Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton


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BIBLIOGRAPHY

He was educated at Newport Grammar School until , when his mother, for health reasons, moved with her children to Switzerland. He studied biology, especially botany, at the University of Zurich, where in he obtained the Ph.

In he accepted the chair of pharmacology at the University of Lund, where he remained until his retirement in In he married Dr. Overton published his most important papers between about and His productivity subsequently decreased considerably, owing to impaired health. As early as —, before finding his final field of research, Overton had done pioneering work in plant cytology, in which he showed that the haploid chromosome number is characteristic not only of the sex cells themselves but also of the whole gametophyte.

At about this time Overton became interested in the fundamental problem of how living cells, isolated from their surroundings so that the solutes in the sap are prevented from diffusing out, are nevertheless able to take up nutrients from without and to throw off the waste products of their metabolism. Overton, however, observed that there is a whole series of intermediate cases between substances totally unable to penetrate living protoplasts and those that do so as rapidly as water.

Moreover, he found that all the widely different kinds of plant and animal cells are surprisingly similar in their permeability properties.


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In Overton pointed out a striking parallel between the permeating powers of different substances and their relative fat solubility—that is, their partition coefficient in a system composed of fat and water. The smaller this coefficient, the more difficult the passage of the substance through the protoplast. The larger work containing definite proof of the theory was, however, never finished.

Charles Ernest Overton: narcosis studies and a contribution to general pharmacology

Thus, it is understandable that, although the theory aroused a great deal of interest, it also met with doubt and even violent opposition, especially since Overton never replied to the attacks on his views. Apart from minor modifications, however, later experiments have confirmed his results. In Overton pointed out that both plant and animal cells can transport solutes against the concentration gradient.


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  7. Such an active transport carried out at the expense of energy set free by metabolic processes is a phenomenon quite different from the simple diffusion of substances through the protoplasts. Active transport, as Overton anticipated, has proved to be of fundamental importance to living cells.

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    In carrying out permeability experiments with muscle cells, Overton found that their irritability is reversibly lost when the sodium ions that are normally present between them diffuse out from the muscles. To explain this and other related observations, he tentatively proposed the hypothesis that for an extremely short interval the surface of the contracting muscle fibers becomes permeable to sodium and potassium ions. This fundamental idea in the theory of propagation of impulses in nerves and muscles was worked out almost fifty years later by A.


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    4. In Overton pointed out that both plant and animal cells can transport solutes against the concentration gradient. Such an active transport carried out at the expense of energy set free by metabolic processes is a phenomenon quite different from the simple diffusion of substances through the protoplasts. Active transport, as Overton anticipated, has proved to be of fundamental importance to living cells.

      In carrying out permeability experiments with muscle cells, Overton found that their irritability is reversibly lost when the sodium ions that are normally present between them diffuse out from the muscles. To explain this and other related observations, he tentatively proposed the hypothesis that for an extremely short interval the surface of the contracting muscle fibers becomes permeable to sodium and potassium ions. This fundamental idea in the theory of propagation of impulses in nerves and muscles was worked out almost fifty years later by A.

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      Hodgkin and A. Huxley, for which they were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in In studying the permeability properties of plant and animal cells, Overton observed that those substances which, owing to their great lipide solubility, penetrate the protoplasts most rapidly also have the ability to produce narcosis.

      Drunk Divers: The effects of nitrogen narcosis

      It was only natural that he assumed their narcotizing effect to be in some way dependent on their lipide solubility. Almost simultaneously with Overton but independently of him, the pharmacologist Hans Horst Meyer reached much the same conclusion. Although the Meyer-Overton theory does not offer a complete explanation of the mechanism of narcosis, it remains an important starting point for newer, more elaborate theories of this phenomenon.

      A gentle and placid man, Overton had a striking intuitive ability to recognize the great, fundamental problems and to envision a means of solving them without recourse to complicated apparatus.

      Studies of Narcosis

      He never founded a school in the proper sense of the word, and his publications, almost all of which were written in German, do not seem to have been widely read in the original, especially in English-speaking countries. Nevertheless, his influence on the development of cell physiology and pharmacology has been strong and long-lasting.

      He was one of those scientists whose stature is more obvious after their death than it was during their lifetime. Nagel, ed.

      Studies of narcosis - Charles Ernest Overton - Google книги

      For a more complete biography and bibliography, see P. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. September 22, Retrieved September 22, from Encyclopedia.

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      Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton
      Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton
      Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton
      Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton
      Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton
      Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton Studies of Narcosis: Charles Ernest Overton

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