomical situations, the microzymas remain morphologically similar to themselves. They function in each cellule, in each organ, in each anatomical system, naturally, chemically and physiologically for themselves while preserving their individuality; at the same time that by coordination, according to the happy and thoroughly scientific expression of Dr. Antoine Cros, they function for the benefit of the microzymian molecular granulations of the cellules, of the organs and of the various anatomical systems taken altogether, whose physiological condition of health is preserved by them.
But if from some etiological cause certain changes happen in an organ, changes such as auscultation or percussion can precisely ascertain, as, for instance, an increase in the volume of the spleen, M. Cross tells us that there is a decoordination, a functional perturbation in the entire organism and disease. It is worth mentioning that from the time Dr. Cros became acquainted with the microzymian theory, he did not hesitate to recognize the microzymas as the anatomical agents of the decoordination; how does it happen?
Among the causes which produce disease, a sudden chill in summer is the one most frequently indicated or invoked. The chill is at the same time an influence and a lowering of temperature. I do not insist on the fact that it is only something living which is painfully affected, so as to confine myself to the physical phenomenon. But the microzymas are very sensitive to variations of temperature; so much so that even the geological microzymas act regularly only at temperatures near 40° to 42 °C. (= 104° to 107° F.); in fact, the microzymas of the chalk of Sens do not act so as to cause fecula to ferment in a temperature below 38° C. (= 100°.4 F.). Further a very slight lowering of the temperature is sufficient for the egg which should produce a bird not to produce one, and to putrefy or to produce the monsters of Dareste when the heat is not uniformly applied. In fact, the influences of the medium (as if it should become neutral or acid), which modify the activity of the microzymas acting alone, are various. That which happens to the isolated microzymas happens also to those of the egg and for those of the organism. Suppress the air and the egg does not become a fowl, but undergoes another kind of change.
If from any cause whatever the air does not have access or has an insufficient access to the pulmonary alveolae, and their epithelium becomes the pulmonary tubercle, the cellules become reduced to their microzymas, which are then found in vibrionian evolution in the tubercle in the cretatious state. If the decoordination resulting from an irregular functioning of a part of an anatomical system is sufficient to bring on a malaise which is not removed, there will arise a diseased condition because of a sharp change of the conditions of existence of the microzymian anatomical elements, and the change in the medium sufficient to cause the decoordination will manifest itself by the vibrionian and bacterian evolution of the microzymas of such or such part of the system. It is thus that in the disease called "Sand de rate" (Anthrax), so thoroughly studied by Davaine, the diseased microzymas end by evolving into what that learned physician called bacteridiae, the blood globules undergoing the changes which are so characteristic. The bacteridiae were not the cause of the diseased condition, but were one of its effects; proceeding from the morbid microzymas they were capable of inducing this diseased condition in the animal whose microzymas were in a condition to receive it. Hence it is seen that the alteration of natural animal matters is spontaneous, and justifies the old aphorism so concisely expressed by Pidoux: "Diseases are born of us and in us."
On the other hand, the disregard of this law of nature, the firm establishment whereof is completed by the present work, necessarily led M. Pasteur to deny the truth of the aphorism, and to imagine a pathogenic panspermy, as he had before conceived, a priori, that there was a panspermy of fermentations. That M. Pasteur after having been a sponteparist should reach such a conclusion was natural enough; he was neither physiologist nor physician, but only a chemist without any knowledge of comparative science.
What is astonishing is, that he should have succeeded in procuring the triumph of a preconceived system among physicians and in academies, and to procure the rejection of the microzymian theory [without examination. Trans.]. For instance, an enlightened physician thus summed up the fundamental proposition of M. Pasteur: "The microbes always come from without; they constitute species which remount from generation to generation up to the origin of the world."1
An eminent surgeon, M. Verneuil, ended by admitting as a demonstrated theorem that there is no spontaneous tetanus, that there is no spontaneous small pox, syphilis, glanders, hydrophobia, tuberculosis, charbon or malignant pustule; declaring that the pathogenic problem consisted solely in discovering how and when the microbe, also called virus, come from without, penetrates into the organism; declaring that the question is thus stated between old medicine and the microbina medicine "with extreme simplicity and without the least ambiguity.2a
1. Gazette medical, Paris, 6th Series. Vol. V, p. 218. This is precisely what M. Chamberland said of micro-organisms in general: "Recherches sur I'origine el le developpement des organismes microscopiques." Theses de la Faculte des Sciences. Parais, 1879. See also "Microzymas et Microbes," p. 25, 2d Ed.
2. C. R_,Vol. CV, p. 552.
[a. There is an implication to be
found in the statement of Surgeon Verneuil, though probably not meant by
him, to which assent must be given when understood. It is TRUE that
there is no such THING as tetanus, small pox. syphilis, etc., as is
implied by the general use of nosological terms. Disease is not a thing,
an entity: it is a condition, and the error of regarding the condition
of disease as an entity has confirmed, where it has not originated, much
of the prevailing erroneous treatment of the sick.
Nosological terms have a use; it is that of bringing to the mind of the physician a group of pathological symptoms, which may or may not be present in the case of the patient under consideration; from them, when present, the diseased condition of the patient can be recognized and treated. Unfortunately, through not understanding this truth, attempts are frequently made to treat, not the patient, but the name, which has been given to a collection of morbid symptoms.
A broken limb is a thing; the inflammation which results from it is a condition, and if gangrene ensues the gangrene is not a thing, but a condition to be taken into consideration with all the other symptoms in the treatment of the patient. The surgeon, Verneuil, had probably a glimmering perception of this truth, but he misapplied it, for his theory and practice, as a physician, and the theory and practice of nearly all modern medicine assume that the condition to be treated is a thing having a name and this name is treated instead of the patient.—Trans.]
But these assertions (of Surgeon Verneuil) are reduced to nothing, when we call to mind that the pretended germs of the air are only the microzymas of organisms which have disappeared, which had become bacteria by evolution; that even at the Academy of Medicine I said—and no one ventured to contradict me—that no one had ever been able to reproduce a disease on the nosological roll by taking the pretended pathogenic microbe in normal air, but only in the diseased animal. And I add, that just as with time the fibrin-ous microzymas lose the property of decomposing oxygenated water so, as proved long ago by Davaine, after a short time the blood of an animal which had died of anthrax [sang de rate] no longer communicated that diseased condition; and the same is true in all cases.
THUS NORMAL AIR NOT ONLY DOES NOT, BUT CANNOT, CONTAIN THE PRETENDED PATHOGENIC MICROBES, AND THE VERY PRINCIPLE OF MICROBIAN MEDICINE CONSTITUTES A FUNDAMENTAL ERROR.
But no attention was paid to this. Abandoning the famous dogma of the closure of the body to germs from without, it was admitted "that the human organism carries constantly a large number of microbes of many different species" which only await the moment when "the organism being disturbed in its physiological functioning will be given over to the activity of its own microbes; whose presence it had theretofore borne without being affected." M. Jaccond wrote the above [nonsense] with reference to two cases of acute pneumonia following a chill.1
1. "Journal des societes scientifiques," 4 May, 1887, p. 156.
In M. Pasteur's set, M. Jaccond's opinion was accepted; and although their master had declared that the cellules were not living, his disciples imagined that the leukocytes (under the name of phagocytes) were living like amoeba and able to perform movements called amaeboid. And it was imagined that these phagocytes formed themselves into troops to pursue and devour the microbes. There was thus a phagocytosis,a- which was trumpeted forth as providential. The precise knowledge of the blood reduces to its just value this latest form of the struggle against the microzymian theory. Of all the suppositions and fancies of M. Pasteur, there remains only, even for his disciples, that which consists in admitting a sole cause, the germs or microbes of the air, to explain the phenomena of fermentations and disease.
Nevertheless all physicians did not think as did Verneuil or as did M. Jaccond. Before 1866, while the triumph of the microbian medicine was in full swing, Dr. A. Tripier did not admit that there was a microbe come from without to be considered. His attention had been drawn to the new opinions by considering how frequently in the classical books of medicine a sudden chill led to everything. Here is the masterly way in which he explained it:
[These words must be erased from the language of science. Trans.]
"It is not at the time when the consideration of the individual coefficient tends to take a larger and larger place in nosological speculations that we must return to a simple etiology which has been rightly questioned. I am far from pretending that the savants to whom we are indebted for such interesting researches in the direction of specific causes design to bring everything within it, but those who do not exhibit that much prudence must be reminded that to constitute a morbid state the concurrence of many conditions are indispensable, that however specific it may be, a single cause is no cause at all."
It was thus that M. Tripier placed in parallel lines etiology according to the ancient medicine and the microbian medicine. I will state later the profound meaning of the expression, drawn from algebra,a or "individual coefficient". Let us say, at first, that it has been supposed that maladies resulting from specific causes are poisonings by living matters capable of reproducing themselves in the organism. The mechanism of these poisonings, says M. Tripier, "has been explained in many ways without being permitted to reject one on account of another."
"According to M. Pasteur," said he, "the multiplication of microbes would be the consequence of the introduction of germs introduced from without. For M. Bechamp the microbe a1 might proceed from a special mode of evolution of living molecular granulations which he named microzymas, granulations which exist in all protoplasm, the vicious evolution whereof might be regarded as causes independent of the introduction of leaven of foreign origin."
The radical difference between the principle of the microbian medicine and that of the microzymian theory of disease is thus clearly expressed. The microzymas are not then the cause of disease, but by their defective or morbid functional evolution under the various influences whereof I have spoken, their evolution may become vibrionian. It was only through the ambiguity that M. Pasteur succeeded in creating, that M. Tripier was able to say that I had admitted that the microbe proceeded from the microzyma, and that later M. Jaccond thought that the microzymas are the special microbes of the human organism.1
[a. The term "individual coefficient" was first introduced to indicate the amount and direction of errors which each individual astronomer was prone to commit.—Trans.]
[a. The term microbe, introduced for the sole purpose of drowning the grand discoveries of Bechamp, is, as presently shown, an etymological solecism.—Trans.]
1. This is how the ambiguity was created. The surgeon, Sedillot, thoughtlessly invented the word microbe as a name for the vibrioniens, which eventually Davaine regarded as the living agents of disease. M, Pasteur, heedless of the inacurracy, even from an etymological point of view of this word applied to a microscopic being of immense longevity, adopted it to designate the micro-organized ferments; thus beer yeast was a microbe, as also the bacteridia of Davaine. He went further, and in a book published under his auspices he permitted the following definition to appear: "Under the name of microscopic beings or microbes are meant all living beings too small to be seen by the naked eye, all those which can only be seen with the aid of instruments which can enlarge them a great number of times, such as the small worm called trichina, which produces trichinosis, and an acarus, which produces the itch..." The work from which the above is quoted appeared in 1833 with a preface by M. Pasteur. Here we perceive how all diseases are regarded as parasitic on the same ground as the itch, and how the microzymas have become to be miscalled microbes!
To appreciate the antinomy between the microbian system and the microzymian theory, and to give to this work its practical utility by showing that the theory explains what the system is powerless to make clear, it will be sufficient to recall the two fundamental facts upon which rest the fabric of the demonstration that the blood is a flowing tissue, and, like all tissues, is spontaneously alterable.
The first is that a mixture of proximate principles, under the specified conditions, is naturally unalterable; but on contact with a limited or unlimited quantity of common air the same mixture always changes, owing to the various ferments which develop in it from the germs carried in this air. This mixture then does not alter spontaneously.
The second, that a natural animal matter, tissue, or humor, withdrawn from a living animal in perfect health, and under the same conditions, inevitably alters, even when absolutely protected from the air and its germs. Natural animal matter then is spontaneously alterable.
It is also desirable to recall: First, that the differences in the nature of the two orders of substances is such, that in the alteration of the former the micro-organisms consist of several categories of different species; while in the alteration of the latter only one category is to be found, viz., the microzymas, and afterwards, most frequently, the vibrioniens, products of their evolution; second, that, corroborating the facts, creosote in adequate quantity hinders the alteration of the former in contact with a limited volume of air, preventing the appearance of ferments; while the same quantity does not hinder the alteration of the latter, nor, in suitable cases, the vibrionian evolution of the microzymas.
Of these two facts M. Pasteur has only regarded the first and has denied the second, and it is because he and savants who have trusted to his word have looked upon the animal body only as organs constituted of a mixture of immediate principles—protoplasm—where nothing exists capable of becoming a vibrionien, that they have thought that the microbe coming from without is the sole cause of the alteration of this mixture and of disease. Now if the organism were what they think, and the sole cause of disease were what they say, a mixture of immediate principles necessarily altering an exposure to the air, every one would, of equal necessity, become diseased; but even in times of epidemics the majority are not attacked! An explanation of this fact has been sought in the microbe itself and in other considerations of the like order; but they are all worthless, for if the air contains that which changes the mixture, it does not contain that which causes disease.
The old medicine explained the immunity of the living by the receptivity, the predisposition, which those who are not attacked do not possess. M. Tripier, more precise, invokes the individual coefficient. But a mixture of proximate principles which, when exposed to the air, is always ready to be altered enjoys no immunity!
In exact language one can only speak of receptivity of the individual coefficient, of that which is regarded as a living body. But what is a living body? What is life?
Life, say some, is a special force, manifesting itself in ponderable matter. J. R. Mayer denies this. However it may be, they, the former, speak of a physical theory of life. We have seen that, according to Pasteur, life is that which elaborates the proximate principles, the natural substances of which the organism is composed.
Bichat said: "Life is the totality of the functions which resist death." But what is life? What is death? And what is the individual coefficient in the microzymian theory? For there is no longer any question of protoplasm!
Bichat said that life was a property of tissue because he regarded elementary tissues as the living elements of organized beings, which, in his view, possessed in themselves a permanent principle of reaction which enabled them to resist the causes of destruction which surround them.
The microzymian theory verifies the conception of Bichat even on this point; in fact:
The microzyma is the fundamental anatomical element, autonomically living, proliferating, while remaining morphologically similar to itself. It is in reality an apparatus whose functions manifest themselves, in a medium which realizes the conditions of its existence, by chemical reactions which cause it to produce the special zymases depending upon its special nature and the various proximate principles varying according to the place and the medium where it functions in the organism. Isolated from the organism and consequently in new conditions, as in the case of fibrin, there are some which act like lactic ferment with regard to fecula, etc.
In short, the microzymas resist so well the ordinary causes of destruction that, in the calcareous and other rocks, geological microzymas are to be found, now living, which functioned as anatomical elements of the animals of the epoch of those rocks. Here then we have the organized being, living per se, physiologically imperishable, unsuspected until I described it.a It is in it alone, functioning as an anatomical element, wherein resides the permanent principle of reaction which enables the organisms, whereof it composes the cellules, the tissues, the organs, to preserve themselves by nutrition and resist the athmotelluric (Tripier) conditions which
[a. Literally "of which I spoke," but the real meaning is as given above in my translation.—Trans.]
unceasingly tend to destroy them. And as there is no anatomical element simpler than the microzyma, and none other like it, resistant to total destruction, if we call life the totality of the anatomical properties which render the microzymas constructors of cellules by synthesis, and capable of becoming bacteria or vibrios by evolution; and the aggregate of the physiological and chemical energies which enable them to produce the zymases and to nourish themselves by transforming for their own use the materials of the medium in the anatomical systems wherein they function, eliminating at the same time that which they disassimilate after having used it, it must surely be admitted that LIFE is, in them allied, it is true, to matter, but to the matter in the structured organization, morphologically defined, and not simply to ponderable matter. So much for the general statement.
We now know that the microzymas are functionally different in the various anatomical systems of the same animal, and that they may be functionally different also in the same organs of the same structure in man and animals. It thence results that it is not always permissible in experimenting to draw conclusions from one animal to another and least of all to man. So that if we could admit with Bichat that life is a property of tissue, this property is not the same in all the tissues of the same structure and in their microzymas.
I will endeavour to explain my opinion upon the cause which leads to one kind of zymas being produced by one microzyma and another kind by another microzyma.
If there is the life of a microzyma, the life of a cellule and that of the organs of an anatomical system, there is also the life of the organized WHOLE. This necessarily results from the coordinated entirety of the particular lives of the organs and I hence of the individual lives of the microzymas which function in it. It is this view of the functions which Bichat called I he entirety of the functions which resist death.
But if the microzyma is physiologically imperishable, what is the death of the living whole? It is the opposite of that which constitutes its life, viz.: the absolute decoordination of the functions of the microzymas.
It is thus that in a part abstracted from a living animal, muscle or blood, etc., nothing is dead; but the microzymas, the only things antonomically living, being in decoordination, are no longer in their normal condition of existence; they now function only for themselves, determining the changes which attend the disorganizations of the tissues and the destruction of the cellules."
Now what is the meaning of the happy expression, "individual coefficient," introduced into medical language by M. Tripier? As in algebra a quantity is said to be a function of another upon which it depends, so in the microzymian theory it may be said that an organism, a cellule, are quantities which are functions of the microzymas which compose it and upon which it depends. Thus the expression of coefficient applied to the number which multiplies these quantities can be readily understood.
The individual coefficient is the factor which increases or diminishes in the microzymas the sum of the energy which enables them to resist the various causes which, by disturbing their functioning, determine morbidity in them, and thence disease and death.
The factor, whatever it may be, being the same, the variable, that is to say, the microzyma, differing, the result will necessarily vary. Now it is a proven fact, the microzymas are functionally different in the species, in the races and even in the individual, according to sex and age, in the different anatomical systems; the individual coefficient then is relative to the functional differences of the microzymas of the individual.
The state of perfect health results from the constancy and regularity of the coordinated functioning of all the organs the microzymas whereof are anatomically and physiologically healthy; for even, in the state of coordination, it is necessary to take into account heredity, diatheses, atavism, which may in some way have affected the particular microzymas of the individual.
The individual coefficient then is a complex constant dependent upon the particular coefficients of such or such functional systems of the individual.
To return to the blood, here is a typical example which justifies the above considerations.
I said that in anthrax (sang de rate) the bacteridia, regarded as specific cause, were the result of the vicious evolution of the microzymas of the blood, become morbid as the consequence of a decoordination, M. Jaccond would say, of some disturbance in the physiological functioning of the organism. But it is evident that if the interior medium were inert or passive, this decoordination, in such a mixture of proximate principles, would be an effect without a cause, nothing leading it to become disturbed in its supposed functioning; for such a mixture has been shown to be unalterable of itself; while on the contrary it would immediately, infallibly, be placed in a condition of alteration determined by the agent, microbe, or specific ferment come from without. In short, on the hypothesis of a pure interior medium, a mixture of proximate principles, for a soil of culture, as it is called, for the microbe whose multiplication is poisonous, all the sheep would be equally susceptible, especially in times of epidemic, to contract anthrax (sang de rate) under identical circumstances, by contagion, and in all cases by inoculation.
Well, this does not happen. The adult sheep of the race called the African sheep is refractory to anthrax; it does not contract the disease by contagion, and generally not even by inoculation. The individual coefficient is not the same under identical circumstances, for the French sheep and for that of Africa. And as proof that the coefficient differs according to age, it is enough to state that the African lamb is not refractory, while the adult sheep of the same race is. Let us then say that the microzymas in the blood of the African adult sheep are among those which, even when ill treated, do not undergo that vicious alteration which would make them become carbuncular; with the lambs of the same race it is otherwise.
If the internal medium were the mixture imagined by microbian medicine, the foregoing facts would be incapable of explanation. For the medium would be inert and passive; since it has been proved that such a mixture is always disposed to allow the multiplication of the microzyma or of another like specific ferment able to alter it for its (the ferment's) own nourishment, and which medium without the ferment would be unalterable under other ordinary athmotelluric influences, cold, etc. It is the individual coefficient in relation to the functional differences of the microzymas of the subjects which alone explains the immunity of some, the susceptibility of others, since it has been demonstrated that in the interior medium there is nothing autonomically living, acting and physiologically impressionable except the microzymas.
In the language of the old medicine, immunity, susceptibility, is the capacity of the living organism to resist an impression, not to undergo, or to undergo the influence of external or internal agents. The microzymian theory adopts this thoroughly physiological language since it is only the microzymas of the living organism which can receive impressions and suffer or not suffer their influence; that is to say, resist or not resist the perturbing causes of their functioning according as the individual coefficient is abnormal or normal.
But what proof have we of this resistance, and of the mechanism of the harmlessness of the microzymas from without? The following is one I have given of it.
The isolated microzyma of beer yeast performs the function of a lactic ferment, producing little alcohol; in its function of anatomic element in the globule of beeryeast it never produces lactic acid. The young yeast, vigorous, acting strongly on cane sugar, even in contact with the air and with the addition of the chalk whose microzymas always effect lactic fermentation, still does not produce lactic acid; it resists, and microzymas of the chalk when added also fail to produce it. But if the beer yeast be old, in some respect altered,a and even protected from the air, it will produce lactic acid, and the more, if calcareous rock or even pure carbonate of lime has been added. There we have the immunity of the beeryeast organism and its acquired susceptibility; the immunity which enabled it to resist the influence of the microzymas of the air and of the chalk, annihilating their influence; the susceptibility which enabled these microzymas to produce lactic acid without hindering those of the chalk in performing their work. Here we have the picture of the immunity and of the susceptibility of the microzymas of the cellules and of the tissues of the internal medium of an animal organism."a1
[a. The French text is aleree, which, I believe, to be a press error fur alteree.—Trans.)
[a1. We are here presented with a forcible illustration of the reckless ignorance of those physicians who practice the inoculation of organic poisons, such as the products of diseased conditions known as vaccines, anti-toxines, etc., upon man and other animals, whether as preventives or as remedies. Even the changes mentioned in the text, as some of the results of the learnedly devised experiments of Prof. Behamp, are unknown to these gentlemen; and, absolutely ignorant of what effect such inoculations may have upon the life forces, i.e., the microzymas of their victims, they arrogantly insist that their ignorance is learning, and induce a degeneration among those races who, recognizing their ignorance, place their faith in men as ignorant as themselves!—Trans.]
In microbian medicine the language of the old medicine is without meaning, since the former admits that one sole cause produces the disease and the alteration by fermentation of organic matter in general, making no distinction between the internal medium and a mixture of proximate principles.
The insuperable contradiction which exists between the microbian doctrines and the microzymian theory of the living organization brings into strong relief the justice of the aphorism of M. Tripier. A single cause for the disease and for the alteration or fermentation of proximate principles, however specific it may be, is no cause at all (est une cause nulle).
Yes, "the sole cause" is no cause, for I have demonstrated beyond dispute that there do not exist (I do not say germs, the word now is unsuitable) pre-existing microzymas, pathogenic or not; but there do exist microzymas, the living remains of bacteria derived by evolution from the anatomical microzymas of organisms which have disappeared or are disappearing beneath our eyes.
I limit here these considerations, referring the reader to my earlier publications for developments, which the present work completes and corroborates.1
1. For general pathology, see the three last conferences of "Les Microzymas,"etc. For special pathology, the communications, "Sur la septicaemic puerperale," "Sur la Pleuresie" and "Sur les albuminuries," in "Microzymas et Microbes." And for the physiological theory of fermentation, as well as for the true theory of nutrition, various chapters of the same works. (Chamalet, publisher, 60, Passage Choiseul, Paris.)
And now I hope it will be confessed that the error, common to all contemporary experimenters who have sought to discover the cause of the phenomenon of the spontaneous coagulation of the blood, also that of other equally spontaneous alterations, or who, like M. Pasteur, maintain the natural inalterability alike of the blood, as of all natural organic matters, is that they have regarded protoplasm as a mixture of pure proximate principles, and have held as dogma that this mixture was living and organized, although not morphologically constituted. At last I hope that it will be recognized that the discovery of the microzymas verifies the time-honored conception of Bichat, according to which, that only is living in any organism whatever, which is structured, morphologically determinate.
It is the agreement of the microzymian theory of the living organism with the brilliant conception of Bichat which gives to the theory of the blood as a flowing tissue and to the physiological and anatomical theory of its coagulation and other spontaneous alterations their highest degree of certainty.
Under the form of conclusions is here given a succinct summary of the totality of the fundamental facts, the discovery whereof has led to that of the true anatomical and chemical constitution of the blood and to the explanation of its spontaneous alterations.
(1) Ordinary air, near the earth, contains living microscopical objects called germs, and these germs are essentially microzymas.
(2) Proximate principles, and any mixture
of such principles are unalterable in the presence of water, of
volume of air at ordinary temperature when a little creosote has been first added; and such proximate principles
under such conditions do not permit any organized being to appear.
(3) Natural organic matters, vegetable or
animal, tissues and humors, under like experimental conditions,
change of themselves, by a phenomenon of fermentation, and at the same time the microzymas, give birth to vibrioniens by evolution.
(4) The fibrin of the blood is not a
proximate principle; it is a false membrane containing microzymas, whereof
the intermicrozymian gangue is a specialized albuminoid substance.
(5) It is owing to its microzymas that
fibrin decomposes oxygenated water, that it liquifies starch of
that it can be dissolved, undergoing chemical change, in very dilute hydrochloric acid.
(6) The microzymas of fibrin in liquified starch undergo vibrionian evolution notwithstanding the presence of creosote.
(7) Fibrin liquifies spontaneously in carbolized water without the microzymas undergoing vibrionian evolution.
(8) The fibrinous microzymas are special; they can produce lactic and butyric fermentation in liquified starch.
(9) Natural albuminoid matters are mixtures, reducible by direct analysis into exactly defined proximate principles.
(10) The albuminoid matters reduced to
proximate principles are very complex molecules composed of less
amides and their derivatives of the fatty and aromatic series. There exist of such less complex molecules, constituting
an albuminoid molecule, quaternaries like urea, quinaries like taurine, which is sulphuretted; like hematosine, which is
ferruginous; casein, in addition to the sulphuretted molecule, contains one which is phosphuretted; it has then six elements.
(11) There are several fibrins constituted as are those of the blood.
(12) There are a great number of different specific albumens which coagulation does not differentiate.
(13) The zymas are special albuminoid matters, likewise definable as proximate principles; they are always a functional product of the microzymas.
(14) The yellow liquid of the blood, besides its albumen, contains a haemozymas.
(15) The haemoglobin of the red corpuscle, reduced to a
definite proximate principle, decomposes oxygenated water by its noncomplex feruginous molecule, haematosine, and becomes colorless.
(16) The red corpuscle of the blood is a
true cellule, having a cell-wall and its proper content. This content is
constituted especially of haemoglobin and micro-zymian-molecular-granulations, the microzymas whereof
decompose oxygenated water as do those of the fibrin.
(17) The blood contains a third anatomical
element, the haematic-microzymian-molecular-granularions.
It is the albumenoid atmosphere of these granulations which form, by allotropic transformation, the
intermicrozymian gangue of the false membrane called fibrin.
(18) The flowing tissue is a content, whereof the vessels, arteries, veins and their appendages form the container.
(19) The three orders of anatomical elements of the flowing tissue only find their conditions of existence complete in their containers during life.
(20) After issuing from the vessels these conditions of existence being no longer fulfilled, the alteration of the flowing tissue commences.
(21) The microzymas of the different parts
of the circulatory system possess alike the property of
oxygenated water without being absolutely characteristic of them, for the microzymas of almonds and
of other parts of plants and of beer yeast also possess this property. But there are animal tissues whose
microzymas do not disengagethe oxygen of oxygenated water.
(22) The microzymas, anatomical elements, are living beings of a special order without analogue.
(23) The spontaneous changes of natural
animal matters, whether the microzymas have or have not
undergone vibrionian evolution, thanks to free access of air, lead always under certain conditions
to the complete destruction by oxydation of the product of those changes; that is to say, reduce
them to the mineral condition, carbonic acid, water, nitrogen. But the microzymas under whose
influence the oxydation is effected are not attacked; in such wise that all which is purely proximate
principle in a tissue, in a cellule and in the bacterium, having undergone total destruction, the
microzymas remain, and bear testimony to the existence of the vanished organization.
(24) The geological microzymas of certain
calcareous rocks and of chalk, those of the dust of the
streets and of the air also bear testimony to the microzymas which functioned as anatomical
elements in the tissues of organisms of geological epochs even as they function in those of the present time.
(25) That which in the air have been called germs are essentially the microzymas of the entire destruction of a living organism.
(26) Normal air contains neither
pre-existing germs nor the things which have been improperly termed
microbes, supposed to ascend from age to age to parents resembling them.
(27) The air contains normally no
pathogenic microzymas. The carbon bacteridium of Davaine is
the product of the evolution of diseased microzymas, either of haematic-microzymian-molecular-granulations,
or those of the blood globules.
(28) There is no living matter which is not
morphologically defined; that which has been called protoplasm
in the cellule always contains microzymas as anatomical elements.
Here, for persons whom it may interest, follows a list of memoirs and articles wherein may be found the historical succession of the ideas which have enabled the resume contained in the postface to be written:
On the influence which pure water or water charged with various salts exercise at a low temperature (a froid) upon cane sugar (moulds and spontaneous generations). Annales de chimie et de physique. 3e serie, Vol. XLVIII (1855 and 1856). C. R., Vol. XL, p. 436. and Vol. XLVI, p. 44, and Annales de chimie et de Physique, 3e serie. Vol. LIV, p. 28 (1858).
Memoir upon generations called spontaneous and upon ferments. Annales de la Societe Linne de Maine et Loire, Vol. VI (1863), and see C. R.. Vol. LVII. p. 958.
Note upon alcoholic fermentation. C. R,, de 1'Academic des Sciences, Vol. LVIII, page 601 (1864), and Montpellier Medical, Vol. XII.
Upon alcoholic fermentation. Reply to M. Berthelot C. R., Vol. LVIII, p. 1116 (1864).
On some new soluble ferments (Anthozymas). C. R.. Vol. LIX. p. 496 (1864).
On the origin of the ferments of wine. C. R,, Vol. LIX p. 626 (1864).
On the escape of heat as a product of alcoholic fermentation. C. R., Vol. LX, p. 241 (1865).
Memoir upon nefrozymase. Montp. Med.. Vols. XIV and XV.
On the cause which matures wines. C. R.. Vol. LXI. p. 408 (1865), and Vol. LXIX. p. 892 (1869).
On physiological exhaustion and on the vitality of beer-yeast. C. R., Vol. LXI, p. 689 (1865).
On the harmlessness of the vapors of creosote in the breeding of the silkworm. C. R. Vol LXII p 1341 (1866).
On the parasitic disease of the silk worm. C. R., Vol. LXIII. pp. 311, 341, 391, 425, 552, 693, 1 147 ( 1866), Vol. LXIV, pp. 231, 873,980, 1042, 1043. 1185 (1867); Vol. LXV, p. 42; Vol. LXVI, p. 1 160 (1868)-Vol I .XVII. pp. 102. 443 (1868); Vol. LXLX, p. 159 (1869).
(On the role of the calcareous earths in butyric and lactic fermentations, and of the living organisms which they contain (microzymas). C. R., Vol. LXIII, p. 451 (1866).
Microzymas in the waters of Vergeze. C.R.,Vol.LXIII, p.559, and Bull.Soc.Ch.,Vol.VI,p.9,and Vol. VII, p. 159 (1866).
On the role of the microscopic organisms of the mouth in digestion, and especially in the formation of the salivary diastase: in common with Prof. Estor and Saintpierre. Mont. Med., Vol. XIX
On the molecular granulations of fermentations and of the tissues of animals (microzymas). C. R., Vol I, XVI. pp. 366. 1382(1868).
On the nature and function of the microzymas of the liver; jointly with Prof. Estor. C. R,. Vol. UCVI, |i I, 'I (IHftS).
On the origin and development of the bacteria; jointly with Prof. Estor. C. R.. Vol. LXVI, p. 859 (IHftH)
On the reduction of nitrates and sulphates in cenain fermentations. C. R., Vol. LXVI, p. 547 IIIU.H)
On the spontaneous alcoholic and acetic fermentation of eggs. C. R.. Vol. LXVII. p. 523 (1868).
On the microzymas of pulmonary tubercle in the cretacious state; jointly with Prof. Estor. C. R., Vol. LXVII. p 9600 (1868)
Facts to serve for the history of the origin of bacteria; natural development of these little plants in the frozen parts of several plants. C. R., Vol. LXVIII. p. 466; Mont Med., Vol. XXII, p. 320 (1869).
Conclusions relating to the nature of the mother of vinegar and the microzymas in general. C. R., Vol I XVIII, p, 877; Gazette Medicale de Paris, 8 May, 1869.
On the alcoholic fermentation by the microzymas of the liver. C. R., Vol. LXVIII, p. 1567 (1869).
Researches relating to the microzymas of the blood and the nature of fibrin; jointly with Prof. Estor. C.R Vol. LXIXp 713 (1869).
Note for use in the history of the microzymas contained in animal cellules; by Prof. Estor. C. R., Vol. LXVII, p 529
On the nature and origin of the blood globules; jointly with Prof. Estor. C. R, Vol. LXX, p. 265 (1870)
On the geological microzymas of divers sources. C. R., Vol LXX p. 914 (1870).
On the carbonic and alcoholic fermentations of sodic acetate and of ammonium oxalate. C. R., Vol. LXX. p 69 (1870).
On the circulation of carbon in nature and the instruments of this circulation; exposition of a chemical theory of the life of the organized cellule; by A. Bechamp, Paris, Asselin; Montpellier, Seguin.
Of the microzymas of the higher organisms; by Messrs. A. Bechamp and A. Estor. Mont. M ed., Vol. XXIV, p. 32.
Exposition of the physiological theory of fermentation, according to the researches of Prof. Bechamp, by M. Estor. Messager du Midi (1865).
[The student is to understand that the above list comprises but a small fraction of the scientific work of the late Professor A. Bechamp; a fuller list, though still imperfect, occupies eight of the large folio pages of the Moniteur Scientifique (Paris) for December, 1908, and these labors were spread over fifty-three years, from 1853 to 1905 inclusive. Genius, has been defined as, in one aspect at least, the "faculity for taking infinite pains," and this faculty was possessed by M. Bechamp in an almost infinite degree. The world has yet to learn how much it owes to this remarkable genius. The acknowledgment will be resisted by all those interests which fatten upon the ignorance and trusting confidence of the people. But thanks to his researches and discoveries it cannot be long before the medical profession will recognise the dangerous errors into which it has been led by those who succeeded in establishing a "conspiracy of silence" around Bechamp and his discoveries.—Trans.]