Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

EXPERIMENTS OF BEAUMONT. 
387 
thus treated was completely chymified; and the artificial seemed to 
be but little slower than the natural digestion. (See expts. 25, 26, 
and 27, second series.) 
Several of Dr. Beaumont’s experiments,—we may mention, expt. 
31, second series, and expts. 28, 33, and 48, third series,—demonstrate 
the influence of temperature, and of the quantity of the gastric juice, 
on digestion. Experiment 31 of the second series, which, with many 
others, also, contrasts the action of water with that of the gastric juice 
on organic substances, may serve as an example. Having obtained 
from the stomach of St. Martin two ounces of gastric juice, he di¬ 
vided this quantity into two equal portions, and laid in each an equal 
quantity of masticated roast-beef. One he placed in a water-bath at 
the temperature of 99° Fahr, and left the other exposed to the open 
air at a temperature of 34° Fahr. A third similar portion of meat he 
kept in a phial with an ounce of cold water. An hour after the com¬ 
mencement of the experiment, St. Martin had finished his breakfast., 
which consisted of the same meat, with biscuit, butter, and coffee. 
Two hours after the meat had been put into the phials, the portion 
in the warm gastric juice was as far advanced towards chymification 
as the food in the stomach; the meat in the cold gastric juice was less 
acted on, and that in the cold water was merely a little macerated. 
In two hours and forty-five minutes from the time that the expe¬ 
riment was begun, the food in the stomach was completely digested, 
and the stomach empty, while even at the end of six hours the meat 
in the gastric juice was only half digested. Dr. Beaumont, therefore, 
having procured twelve drachms of fresh gastric juice, added now a 
portion to each of the phials containing meat and gastric juice, and 
to a portion of the half-digested food which he had withdrawn from 
the stomach two hours after the commencement of the experiment, 
and which had not advanced towards solution. After eight hours’ 
maceration, the portions of meat in the cold gastric juice and in the 
cold water were little changed; but, from the time of the addition of 
the fresh gastric juice, digestion went on rapidly in the other phials 
which were kept at the proper heat; and at the end of twenty-four 
hours the meat which had been withdrawn from the stomach after 
digestion had commenced, was, with the exception of a piece which 
had not been masticated, converted into a thickish pulpy mass 
of a reddish brown colour: the other portion of meat in the warm 
gastric juice was also digested, though less perfectly; while that in 
the cold gastric juice was scarcely more acted on than the meat in 
the water, which was merely macerated. Dr. Beaumont now ex- 
posed these two phials containing the meat in cold gastric juice and 
meat in water to the heat of the water-bath for twenty-four hours, 
and the gastric juice which, when cold, had no action on the meat, 
now dissolved it; while the meat in the water underwent no change, 
except that, towards the end of the experiment, putrefaction com¬ 
menced. 
The 4Sth expt., third series, illustrates the antiseptic power of the 
gastric juice. A piece of meat which had been macerated at the
        

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