THE ASYMMETRY OF THE CYCLE OF LIFE, BEING
“THE END OF THE THREAD.”*
IN past years every new unravelling of the thread led to new problems. But no matter how many side branches or collateral issues came up, the main course of the thread was continuous, and the observer’s senses were concentrated upon it, to the exclusion of all else. Among other things the thread passed through the problems of heredity and genetic variation, the determination of sex, the continuity of germ-cells, the problems of identical twins, and by reason of these, as well as from the nature of the cycle of life, through the embryology of neoplasms, and of cancer itself. For a long time I had imagined the cancer studies to have been an interlude in the work, but no, the thread of research passed directly through the problems of cancer. And now, quite unexpectedly, the end of the thread has been reached, because portions of it had been unravelled by some of the greatest workers in science, because Louis Pasteur, one of the greatest investigators who ever lived, van ‘t Hoff, Le Bel, and Wislicenus had lived and laboured, because their researches had founded stereo-chemistry, or chemistry in space.
The present chapter is simply” The End of the Thread.”
* From the Medical Record.