Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Alberta
Downs, Ardrey W.
Ardrey W. Downs, M.A., M.D., D.Sc. 
The Department of Physiology and Pharmacology of 
the University of Alberta occupies approximately one- 
half of the second floor of the medical building. The 
space available is divided into a laboratory for under¬ 
graduate work, two laboratories for advanced work and 
for research, an operating room, an electrocardiograph 
room, a preparation room, a stock room, a smoking and 
varnishing room, a private office for the professor, an 
office for the other members of the staff, a small room in 
which catalogs and the department’s collection of 
reprints are housed and a room now used as a classroom 
which it is our intention to convert into a demonstration 
theater. In addition the department utilizes for certain 
lectures one of the large amphitheaters in the building. 
Frogs and turtles are taken care of in tanks with running 
water in the basement. A house at the rear of the med¬ 
ical building provides accommodation for the other 
animals required by this department and by the De¬ 
partment of Biochemistry. 
The general laboratory has an area of 1,900 square 
feet, occupies a wing and has windows on three sides. 
Desk space is provided for eighty students working in 
pairs. The tables are 30 inches high and fastened to the 
floor. Each table is 42 inches wide and the space 
allowed on the table for a pair of students is 6 feet 6 
inches by 21 inches. All tables are equipped with hot 
and cold running water and gas. Beneath the tables are 
drawers and cupboards for the storage of apparatus. 
Motor driven kymographs are used. These are divided 
into three groups, each driven by a separate motor, so 
that a complete breakdown is not apt to occur. The 
motors are mounted on an end wall on cork plates. The 
shafting is suspended from the ceiling at a distance of 42 
inches above the center of each table. This arrange¬ 
ment leaves the top of the table clear and also does away 
with vibration in the table. Each desk is completely 
equipped with the apparatus necessary for the experi¬ 
ments ordinarily included in a course for undergraduate 
students. The electrical current is derived from dry 
cells. For mammalian work the class is divided into 
groups of five and the special apparatus required pro¬ 
vided accordingly. 
The other laboratories are provided with the usual 
facilities and the required apparatus. Their equipment 
is added to from time to time as the investigation of 
various problems is undertaken. 
The operating room contains an operating table, a 
long paper kymograph, a respiration pump, and the 
necessary adjuncts. 
The electrocardiograph is placed in a separate room on 
a concrete floor and is satisfactorily insulated. The 
instrument is available not only for experimental work 
and for instruction but also for the study of cardiac 
cases. Any properly qualified physician may refer a 
patient to us for an electrocardiogram and when possible 
the time is so arranged that a group of students can be 
present while the tracing is being taken. The develop¬ 
ment of the records is also carried out in the department. 
The preparation room, the stock room, and the room 
for smoking papers and varnishing tracings are con¬ 
veniently situated with reference to the main laboratory 
and to each other. Minor repairs can be made in the 
department. The department is unfortunate in not 
possessing its own workshop where work in wood and 
metals can be carried on. However, there is a univer¬ 
sity workshop with a mechanic and a glassblower. 
A description of the frog tanks might be of interest. 
Each tank is 9 feet by 5 feet 6 inches, made of concrete, 
provided with running cold water, and the bottom is so 
constructed that there is a flat bottom, a sloping bank, 
and a shelf of dry land. We have tried various schemes 
in the attempt to discover what form of care would give 
the lowest death rate. For example, we have tried 
constantly running water of various depths, stagnant 
water changed at intervals, a thin sheet of water running 
over the entire bottom of the tank including the bank 
and ordinarily dry shelf, mud, part mud and part dry 
earth, part wet sand and part dry sand. Our experi¬ 
ence is that the frogs do best in tanks with running 
water in the deeper part and in the damp earth covering 
the remainder.


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