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January 2, 1960


JAMA. 1960;172(1):93. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020010150026

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GENETICS AND BIOCHEMISTRY  Modern research has thrown new light upon the age-old dispute over the relative importance of inheritance versus environment, of instinct versus learning. Every living organism, including man, has a genetic constitution which establishes and limits the potential for growth, differentiation and life span. Every manifestation of structure, function or behavior is determined by the interaction of the organism with its environment and becomes an essential element in each phase of growth, development and aging. These dramatic developments along with the new understanding of mutations which may be brought about by radiation have awakened great interest in medical genetics, a discipline which will have a profound impact upon the whole field of reproduction, congenital anomalies, chemical as well as anatomical, and a wide range of clinical manifestations.The discovery that many diseases may be due to the genetically determined absence or reduction in amount of a single

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