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December 19, 1903


JAMA. 1903;XLI(25):1545. doi:10.1001/jama.1903.02490440035009

A study of the vital properties of organized matter is a complex one, and whatever may lead to doing away with some of its embarrassments is a certain advance. We hold that the vital functions of cells depend on the specific physiologic and chemical arrangements and that the ordinary methods of biologic and chemical research destroy these more or less. Attention is called to this difficulty in a recent communication1 to the British Association for the Advancement of Science by Prof. MacFadyen, who has sought out a suitable method for obtaining the cell plasma for experimental work, as far as possible unaffected by physical and chemical agencies which would disturb its vital qualities. The chief previous work which has sought to avoid these objections is that on the yeast plant by Buchner, who, by mechanical rupture of the cells and release of their content with preservation of its properties,

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