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June 13, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXII(24):1892. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560490038014

Among those who helped to overthrow the older notion that the urea and uric acid excreted in the urine have a common origin was the Bohemian physiologist, Professor Mares of Prague. As early as 18871 he formulated the hypothesis that uric acid is the product of the activity of cell protoplasm, whereas urea arises directly from the disintegration of proteins ingested as food. In the divorce of these two nitrogenous substances, urea and uric acid, which were long believed to have a direct genetic interrelationship, uric acid was accordingly made a derivative of that chemical process which forms the basis of cellular activity. The quantity of urea formed in a given time was clearly seen to depend above all on the amount of nitrogenous matter absorbed. When the possible relation of nucleoproteins and purins to uric acid began to be appreciated, Mares insisted that not only the nucleoproteins of

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