In 1697 Georg Stahl admitted that fermentation and putrefaction were analogous processes, but that the former was a particular case of the latter.
In early inquiries a great point was made of the prevention of putrefaction, and work was done in the way of finding how much of an agent must be added to a given solution, in order that the bacteria accidentally present might not develop. But for various reasons this was an inexact method, and to-day an antiseptic is judged by its effects on pure cultures of definite pathogenic microbes, and on their vegetative and spore forms. Their standardization has been effected in many instances, and a water solution of carbolic acid of a certain fixed 'strength is now taken as the standard with which other antiseptics are compared.
Flux.A common event in the exudation of turbid, frothing liquids from wounds in the bark of trees, and the odours of putrefaction and even alcoholic fermentation in these are sufficiently explained by the coexistence of albuminous and saccharine matters with fungi, yeasts and bacteria in such fluxes.
It is also produced during the putrefaction of organic substances containing sulphur and is found among the products obtained in the destructive distillation of coal.
In the end much inorganic nitrogen salts must be added to the sea both in the above way and as the result of the putrefaction of the dead substance of terrestrial animals and plants.
The creosote and other products from the smoke no doubt act antiseptically and prevent to a large extent the subsequent putrefaction of the proteids retained by the coagulated rubber.
II.); that is to say, it dies and falls a prey to the organisms which excite putrefaction, just as would happen to any other dead animal tissue were it unconnected with the body.
The oil separates from the fat-cells and is found lying free, while the sulphuretted hydrogen evolved as one of the products of putrefaction reacts upon the iron of the blood and throws down a precipitate of sulphide of iron, which in course of time imparts to the limb a range of colour commencing in green and terminating in black.
The temperature at which the limb is kept, no doubt, favours and hastens the natural process of destruction, so that putrefaction shows itself sooner than would be the case with a dead tissue removed from the body and kept at a lower temperature.
Rejecting the old notion that plants derive their nourishment from humus, he taught that they get carbon and nitrogen from the carbon dioxide and ammonia present in the atmosphere, these compounds being returned by them to the atmosphere by the processes of putrefaction and fermentation - which latter he regarded as essentially chemical in nature - while their potash, soda, lime, sulphur, phosphorus, &c., come from the soil.
It is also found in horse's liver, being one of the putrefaction products of tyrosine.
His work also included observations on putrefaction and fermentation, which he spoke of as sisters, on the nature of salts, and on the preparation of pure metals.
The formation of the blue mud is largely aided by the putrefaction of organic matter, and as a result the water deeper than 120 fathoms is extraordinarily deficient in dissolved oxygen and abounds in sulphuretted hydrogen, the formation of which is brought about by a special bacterium, the only form of life found at depths greater than 120 fathoms in the Black Sea.
Pettersson in 1894, two portions of sea-water are collected in glass tubes which have been exhausted of air, coated internally with mercuric chloride to prevent the putrefaction of any organisms, and sealed up beforehand.
Ammonia is found in small quantities as the carbonate in the atmosphere, being produced from the putrefaction of nitrogenous animal and vegetable matter; ammonium salts are also found in small quantities in rain-water, whilst ammonium chloride (sal-ammoniac) and ammonium sulphate are found in volcanic districts; and crystals of ammonium bicarbonate have been found in Patagonian guano.
Magnesium ammonium phosphate, MgNH 4 PO 4.6H 2 O, is found as the mineral struvite and in some guanos; it occurs also in urinary calculi and is formed in the putrefaction of urine.
That germ-free air did not initiate putrefaction, and that accordingly "spontaneous generation" as ordinarily understood was a chimera (1875-1876).
Those parts nearest the fly and best supplied develop barren hyphae only; in a zone at the periphery, where the products of putrefaction dissolved in the water form a dilute but easily accessible supply, the zoosporangia are developed in abundance; oogonia, however, are only formed in the depths of this radiating mycelium, where the supplies of available food materials are least abundant.
A paper discovered many years after his death showed that he had anticipated later thinkers in explaining the cyclical process of animal and vegetable life, for he pointed out that plants derive their food from the air, from water, and in general from the mineral kingdom, and animals in turn feed on plants or on other animals fed by plants, while the materials thus taken up by plants and animals are restored to the mineral kingdom by the breaking-down processes of fermentation, putrefaction and combustion.
He determined the specific gravity of these gases with reference to common air, investigated the extent to which they are absorbed by various liquids, and noted that common air containing one part in nine by volume of fixed air is no longer able to support combustion, and that the air produced by fermentation and putrefaction has properties identical with those of fixed air obtained from marble.
At an early age he contributed to our knowledge of the causes of putrefaction and fermentation.
When Pasteur in 1857 showed that the lactic fermentation depends on the presence of an organism, it was already known from the researches of Schwann (1837) and Helmholtz (1843) that fermentation and putrefaction are intimately connected with the presence of organisms derived from the air, and that the preservation of putrescible substances depends on this principle.
Pasteur and Cohn also pointed out that putrefaction is but a special case of fermentation, and before 1872 the doctrines of Pasteur were established with respect to Schizomycetes.
In 1862 Pasteur repeated and extended such experiments, and paved the way for a complete explanation of the anomalies; Cohn in 1872 published confirmatory results; and it became clear that no putrefaction can take place without bacteria or some other living organism.
If organic matter were first sterilized and then prevented from contamination from without, putrefaction did not occur, and the matter remained free from microbes.
Directly Rostov entered the door he was enveloped by a smell of putrefaction and hospital air.