152 THE ENZYME TREATMENT OF CANCER
Pasteur did, indeed, foresee that in his finds there was given the basis of a science of comparative physiology. It is sad In reflect that in 1860 he wrote as follows, and that in all the intervening years his weighty words have been ignored by physiologists and physicians alike “ I have, in fact, set up a theory of molecular asymmetry, one of the most important and wholly surprising chapters of science, which opens up a new, distant, but definite horizon, for physiology.” Before the present writing was penned, this horizon for physiology seemed as distant as in 1860, for as a general rule the facts concerning the asymmetrical carbon atom and the naturally occurring organic compounds find no mention in current textbooks of modern physiology.
Who can foresee the organization that living matter would assume, if cellulose were laevo-rotatory, instead of being dextro - rotatory ?“ Pasteur was “ a mere chemist, and “ not even a medical man.” He was not a biologist, though most of his researches were biological, and he was not an embryologist. Had he been well versed in the biology of his own day, the suggestion of a hypothetical laevo-cellulose might have opened up an immense field to his further researches. At the time he wrote, Hofmeister’s researches* on the life-histories of various plants, with the main facts concerning the alternation of generations therein observed, were already the possession of science.** If there be a dextro
* Hofmeister, Wilhelm Vergleichende Untersuchungen,” 1851.
** In his history of Botany “ the late Professor Julius von Sachs writes in terms of eloquence and admiration of Hofmeister’s researches The result of these Comparative investigations, was of such grandeur as in the realm of descriptive botany has not since happened a second time.” He speaks of the brilliance of the grand sum total, alternation of generations had proved itself to be the highest law of development in plants, (cont. on pg 153)