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December 14, 1895


JAMA. 1895;XXV(24):1040-1042. doi:10.1001/jama.1895.02430500026001j

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Physical features and moral and mental qualities of parents are so commonly observed in their children that nobody questions their being inherited; that is, they are recognized as "chips of the old blocks," and we are not surprised when the children bear an almost precise resemblance in every essential feature to one or other parent. But when a parent has a peculiarity of a decidedly irregular or abnormal form which is passed to the child, or if it should entirely fail to appear, the question is at once raised as to how that happens; what laws explain the result. We observe disease conditions passed to offspring as well as uncommon features, and which, if not strictly speaking inherited, are somehow due to the circumstances of birth. It is not generally considered by the medical profession that diseases, as we commonly know them, are directly inherited, but that a tendency or

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