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August 1, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XLI(5):317. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.04480020025013

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The possibilities of such mysterious forces as those possessed by radium present an attractive field of speculation for the physician. May not the radiant energy emitted by radium possess pathogenic as well as curative, destructive as well as stimulating, powers on cells and cellular processes? Perchance, it may be forces of this kind that upset physiologic laws of cellular activity, and lead to abnormal proliferations of various kinds? But questions of this kind are not yet ripe for discussion. Actual experimental studies must furnish the necessary basis of facts from which it may be permitted to draw further deductions. Danysz1 found that radium destroys the skin of guinea-pigs and rabbits, but subcutaneous and muscular tissue do not seem so sensitive as skin. The nervous tissue is also sensitive to its action. A sealed glass tube with salts of radium placed against the skin over the spine is followed by

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