From the April 29, 1933, issue


While dredges grappled with her sister ships twisted girders and soaked fabric in the watery Atlantic grave off Barnegat Light, the Macon took to the air. The front cover presents the new queen of the skies as she appeared before being “walked” from the huge Akron air dock for the first trial flight.

The photograph is a study in superlatives. The end of the air dock, through which the Macon is exposed, is 325 feet wide and 200 high. Its length is 1,175 feet. Even the worlds largest airship is dwarfed in this structure. The Macon has an overall length of 785 feet, overall height of 146 feet, and a 6,500,000 cubic-foot gas capacity.


Pulling blood cells out of the veins with a magnet is the novel method devised by scientists of the Rockefeller Institute who wanted to study a particular group of cells. The two ingenious scientists, Drs. Peyton Rous and J.W. Beard, described their method before the National Academy of Sciences.

The cells of this case are very active scavenger cells that quickly and thoroughly purge the blood of foreign matter by gobbling it up. These cells, known to scientists as Kupffer or reticuloendothelial cells, are found in the liver, spleen, and bone marrow as well as the blood. They have been credited with a host of important functions, such as making the coloring matter of bile and making the germ-resisting antibodies that help us to ward off attacks of disease.

Exact knowledge has been lacking, however, largely because no one was ever able to get the living cells out of the body for study. Now the Rockefeller investigators have done just that. Iron injected into the blood, in the form of highly magnetic iron oxide, is quickly gobbled up by these scavenger cells. This makes them highly attractive to a magnet. The iron-containing cells are loosened from their principal location in the liver by means of massage and a stream of fluid. They are then separated from the host of other elements suspended in the fluid and pulled out by the electromagnet, just like so many iron filings.


There is more dark matter scattered between the stars than there is of shining substance in the stars themselves. Such at least is the indication of astronomical studies reported before the National Academy of Sciences by Prof. Joel Stebbins and Dr. C.M. Huffer of the Washburn Observatory, Madison.

The two astronomers have been studying the reddening of the light from distant stars in the great group, or galaxy, to which our sun belongs. This reddening is an indication of partially obscuring matter between these stars and ourselves, just as lights on Earth are made redder in appearance if they shine through smoke or clouds of dust.

There is so much of this obscuring matter–dust or gas–that it is doubtful whether we can see as far as the center of our galaxy, Prof. Stebbins said. Because of this obscuration effect, it is probable that we have been estimating many astronomical distances much too high, and in future we must allow for this in figuring our estimates.

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