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August 1, 1931


JAMA. 1931;97(5):322. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02730050030013

In an introduction to a recent translation of Claude Bernard's Experimental Medicine, Prof. L. J. Henderson1 of Harvard University has pointed out that we owe the theory of the constancy of the "internal environment" of the body to the distinguished French physiologist. There is no better illustration, Henderson remarks, of his penetrating intelligence. A few scattered observations on the composition of blood sufficed to justify, in his opinion, the assertion that the constancy of the internal environment (milieu intérieur) is the condition of free and independent life. A large part of the physiologic research of the last two decades may fairly be regarded as a verification and illustration of this theory, which, as Claude Bernard perceived, serves to interpret many of the most important physiologic and pathologic processes. In a recent study, Fremont-Smith and his collaborators2 at the Harvard University Medical School have called attention to the fact

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