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March 22, 1919


JAMA. 1919;72(12):866-867. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610120028016

It would be easy to give convincing illustrations of the enormous advantage that has accrued to the pursuit of the medical sciences from the ability to reproduce individual types of disease experimentally in animals. In the case of the infections, the nature of the etiologic agents has been established thereby. Rational therapeutics has received great help from the possibility of studying treatment in experimentally established disease. The so-called deficiency diseases afford a peculiarly characteristic illustration of the almost indispensable advantage of the ability to reproduce them at will. Birds, rats, mice, guinea-pigs and monkeys have shown typical and diverse susceptibilities to the lack of certain food factors in the diet. The cause, cure and prevention of such confusing maladies as beriberi, scurvy, pellagra and rickets in man seem destined to be more effectively understood as the result of the laboratory studies of the past decade than through the cruder, though

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