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This book is primarily concerned with the size of organs and body parts in relation to the whole animal and the means by which this relation is regulated under various physiological and experimental conditions. The main thesis, set forth in the preface and reiterated through 307 pages, is that growth is stimulated by physiological demand. Embryonic development and the ultimate determination of body size are excluded, since they are regarded as expressions of the genetic endowment. The author believes that it has become fashionable to disregard the older theory that growth is a direct response to functional overload in favor of postulated humoral mechanisms which are assumed to adjust the sizes of organs to their predetermined dimensions. Investigators engaged in these latter studies have not been able to establish whether these hypothetical growth regulators operate by stimulating or inhibiting growth, and many theories stemming from such work pertain only
Bucher NLR. Adaptive Growth.. Arch Intern Med. 1966;117(3):467-468. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.03870090151040