evaporating the percolate, and then purifying the crude alkaloidal extracts obtained. Eventually a white uniform product was left, consisting apparently of the specific alkaloids only, and representing the whole of the specific activity recognisable by biological methods. After full discussion, the Conference unanimously passed the following resolution : "The members of the Conference are of opinion :
"That the question of the biological standardisation of ergot is not yet ripe for final decision, and that it is desirable to give further study to the biological methods which have already been described, and to investigate those which may be discovered in the future, and especially to compare the results obtained by such methods with those obtained by the chemical method, presented to the Conference by Professor Straub. "
(a) Filix Mas.
Professor Knaffl-Lenz presented a memorandum describing experiments which he had undertaken to compare the results obtained with the extract of this drug by the biological method, introduced by Wasicky, in which small fish of various species are used as a test object, with those obtained on the same preparation by the use of the method of Straub, in which earthworms are used. The results showed that the fish could replace the worms for this purpose, and that the lethal concentration as determined on fish was identical with that determined on worms. It was indicated in discussion that the use of fish would be especially convenient in countries in which, during a hot, dry summer or a hard, cold winter, earthworms are difficult to obtain.
Professor Straub expressed his complete concurrence with the proposal to allow the use of fish as an alternative to worms in his test.
The following resolution-was unanimously adopted :
"That the recommendation adopted at the Edinburgh Conference be reaffirmed,
with the necessary alterations to include the use of fish in addition to earthworms in
the test, the recommendation, in the form of a pharmacopceial direction, being modified
to read as follows :
"Extractum Filicis Maris cethereum : Earthworms of medium size, or small fish (Carassius, Gobio, Scardinius) 5-10 cm. in length, when placed in 100 c.c. of a 0.002 per cent watery solution of the extract, shall be killed, but shall survive in lower concentrations of the extract.
"Rhizoma Filicis Maris : A 0.002 per cent watery solution of the official ethereal extract, prepared from the dried drug, shall be the minimal lethal concentration for earthworms, and also for small fish (Carassius, Gobio, Scardinius} 5-10 cm. in length."
(For details of the tests see separate report).
(b) Oil of Chenopodium.
Professor Knaffl-Lenz mentioned the fact that the Health Committee had on more than one occasion expressed its desire that this Conference should consider the possibility of establishing a biological test] for the efficacy of oil of chenopodium as an anthelminthic. He reported that he had tested these and other essential oils also on fish, with the result that the effect of the oils on fish had clearly no relation to their anthelminthic properties. On earthworms, on the other hand, there were indications that a specific test for anthelminthic properties might be obtained. After some discussion, the Conference unanimously passed the following resolution :
"That the method of testing oil of chenopodium on earthworms put forward by
Professor Knaffl-Lenz may be provisionally adopted as probably furnishing a useful
indication as to the relative anthelminthic activities of different samples of this oil,
but that further investigation of the method is desirable and that, in particular, an
effort should be made to compare the results obtained with the test on earthworms
with the practical anthelminthic properties of a series of samples of the oil of chenopodium."
Professor Voegtlin offered to communicate with the organisation of the Rockefeller
Foundation, with regard to the possibility of obtaining samples of the oil known to differ
widely in anthelminthic potency.
FOURTH MEETING, HELD ON SEPTEMBER 2ND, AT 10 A.M.
Professor Poulsson presented and commented on his memorandum dealing with the methods which have been proposed for standardising, with regard to content of the various vitamines, the substances which are used in medicine for the purpose of administering these principales. He recommended particularly the method which has already been adopted in the United States Pharmacopoeia, Edition X. for standardising cod-liver oil for the growth-