Nottinghams Eminent Surgeons and Physicians



President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society

1947 to 1948.

John Battersby:- 17, Regent Street, Nottingham. (Battersby & Glaister). Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery Victoria 1904; Licentiate in Dental Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons (England) 1908; (Victoria University, Manchester). Honorary Dental Surgeon, Nottingham General Hospital; Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine; Member of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society and the British Medical Association. Formerly:- Senior House Surgeon, Bury Infirmary. Honorary Dental Surgeon, Hyson Green, Nottingham Dispensary.

Medical Directory 1947



Delivered 1st October 1947


Dr. J. Battersby gave an account of some of the biological experiments and observations upon which our present knowledge of the mechanics of heredity is based. He described the classical experiments of Mendal with the edible pea, upon which he based his theory of inheritance. He noted that observations on the structure and behaviour of chromosomes  led to the theory of the gene as that part of the germ cell responsible for the transmission of Mendelian characteristics. He described mutations as the cause of suddenly acquired new characteristics and the prime cause of new varieties. Haemophilia was cited as an example of an heredity disease due to harmful, recessive, sex linked mutation. These studies show that what is handed from one generation to the next are the genes in the germ cell and not the complete character, but these determine all one’s basic mental and physical characteristics; and so heredity plays a preponderant part in shaping a man’s actions and reactions, his health and happiness. The importance is shown in the study of identical twins. Acquired characteristics are not transmitted.

In conclusion, the President noted several ways in which a knowledge of heredity might be useful in medical practice, as for example, in controlling the transmission of heredity malformations or diseases due to a single dominant or a single recessive gene; in the treatment of haemorrhagic disease of the new born by knowledge of the Rhesus factor; while a knowledge of the heredity background of a family might be invaluable in interpreting a patients disease.