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July 30, 1932

Physiology of Bacteria.

JAMA. 1932;99(5):413. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740570059034

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Students of the physiology of bacteria have at their disposal three modern books: Buchanan and Fulmer's comprehensive three-volume treatise, Marjory Stephenson's excellent discussion of bacterial metabolism, and now this thoroughgoing monograph. Rahn's book is in aim, if not in scope, somewhat more ambitious than either of the others in that the author attempts to relate the physiology of bacteria to general physiology or general biology and strives to keep in the foreground the "new conceptions... brought into general physiology through the study of bacteria." The four sections of the book —endogenous metabolism, energy supply of the cell, growth, and the mechanism of death—are dealt with as "the four functions which are indispensable for life" (p. 7). Within these limits, Rahn's discussion shows understanding and generally clear thinking. As in any book of this sort, a critical reader will meet with some surprises. There is no mention of the permeability of

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