[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 17, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(25):2119-2120. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690250041014

It is a fundamental requisite of any complex working structure, whether a man-made machine or a living body, that the various components shall act in a harmonious manner. If they function independently, the mechanism as a whole will presumably fail to accomplish the purposes for which it was designed. In fact, unharmonious action may even lead to disaster if one part works in discord or possibly in actual antagonism to another. Dysfunction is a dangerous manifestation for the continued welfare of the mechanism. Discord in the action of the component structures may in the long run destroy the machine that was destined for perfect, well ordered performance.

In a stimulating address before Chicago chemists on the occasion of the award of the Gibbs medal to him, Professor Abel1 of Johns Hopkins University intimated that the significance of the interdependence of the various mechanisms of the animal body, of their