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March 14, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(11):884. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530370050013

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It is a matter of at least academic interest to physicians to learn that Professor Dunbar,1 as the result of an elaborate study continued over a considerable period of time, has come to the conclusion that bacteria are simply a form in the life stages of the algæ instead of being a special separate type of lone vegetable organisms. He took a pure culture of a single-celled alga, one of the Palmellasia, and by modifying the culture medium by the addition of various substances, acids, alkalies, or traces of copper salts, he observed other organisms, chiefly bacteria, but occasionally moulds or yeasts, and even spirochetes, appear in the culture. The appearance of these last-named organisms in such conditions would seem to throw light on their true position in the organic world, for they have not usually been classed among the members of the vegetable kingdom, though their position among

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