This has taken the form of inoculating the soil with the particular organism required by the particular kind of leguminous crop. To this end the endeavour has been made to produce preparations which shall contain in portable form the organisms required by the several plants, and though, as yet, it can hardly be claimed that they have been generally successful, the work done justifies hopes that the problem will eventually be solved in a practical direction.
The Roman colonies were thus not merely valuable as propugnacula of the state, as permanent supports to Roman garrisons and armies, but they proved a most effective means of extending over wide bounds the language and the laws of Rome, and of inoculating the inhabitants of the provinces with more than the rudiments of Roman civilization.
During the smallpox epidemic of 1721 he attempted in vain to have treatment by inoculation employed, for the first time in America; and for this he was bitterly attacked on all sides, and his life was at one time in danger; but, nevertheless, he used the treatment on his son, who recovered, and he wrote An Account of the Method and further Success of Inoculating for the Small Pox in London (r 721).
By inoculating first with a weak virus and then with others which were stronger and stronger, he was able completely to protect oxen either from the effects of inoculation with the strongest virus or from infection through contact with other animals suffering from the disorder.
On the other hand, he found the weakened virus could be again strengthened by inoculating a feeble animal such as a guinea-pig a day or two old with it, and then inoculating stronger and stronger animals: an increase in strength was gained with each inoculation, until at last the virus could attack the strongest.
Subsequent cultures or, as they are called, " subcultures," may be made by inoculating fresh tubes, and in this way growth may be maintained often for an indefinite period.
Another important method consists in inoculating an animal with some fluid containing the various bacteria.
(The use of such practices continued into the scientific age: While Jenner was inoculating people with his new smallpox vaccine, doctors were draining half a gallon of blood from George Washington for his sore throat, a procedure that hastened his death.