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October 6, 1923


JAMA. 1923;81(14):1218-1220. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650140062027

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British Association for the Advancement of Science 

SYMBIOSIS  At the recent annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, as usual, many topics were discussed of a medical nature or with a special interest for physicians. Prof. G. H. F. Nuttall, president of the physiological section, gave an address on "Symbiosis," which he defined as conjoint life between different organisms that in a varying degree were benefited by the partnership. It was a balancing between two extremes—complete immunity and deadly infective disease. A condition of perfect balance was realized with comparative rarity, because of the many difficulties of its establishment in organisms that were either capable of living independently or were incapable of resisting the invasion of organisms imperfectly adapted to communal life. It was difficult to imagine how symbiosis originated otherwise than by passing through a preliminary stage of parasitism on the part of one or

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