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April 13, 1929

Methods of Biological Assay.

JAMA. 1929;92(15):1296. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02700410066036

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This essentially practical little book is especially to be commended for its emphasis on the guiding principles of biologic assays, as well as for its painstaking description of methods. According to the dictum endorsed by Burn, that "there is no scientific justification for a minimum lethal or systolic dose of any toxic substance or drug," most of the biologic assays incorporated in the U. S. P. X will have to be modified. Thus, for digitalis the smallest dose that will kill all frogs is no less than 4.8 times as big as that enough to kill some frogs. It is recommended that, in place of a minimum lethal dose, the conception be established of an average or "median" dose which will produce the effect in 50 per cent of animals. If, for instance, this dose of digitalis is given the value of 4, then a dose corresponding to 2 will

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