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May 28, 1910


JAMA. 1910;LIV(22):1790. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550480034004

Immunity reactions are constantly gaining a wider field of usefulness as diagnostic aids, and as new facts are discovered, exact diagnosis will doubtless be a matter of comparative simplicity in a great number of diseases in which one has to rely now on more or less equivocal signs, at least in the atypical or mild forms of disease.

Recently, Ascoli1 has discovered a new phase of immunity reactions, which is physiochemical in nature and consists in a determination of the surface tension of an immune serum plus its specific antigen before and after incubation at 37 C. for two hours. He employs the stalagmometer of J. Traube for measuring the surface tension; by means of it, one can determine exactly the number of drops in a given quantity of fluid. Since after incubation he finds a lowering of the surface tension and a consequent decrease in the size of