THE ASYMMETRY OF THE CYCLE OF LIFE 157
intra-uterine life of the calf, a fact which goes to show this laevo-sugar to be formed in the trophoblast, and not in the allantois. Doubtless, its disappearance coincides with the development of large numbers of leucocytes in the foetus. To my knowledge this laevo-sugar has more recently been rediscovered “ in the placenta,” but I am not aware that the fact has been republished. Of course, the “allantois” and the “placenta” are synonymous, but the real source of the laevulose in both instances was asexual generation or trophoblast.
The asymmetrical carbon atom, like its colleague, the pentavalent nitrogen one, has hitherto found as little place or mention in medicine or in physiology as has an antithetic alternation of generations. Man has thus found it possible to dispense with things and phenomena indispensable to Nature, and but for which he would have no existence ! Whatever matter may be, whatever the nature of what we term “ living matter,” at the basis of life lie the fundamental facts of the asymmetrical carbon atom and the isomeric compounds. At the base of all animal or plant life, too, because of these facts, there rests the antithetic alternation of generations. With the start of the asexual or the sexual phase of the cycle, the naturally occurring compounds are built up in the one direction or in the other. With the beginning of the next phase of the cycle, the alternate one, sexual or asexual, the swing of the pendulum about the asymmetrical carbon atom is on the other side, and the naturally occurring organic compounds are built up in the opposite direction. In animal life, that of the higher animals, the compounds are built up after the fertilization of the egg, and in the life-period of the asexual generation in the direction of laevo-sugar, laevo-glycogen, and dextro-albumins. This evolution of compounds is the antithesis