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October 1962

Meaning of Human Behavior to the Physician of Tomorrow

Author Affiliations

Duke Hospital Durham, N.C.

Arch Intern Med. 1962;110(4):409-411. doi:10.1001/archinte.1962.03620220001001

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Modern genetic facts and theories have changed our concepts of the body. The reactions in the body are controlled by several thousand different amino acid compounds. Each of these compounds is made in a particular way with exact arrangement of its component parts. The reactions making these highly individualized and different proteins are controlled by structures in the chromosomes called genes. All the information needed for assembling the entire body is found in the genes of the egg and the sperm. The genes are now concrete physical units rather than conceptualized structures. The fact that so much knowledge can be stored in such a small area and that in these same areas small changes in structure can produce permanent changes in one of several thousand proteins has greatly altered our thinking. We now realize why no two men are ever alike and appreciate that the external differences which allow us

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