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August 1, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVII(5):195-196. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410830031006

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By a pure culture is generally understood one which contains but one form of life, a single definite microörganism. This use of the term "pure culture" is justifiable so long as the use which is made of the culture is only morphological. Pure cultures of this type answer all requirements for the classification of microörganisms, for their morphological study. They might with propriety be termed "morphologically pure cultures." The absence of the limiting word, however, has lead to an improper idea of the purity of these cultures, and to a use of them for chemical purposes that is not strictly justifiable. Since the time when Brieger sewed such morphologically pure cultures in various media, and extracted therefrom the ptomaines formed, it has become customary to form similar cultures with pathogenic germs and to extract from them the poisons formed, so far, ptomaines or alkaloids,and toxalbumins, and to attribute the poisons

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