From the January 21, 1933, issue


One of the most venerable of Christian legends, running back through the middle ages into late antiquity, is that of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus: seven youths who hid themselves from the persecution of a pagan Roman emperor and awoke 200 years later to find the empire Christian. Then, the story continues, they joyously went to sleep again.

Although the sleeping place of the seven young men is indicated as a cave in the usual version of the legend, a catacomb in Ephesus in Asia Minor is also known by their name. Perhaps it was dedicated to them by a later generation, or it may be an older catacomb that was renamed in their honor. During recent months this Catacomb of the Seven Sleepers has been opened up and explored by a European archaeological expedition, in the course of a comprehensive excavation of this famous city of classical and New Testament antiquity.


The part that copper plays in curing anemia is shown by recent work of C.A. Elvehjem and W.S. Sherman of the University of Wisconsin. Four years ago these same workers helped Prof. E.B. Hart prove that copper as well as iron was necessary to raise the level of the hemoglobin in the blood when it had been lowered by milk diets. Even inorganic iron was found effective when a little copper was added.

The way copper achieves its function is now made clear.

When iron alone is fed to young rats that have been made anemic, the hemoglobin of their blood does not increase, but iron is stored in the liver and spleen in proportion to the amount fed. But if a little copper is added, then some of the stored iron is made available for the body needs and is converted into hemoglobin, the iron-containing pigment of the blood that enables it to carry oxygen. If copper and iron are given together, the formation of hemoglobin takes place first, and only the excess of iron is stored in the liver.

Thus copper is found to be necessary not for the assimilation of iron but for its conversion into hemoglobin so that it can be used by the body. Organic iron is just as ineffective as inorganic iron when copper is absent; in fact, even when copper is added, regeneration of blood is slower with organic iron than with inorganic. Plain ferric chloride gave five times as much storage of iron in the liver as did the complex hematin.


Prof. Albert Einstein has given his scientific blessing to the ingenious theory proposed by Abbé Georges Lemaitre that cosmic rays are birth cries of the universe and the radiations from the superradioactive primeval matter that existed when the universe was young.

Abbé Lemaitre, the young Belgian priest-cosmologist, first proposed this idea of cosmic ray origin in 1931. He has now expounded it to Pasadena, Calif., scientists with Prof. Einstein in his audience.

The father of relativity commented upon the Lemaitre birth cries of the universe theory by saying that if matter is short-lived, Lemaitres theory is inevitable and that besides, no other theory agrees so well with all observations.

Abbé Lemaitre declared that cosmic radiation contains a thousandth of the total existing energy. He views the commonest elements as analogues to alpha rays that are emitted by radium.

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