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JAMA 100 Years Ago
January 16, 2013


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2013;309(3):216. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.145171

Current Comment

Biologists have realized for a long time that certain typical changes which living cells are capable of undergoing can be greatly modified, particularly in the sense of retardation or acceleration, by the character of the environment to which the cells are exposed. This is conspicuously true in respect to the phenomena of growth which proceeds from cell division. Relatively slight alterations in the concentration or the chemical composition of sea-water, for example, profoundly alter the rate of cleavage and development of the eggs of marine forms; and the phagocytic response of certain blood-cells is conspicuously modified by the character of the medium in which they exist. Our knowledge of this feature has been much increased since the study of the opsonins was inaugurated a few years ago.