From the September 10, 1932, issue


By chasing a blue hole in the screen of cloud that covered part of New England, a party of eclipse observers that included Prof. John Q. Stewart, Princeton astronomer, successfully saw the corona in clear sky and obtained the News Letter‘s cover picture.

Originally they planned to view the eclipse from near his summer cottage at Randolph, but clouds caused Prof. Stewart and other eager eclipse observers to dash by motor to near Bethel, Maine. Three times Charles D. Hodges, a Princeton graduate visiting Prof. Stewart, set up an eclipse camera, only to have the clouds catch up. Each time the party outraced the clouds.


A certain type of migraine headache apparently can be relieved by injections of one of the recently discovered female sex hormones. Success with this treatment in a number of cases and explanation of the probable cause of the ailment were reported to The Lancet, English medical journal, by Dr. A.P. Thomson, physician to the General and the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, England.

Migraine is a malady characterized by recurring attacks of intense headaches, accompanied generally by nausea and vomiting and sometimes by visual disturbances. Dr. Thomson suggests that within the term are probably included many headaches of different origin.

The type that he investigated occurred, with one exception, in women and in most cases occurred regularly once a month. The headaches were so severe that the patients were obliged to stay in bed for about two days, and in some cases morphine was required to give some relief. The patients were all normal in every other respect, and careful examinations had not shown any cause for the headaches.

The time when the attacks occurred, and certain of the accompanying symptoms, suggested to Dr. Thomson that they might be related to some disturbance or abnormality of the pituitary gland, which has a profound influence on the functioning of the sex glands. Following this lead with one patient, after other remedies had failed, Dr. Thomson tried injections of ovarian follicular hormone. The headache was completely relieved and the other symptoms also cleared up. Similar results were obtained with other patients who apparently suffered from the same type of migraine.


Experiments showing that iodine-containing compounds probably control sleep in man and hibernation in other animals were reported by Dr. G.S. Carter to the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Carter experimented with hearts taken from frogs in winter and in summer. He found that thyroxin, which is the iodine-containing secretion of the thyroid gland, produced in the heart of the winter frog a curve of temperature and pulse rate typical of the heart of the summer frog. Other glandular substances did not have this effect. He concluded that the amount of thyroxin in the circulating blood controlled the hibernation of frogs and similar animals. Other experiments suggested that a similar rhythm in the amount or activity of iodine compounds in the circulation plays a part in the production of man’s daily sleep.

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