Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Reports of Visits to Foreign Laboratories, vol. 7 (1932-33) [Illustrated Typoscript in 7 volumes] Reproduced with the kind permission of Dr. Cecil E. Leith
Benedict, Francis Gano
Institute of Actinology. 
Jogjl Saidman and Pr. Jean Meyer. 
Beföre reaching Paris I had had most cordial letters from 
r. Jean Meyer, stating that the directors of the Institute of 
x 27 Wer® Very anxious to bave me visit the Institute and 
that they had arranged for a banquet for Mrs. Benedict and myself. 
This occasion was a most delightful one and I met for the first 
time all of the directors and their wives. On a succeeding day 
I went to. the Institute, which still is in its almost impossible 
quarters in a very old, ramshackle building, but packed from 
cexlar to garret in every corner with innumerable forms of 
apparatus for heat and particularly light therapy. While the 
presiding genius is Saidman, he has a most ingenious corps of 
young men who are pushing this institute and its possibilities 
to the limit. 
The whole institute is devoted to three major studies. 
First of course is diagnostics, second, therapeutics, and third, 
to me most interesting, the pure research with the waves of various 
lengths. A subsidy from the state and liberal concessions on the 
part of electrical companies have made it possible for them to 
continue even under the present economic conditions. 
Aside from the battery of various types of electric lamps and 
source of radiation, all of which were reported upon in my 1929 report 
the subject under investigation that interested me most was Saidman's ’ 
work in skin temperature. He had prepared a rather crude, I thought, 
skin temperature measuring apparatus, a thermo-junction affair, and 
had made a number of observations, but I got the impression of its 
being rather superficial. One of the most astounding things he showed 
me was that he found there could be a local inflammation produced in 
which there could be a high surface temperature but a low radiation. 
He explained that he thought the fluid under the skin may absorb the 
rays and hold the heat back. As usual, as in every laboratory, the 
research must have an endocrine slant, and they found that the sensitivity 
of the skin ran along fairly parallel to increased thyroid action, so 
much so that Saidman thought the sensitivity of the skin may be a test 
of basal.metabolism. Thus if the basal metabolism is affected solil^T 
by thyroid activity and the skin increases its sensitivity with this 
activity, it may be argued that the sensitivity of the skin is a 
test of basal metabolism.


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