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Article
June 1, 1907

"VITAL ACTION" OF CELLS IN THE LIGHT OF MODERN RESEARCHES.

JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(22):1867-1868. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520480045006
Abstract

As we secure more insight into the exact nature of the processes by which living cells carry on their functions, we find that the phenomena ascribed to "vital action" become fewer and fewer, for this phrase is, in the last analysis, simply the lumber room into which we would throw all the manifestations of life which we are not yet able to explain. There seems, indeed, to be little ground left for opposing the dictum that all the so-called vital activities of cells are merely the result of natural and well-known forces acting according to commonly observed and easily understood laws, but which seem tous to be something mysterious and incomprehensible simply because the processes occur under extremely complex conditions. There will long be many who will hold in reserve certain fields in which, according to their belief, simple physical explanations will not be found adequate; but even they must

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