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Charles Darwin Letters

[Letter, Charles R. Darwin to John Burdon-Sanderson, June 21, 1874] Darwin, Charles, 1809-1882 Jun 21, 1874

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 June 21 Down, Beckenham, Kent.  My dear Dr Sanderson  I have received & am heartily obliged for the acids, the fibrin & 2 spec. of fibrous cartilage.- You do not know how valuable the fibrin has proved; both Drosera & Pinguicola have quickly dissolved every atom; so that I cd have fallen into a grievous error & said that neither could wholly dissolve fibrin: No doubt what I saw left undissolved was impurity in the wretched fibrin which I before employed: Thus the great and horrid anomaly is removed. But then remains another, (if I understand rightly), viz that artificial digestive fluid dissolves the fibrous basis of decalcified bone. If this is so I must try Drosera again, as it is just possible that D. would not attack the tissue until it had removed every atom of the phosphate and cd free animal matter.  The second anomaly is about gluten: I prepared it myself by washing it in water till I got my finest pale brown substance; but there may have been some corn starch left, & how I am to extricate this I know not.- I have just read with very great interest your 2 articles on Dionaea: it is most wonderful that there cd be that identity between muscle & a leaf � I fear that you misunderstood me on one point: the aggregation of the protoplasm does not occur until sometime after the movement has occurred. But to look closer to this point has been a subject on my list for closer observation for some little time. Again aggregation occurs with no movement ?, as when too strong a dose (viz 2 or 3 gr. of carbonate of A. to 1 oz) is given. I do not think I expressed in my last note how very much I was pleased by your very kind? & encouraging notice of my work     Yours most sincerely  Ch. Darwin Bottom of page:  Sanderson [written lightly]    P. S. ? may have made a small mistake & has sent me vertebrate bones with no cartilage; but Frank has now come home, & knows fibro-cartilage, & will get me some from a joint or from the Butchers.


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