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November 11, 1961

Explorations into the Nature of the Living Cell

JAMA. 1961;178(6):683. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040450147034

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In this book half a century of fascinating investigations into the structure and activity of animal and vegetable cells, largely by ingenious methods of micromanipulation, is summarized. The problem of defining protoplasm, an exercise in semantics which some people consider ultimately futile, is briefly dealt with in the introductory pages. This leads, however, to the interesting attempts, detailed in subsequent chapters, to separate the dispensable from the indispensable parts of a cell; increasingly delicate studies of the chemical and physical properties of the various parts of the Arbacia egg and other interesting cell-types follow naturally.

Since the time when much of this work was done, many new techniques have become available to the microscopist, and the specialized studies represented by this book have been supplemented by a wealth of information from other sources. Nevertheless, this account of the investigations of Robert Chambers and his co-workers is of permanent value and

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